J's Restaurant represents a celebration of the joy of life spent amongst beloved friends and family dining in great ambience, sharing delicious food at value-for-money price, where great food is served with Joy.
However, without understanding the story behind the rebranding of el toro restaurant to J's, the above are just words; nice words, it's true, but words all the same.
J's is a testimony to how Joy Mahbubani, Managing Director of the restaurant can achieve her dreams, how her passions can turn from wishful thinking to an inspiring reality and how the human spirit can triumph over adversity.
From the simple desire to create a 'space' where her teenage son and his friendscould "chill out" on an evening in a safe environment, coupled with a deep affection for Latin American food garnered from her extensive travels in South America, Joy found an ideal solution when purchasing a struggling restaurant called el toro restobar, formally in Winsland House, in 2011.
Joy immediately took the brave step to remove alcohol and pork products from the menu so that a greater demographic could enjoy the food. Her dream was thateveryone, even if they had different dietary requirements, could sit together for food.
Having made many small changes to the original el toro it was time to take a more dramatic step forward…
The first major advancement was the addition of an excellent executive chef, Darence Wee, with impressive experience from some much celebrated restaurants of international renown.
Amongst other things, Chef Darence re-designed the menu, keeping the Latin Americaninfluence whilst adding a more refined Modern European cuisine.
The final obstacle to the transformation of the restaurant was to say goodbye to the past el toro and let a new, rejuvenated restaurant bloom to herald the new beginnings reflected in "J's" restaurant!
The significance of the letter "J" represents the culmination of the many years Joy has dreamed of having her own restaurant providing good, quality food and service.
Not only that though; "J's" signifies how the desire to create a space for her son, friends and the community has turned from a humble wish to a reality with the second floor of "J's" ("The Upper Room") beingavailable for such use.
But maybe more than this, "J's" is Joy's reminder to herself of how precious and worthwhile life can be after she overcame the terrible adversity of lying in a hospital bed in critical condition with her life, as well as her body, in shatters to fulfilling one of her ambitions through sheer determination and will power… and the support of family and friends.
Both a visual feast for the eyes and an experience for the taste buds, the food of J's is sure not to disappoint!
Whilst still retaining the Latin-American influence of the food, evidenced with the staple favourites from days past of Paella, Quesadillas and Fajitas, J's new signature dishes bring out the complex identity of a more modern European cuisine.
The signature dishes of Chicken "Adobo" and the 120-day grain-fed sirloin of beef allow diners to partake of their favourite meats delicately prepared to tease and please the palate.
And the dining pleasure is completed by a mouth-watering dessert menu with the ever-popular "Bocas Negras" flourless chocolate cake, and the "Peppered Pineapple" which elicits a spiciness to complement the sweet.
Our wish at J's is to be able to welcome customers from a wide variety of dietary preferences. The menu caters for Vegetarians and by eliminating all pork and alcohol from the restaurant allows Muslims to enjoy a range of food not readily found in Singapore.
The friendly, informal, eclectic atmosphere at J's belies the quality of the food allowing diners to indulge in a semi-fine dining experience at prices more friendly on the pocket.