A few months ago, I wanted to find a place in Central to host a book club on a Sunday afternoon. It needed to be at a restaurant, but not the sort of place where we’d be rushed out, shushed or cramped. Then I thought of spots like BaseHall and Joint Asian Market – J.A.M. These modern food halls are busy during weekdays, but perhaps more chill at the weekend. BaseHall is closed on Sundays, so to J.A.M. we went!
J.A.M. is located at Nexxus Building in the heart of Central (coincidentally, the location of my office when I first moved to Hong Kong). Honestly, I did choose it for its convenient location, with the food a secondary thought. But when my lunch set came out, I was pleasantly surprised. The nasi lemak was quite good – fresh, fragrant and hearty.
If you’re a J.A.M. regular, you’ll know they offer Singaporean, Vietnamese, Korean and Cantonese fare. Now, they’re also introducing Thai dishes. Recently, my friend and I visited to try the new Thai sets ($158 for a drink, appetiser, main and dessert).
Here’s what we had:
Set 1: Fried shrimp cake, Thai-style grilled chicken with rice, coconut pandan dumplings
Set 2: Grilled pork neck, Thai basil minced pork fried rice, coconut pandan dumplings
We also topped up $10 each for fresh calamansi soda, which packs quite the punch.
There are many cheap and cheerful Thai restaurants in town. It’s always good to get a deal, but sometimes the quality of the meat leaves something to be desired. The meat we had at J.A.M. was definitely better than average, with the grilled chicken a particular highlight (plump, juicy and with great flavour). In addition, the portions are generous. My only gripe is that the dessert comes out with the rest of the meal, meaning that it’s lukewarm when you eat it (unless you eat it first!). Flavour-wise, the coconut pandan dumplings we tried were great though.
I probably wouldn’t go to J.A.M. for the atmosphere (it is a food hall, after all). But whether you’re looking for a hearty lunch on a workday or a relaxed place to eat at the weekend, you’ll leave satisfied with your value-for-money meal. For the new Thai menu, the dishes will be updated on a rotating basis every two or three weeks. We hear popular dishes like green papaya salad, minced pork lettuce wraps, seafood pad thai and mango sticky rice will be showing up soon!
Lobby, Nexxus Building, 41 Connaught Road Central, Central, 2808 1086
This write-up is based on a complimentary media tasting provided in exchange for an honest review and no monetary compensation. The opinions expressed here represent the author’s.
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