The Westside of Singapore gets a lot of flak for being so far away and distant from the rest of the island. But it really isn't. The cluster of shopping malls around Jurong East MRT station is home to many cool shops and boutiques in the area. Jurong even has its own Don Don Donki with exclusive food booths – how many other neighbourhoods in Singapore can flex that? Here are some of the new openings in Jurong that make the journey to the West worth it.
On to its sixth chain in the country, Don Don Donki opens in JCube. The outlet in Jurong is a 'food specialty' branch so Westsiders can conveniently stock up on their favourite Japanese snacks without having to make the trek to the city. Some of the exclusive things you will find at this outlet are located in its food hall. Popular takoyaki chain from Osaka, Gindaco makes a comeback (it briefly opened in Ion before closing), Japan’s largest take-out-only restaurant chain serves up bento meals for busy ones and more.
Miniso is a go-to for practical everyday items with minimalist designs and affordable prices. The recently opened outlet in the factory outlet mall which is IMM is a little different from its counterparts around the island – this store is where everything is $2. Grab a basket, throw in items from coloured markers to pastel reusable lunch boxes – you're still going to be under the budget.
Popular Taiwanese comedian Nono Chen is known equally for his jokey personality and his fried chicken. Monga Fried Chicken already has over 45 outlets in Taiwan and is expanding into the Singapore market as well. Breast meat is the choice cut for this brand and it is perfectly battered and fried to ensure that it remains juicy. The original version which is sprinkled with salt and pepper is $6.90 but you can pick from other flavours like chilli and seaweed.
If you think the experience of buying electronics and appliances is boring and sterile, you might change your mind at this Sony store in Westgate. The park-themed outlet is lush and decorated with lots of indoor plants and wood finishes, giving it a calming and rustic feel. It certainly helps with making clearer decisions – which is important if you're going to be dropping quite a lot of cash on a camera or a Playstation console.
Now you don't have to go all the way to Jewel Changi Airport to sample the flavours of southwestern China. Head to Westgate in Jurong for signature highland dishes like the steamed pot chicken soup ($23.90), which uses steam and condensation to create a heady chicken broth. It is best eaten with a plate of cold rice noodles, chicken, vegetables and egg tossed in a vinegary sauce. If you're up for a spicy challenge, get the beef stew in copper pot ($24.90), an intense beef broth filled with beef shin, tendon and offal peppered with a generous amount of chilli.
Hotpot is all the craze not and it's only right for the Westsiders to have a premium hotpot spot for some nourishing soup. For the uninitiated, Beauty in the Pot specialises in soup bases that are purportedly good for your skin. The rich broth is made from conpoy, chicken, chicken feet, pork bone and trotters and the selection of premium meat includes US wagyu rib-eye ($21), Kurobuta pork (from $9), and a selection of fresh fish.