1-Michelin Jaan reopens with a summer menu: Salt marsh lamb, a vegetable pie with greens from our local farm, and more
Light and bright
The last time we saw chef Kirk Westaway, he was sporting a fuller beard and making magic at Anti:dote in a midas pop-up that we suspect, might transpire into something more, given the glowing reception. Now, it's official to say he has his hands full, with Jaan by Kirk Westaway resuming its operations since the circuit breaker. Shy of a table (due to safe distancing regulations), it felt like old times being back at the enchanting 1-Michelin restaurant — paired with the sweeping views one would drink in on the 70th floor of Swissotel The Stamford.
Snacks like Devon cheddar cheese buckwheat pancakes and a reinvented version of fish and chips felt familiar in the best way, while new additions like Tomato Cloud (chef Kirk's version of a Bloody Mary) and Goose Moose instantly became newfound favourites amongst the amuse bouche here. The former, a fluffy meringue spiked with tomato juice and finished off with celery salt; and the latter, goose liver, plated with a delightful red onion marmalade, eschewing any sort of gaminess, then cradled in a tart shell.
The iconic soup course, which we've grown fond of — stemming from a leek and potato tag team — prides its comfort from roasted potatoes, mushroom stock, pure truffle juice, and truffle trimmings for that added finesse. Give it a few blows just because it comes steaming hot. Chef Kirk's fixation on vegetables remains this summer; we were well acquainted with the English Garden before, and now the Singapore medley, also our first course, is meticulously plated atop a light buttery tart shell. Visually stunning — credit to the bright colours with fresh summer veggies like artichoke, fresh tomatoes, yellow beans, basil, dabbled with pickled shallots and black olive mayonnaise. The best part? They're all sourced from our very own urban farm, Pocket Greens. Bright fragments of water came through, pared back with a little tang from the pickling, before rounding it all in an umami dressing. Quite possibly, the best way to kick start the actual meal.
Of course, if there was ever a dish to keep Jaan grounded, it would be Eggs in an Egg. It looks deceiving small — to which it is actually one that sits heavier on the palate. That being said, this is density that's worth delving in. Where a slow-cooked hen's egg is laid upon cauliflower custard then topped with caviar, pickled brown shimeji mushrooms, and pickled Cevennes onions before it's served with Berkswell Cheese, a 10 month old sheep cheese. Everything from the yolk to the onions to the smoked rosemary treatment has been served to please.
The main course fell on the Welsh salt marsh lamb, a marbled loin derived from the lamb's diet of minerals, sea succulents, and clovers. It's been crusted in rosemary, parsley, and garlic, then roasted before plated with a paper-thin potato crepe and a blanched onion circling braised aubergine. To complete the dish, a heady lamb sauce splash as well as a lemon caramel and confit garlic. As with the dessert, we fancied the pre- more so with the actual dessert (an unsurprising take on fresh strawberries), despite the former being a palate cleanser. We got acquainted with greengage, a common fruit sighting during summer in the British countryside. For a tart refresher, he peeled the succulent plum and laid it with an apple sorbet and lemonade mousse. An icy chill that we lapped up within seconds, just to get us rebooted for more sweets — including Jaan's troves of petit fours.
Level 70, Swissôtel The Stamford, 2 Stamford Rd, Tel: 6837 3322
Opening hours: (Wed-Sat) 11.45am-2.30pm, 6pm-10.30pm