Springtime at Jaan: Serving up Europe's finest on a plate
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We might be robbed of experiencing the change of seasons in Singapore but thankfully, we have award-winning restaurants like Jaan and their thoughtful seasonal menus. The one-Michelin European frontrunner earned its soaring repertoire under the inventive hands of Chef de Cuisine Kirk Westaway, who makes every visit to Jaan a mondaine dining experience. After all, it's hard to top the dining experience of digging into an exemplary degustation on the 70th floor of Swissôtel Singapore, appreciating his delicate flavours with the skyline of our city's charming bayfront at our disposal.
Last year's prolonged winter saw unforeseen delays and challenges to crafting this year's spring offerings. Nevertheless, Chef Kirk soldiered on and delivered — with a seasonal menu proven to be more sought-after and worth your while. The menu pays homage to his hometown in the British countryside of Devon, and pulls out the best tantalising flavours from the freshest produce from Europe.
Canapés take on a whole different identity here at Jaan. Nothing is seemingly too minuscule or lacking with the execution of heightened flavours — as demonstrated by the savoury buckwheat pancake ball stuffed with Devon cheddar cheese. Every single bite of the fluffy dough sphere was heaven — we would have gone in for seconds if it weren't for the fact that we had to pace ourselves. Next up, cod mousse piped on a crisp game chip led on a piquant blend of textural flavours. Our favourite? Jaan's signature staple, a Charlotte potato and truffle bouillon immersed in a lavish soup uniting mushroom stock, seaweed stock and pure truffle jus. Fine dining manners are also brushed off as an exception here — after all, the best way to enjoy it is to slurp it off the bowl without the aid of spoons.
The special asparagus
Raved a new addition to this year's seasonal chart, this single stately spear is scoured from the ancient French town of Pertuis and touted for its clean, fresh flavour without any hint of bitterness. Blanched and coated with a seaweed butter glaze and plated with marinated Japanese ikura eggs, mentaiko mayo and pared back with a finger lime caviar, Jaan might have unknowingly set the impossible standard of the humble vegetable.
The Scottish scallop has a hearty accompaniment in the next multi-dimensional dish, a hand-rolled cannelloni encased with tender organic mushrooms from France and adorned with a parmesan and garlic crumb crust. On the same plate, garnishes of creamy mushroom hollandaise, raw cep mushrooms and fresh kale are decked out with hazelnut dressing. Leading up to the meaty entrée, we found ourselves demolishing Chef Kirk's Iberico pork loin — a dish that had gone through months of laborious experimentation. First seasoned, then trimmed then marinated for an hour, the loin is cooked before topped with a crispy mix of braised pork shoulder, pickled mushrooms and cured pork belly. Next to it, lies a fall-apart tender pork belly rolled in blanched cabbage. The finisher? Dollops of sauce — made from home cured mustard seeds and pork jus — masterfully strings the flavours together. If you're in need of a palate reset, sip on the dashi and pork broth served separately in a whisky glass, and you'll be all set for more.
Trust us when we say that this new palate cleanser could pass off as a delectable dessert. Think lemon granita fashioned from frozen Amalfi lemons and served with a lemon and orange espuna, then perfected with a cardamom sorbet. This prelude prepares you for the real showstopper — the Conference pear. Hailed from the south of France, wedges of pears are dunked in a rich marinade of caramel, cinnamon, thyme and white balsamic vinegar it's squared off with nox sourdough bread and an arty strip of tuile. The cherry on top has to be the indulgent brown butter ice cream, and an earl grey tea reduction stencilled in a shape of a pear — an artwork worthy of more than a couple of snaps. We scraped every bit off, because one should never leave Jaan with any regrets.
Get a taste of Jaan's new spring menu today.
2 Stamford Road, Level 70, Equinox Complex, Tel: 6837 3322
Opening hours: 12pm-2.30pm, 7pm-10.30pm