Does a multiple award-winning restaurant by any other name smell as sweet?
We might not enjoy the four seasons in Singapore, but a taste of spring elsewhere can be had at Jaan, helmed by inventive chef de cuisine Kirk Westaway. Here, Westaway's personal approach to presenting each ingredient at its finest remains. He proclaims his intentions to stay true to the intrinsic characteristics of each produce, as well as the world-class modern French fine dining experience that has garnered the restaurant one of the loftiest reputations in our saturated dining scene.
Perched atop Swissôtel The Stamford and ranked 29th in the 2016 edition of Asia's 50 Best Restaurants, Jaan's accolades are matched by that of Westaway's, who was most recently nominated the S. Pellegrino Young Chef 2015 for Southeast Asia as well as Rising Chef of the Year at the World Gourmet Summit 2016. "I hope to inject my own personality and contemporary approach to present the best modern French fine dining experience that will help JAAN continue to evolve and remain relevant in an ever-changing F&B landscape. To that end, I will not compromise on the use of premium seasonal produce and techniques. I also wish to deliver precise and purposeful dishes that showcase each premium seasonal ingredient. There is a reason for every element that I place on the plate," Westaway divulges of his aspirations in his new endeavour.
Westaway's favourite creation "The Dressed Crab is one of my personal favourites. It is my take on the classic flavour pairings associated with the humble cauliflower curry. Paying homage to one of Singapore's national favourites, the Sri Lankan mud crab takes centre stage in this delicate dish. Working with the robust and sweet meat of the crab, I create a luscious orb of sweet-spicy Thai-style golden crab curry that is interspersed with beads of caviar and green apple, lifting the dish with its mild acidity. The Dressed Crab is exemplary of how my dishes are a play on familiar flavours injected with finesse into any ingredient. The trio of ingredients are encased in a light-as-air cauliflower espuma that rests on a base of clear crab jelly derived from a classic crab consommé. This dish is then finished with coral dust, made by dehydrating crab roe and then shaving it onto the espuma."
English sensibilities Growing up in the organically diverse southwest of England nurtured in Westaway an ever-conscious love and respect for uncommon produce. He evidently enjoys tapping on his culinary knowledge to unleash multiple experiences from singular ingredients, commenting, "I like to draw on my personal experiences and memories to include elements that evoke an emotional connection and deliver familiar, comforting pleasures to diners. I then elevate these experiences through contemporary and sophisticated techniques to enhance the modern fine dining experience."
"The Cannon of Lamb involves a labourious process of creating a farce (otherwise known as stuffing) using lamb fillets from the middle saddle and lamb belly. The meat is stuffed and rolled with oregano, roasted garlic and, shallots, complementing the earthy nuances. Cooked sous vide for five hours, the lamb farce is paired with a savoury lamb roulade, a sweet chutney, jus-braised gem lettuce, a light potato-based bagna cauda and anchovy fillets. The Cannon of Lamb is a challenging and elaborate dish that is inspired by my memories of the classic anchovy- and herb-crusted lamb rack. I love the combination of flavours and textures in this dish. The dish consists of an adventurous combination of individual items with complex recipes, and I'm proud of what it eventually became. It is also a good example of how the dishes that I serve at JAAN are often seemingly simple but complex in thought and execution."