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JAAN

During the recent Easter study break, I flew back to Singapore on a red-eye flight and the first meal (after a few hours on my own bed catching up on sleep) that I had, was dinner at JAAN. And let me just say, the view up from the 70th storey of the Equinox Complex does blow you away; Singapore has such a magnificent skyline, I’m confident that you’ll be hard-pressed not to agree with me! Of course, it’s just another reminder of the beautiful country that we live in. To be honest, the view is probably the key selling point of JAAN. The food is good but safe. Perhaps, too safe.

Small bites were served upon being seated. In the photograph above, from front-to-back, you have Sesame crusted potato croquet, Grilled chicken skin, and Smoked eel parfait topped pickled apple gelee.

By the way, JAAN is derived from the ancient Sanskrit word for ‘bowl’. I digress.

Now, let’s get down to the details.

We proceeded with the “Menu Prestige” which 7 courses.

The kitchen of JAAN is led by Chef Julien Royer, 29 who was previously from Brasserie Les Saveurs at the St. Regis in Singapore. JAAN is also where Chef Andre Chiang of ANDRE (see review here) earned his reputation and stamped himself as an authority in the Singapore culinary scene. For the record, Chef Ebbe Vollmer ran the kitchen at JAAN for a short while before Chef Julien Royer stepped in.

The potato croquet had a molten cheese centre and when you take a bite, oozes out. So decadent, I thought. Speaking of decadence, the chicken skin was actually very nice. To end the bites off, the smoked eel is paired with a slightly tart apple gelee.

And so, from smoked eels to rye crisps, we go.

Rye crisps

Paired with “My Hummus” - Chef Julien Royer’s personal interpretation of the classic Middle Eastern food dip using Lentils from Saint-Flour, Auvergne and Chestnut Paste.

Amuse Bouche came in the form of a Cepes Sabayon and Mushroom Tea.

The intense flavours of mushrooms definitely shone through; A lovely combination soup made from both fresh and dried porcini mushrooms.

 Not long after, bread is served to the table, along with the usual condiment pairing of unsalted butter and sea salt.

I loved the bread at JAAN – I’m not sure if they are baked in a central kitchen (like that of Marina Bay Sands) or baked in-house. The one on the right is worthy of special mention – the aroma of Truffle and Bread is just so, welcoming.

Hand-Dived Scallop & Avocado “Millefeuille”
Light Crustacean Jelly, Citrus, Ikura, and Bronze Fennel 

With the small bites and bread out of the way, it was time to get the meal started.

First to be served is the scallop and avocado “millefeuille”. Unfortunately, as pretty as the dish looked, it was rather pedestrian in my opinion. I loved how the crustacean jelly and ikura all played to the seafood theme but the combination of flavours did not work for me.

Trumbetta Zucchini
Burrata “Artigiana”, Black Olive Sugar and Spring Herbs 

Next up, we had the second cold entrée. This was definitely a ‘safe’ dish for me. You can’t go wrong with Burrata cheese anyway! This slightly made up for the previous pedestrian dish.

Wild langoustine Raviolo
Thai Spiced Cream

The third dish on the menu was a (and I do mean, a), raviolo. (raviolo being the singular form of the word ravioli)

I liked this, the best. The well seasoned langoustine-filled raviolo combined well with an all-too-familiar Thai flavour. (Think – a mild Green Curry)

Grilled Escalope of Landes Foie Gras
“Pain Perdu”, Jave Pepper, Toasted Mango and Pedro Jimenez Sherry Jelly

If you’re like me and like your foie gras with a slightly ‘crust’ yet a soft interior, you’ll be rather disappointed with this rendition.

But for what it’s worth, the grilled foie gras was done perfectly – no complaints there. The richness of the foie is cut by the spiced mango AND pedro jimenez sherry jelly. The tart jelly is pictured above, albeit obscured by the copyright footer. The mango is first caramelized before being seasoned with pepper from Java.

The foie gras is from Landes, South West of France.

Line-caught New Zealand John Dory
Sauteed Baby Squid, Smoked Ratte Potato and Dolce Forte Jus

I remember a conversation about line-caught fish quite some time back, either on one of the blogs or on Facebook, about  the positives to line-caught fish vis-a-vis trawl fishing, in particular in relation to environmental sustainability. Of course, it’s always good to have the environment in mind but with seafood already priced so high, sometimes, the added costs just don’t make sense.

Again, the fish was good and was neither under nor over cooked – something you would expect to come out from a kitchen, such as JAAN.

Again, for a restaurant like JAAN, to dish out what is to be expected is akin to an investor that seeks only to achieve the expected return on a market portfolio, rather than seek to achieve ‘alpha’ – the additional return above the expected return.

Bresse Pigeon
Hay Roasted Breast, Confit Leg, Pickled Shimeji, Organic Corn, Jus “D’Abats”

The concept of using Hay seems to be in the rage these days. The pigeon was served beautifully pink in the centre. A simple knife stroke cuts through the meat – Clear evidence of how tender it is.

After all the richness in the previous courses, a palate cleanser would be suitable and this came in the form of a Mango Mousse with Lychee Sorbet, infused with Thai Basil.

Choconuts 2012′
Tanariva Mousse, Peanuts, Macadamia Nut Ice Cream

Consisting of layers of sable biscuit, peanut butter (using roasted peanuts from Piedmont), chocolate, and a milk chocolate (Tanarva) mousse).

Good, but no where as good as good as “Snickers 2012″Pictured below from ANDRE (the old review can be found here while my review on my return visit will be up on Saturday morning 10am) Sorry – I couldn’t help but to make comparisons.

Petit Fours 

(From Left to right) Rock Candy, Carambar caramel snack bar (from chef’s childhood), chocolate, madeleines, chocolates, and a chocolate-coated rosemary ice cream lollipop.

Further close ups.

JAAN

Level 70, Equinox complex
Swissotel the Stamford
2 Stamford Road
Singapore 178882

Tel: +65 6837 3322 (Reservations highly recommended)

Lunch
Monday – Saturday: 12.00pm – 2.30pm
Closed on Sunday and Public Holidays

Dinner
Monday – Saturday: 7.00pm – 10.00pm
Closed on Sunday

2 Comments

  1. Yvonne Tessensohn June 6, 2012 at 10:23 pm Reply

    Thanks for this article. I was the PR Manager for the whole complex when it launched about 10 years ago and the Jaan of today is very different from what its inception was. Great to see how it has evolved.

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