yay! back to food blogging!
ya know.. it’s a bit of a chore at times to be honest.. taking picture of food in dimly lit conditions, trying your best to get that perfect, non-shaky shot, then post-processing images, trying to salvage the blemishes introduced due to taking photos at iso-400 (yeah my cam kinda sucks.. sponsor me please, canon?) and then having to write much about food whatsoever.
yet, some restaurants are simply meant to be reviewed — to me the motivation comes from eating food so inspiring, whimsically creative, complete and every dish a literal work of art both visually and taste-wise. and yes, jaan is one of them. but don’t expect this to come cheap.
let’s talk ambience. jaan is situated at the 70th floor of swissotel hotel, meaning it commands a really spectacular view of the city-hall-marina bay area that is really magickal and the sky dims and night approaches and you get to see all the beautifully lit buildings twinkling and being reflected by the esplanade bay waters. to be honest, this one of the things that every singaporean ought to feel somewhat proud of.. we have such a beautiful skyline and harborfront nowadays..
ok the interior of jaan is somewhat disappointing to be honest, because it looks like some plain ole’ dining hall with non-descript, sparse furnishings and deco. the statement piece i suppose are the interesting glass ceiling lights but to me they look kinda ugly, almost like some twisted scrap metal that was being suspended from the ceiling. hmm.
but who cares about decor when we come here for the food? let’s start the show.. we ordered the 5 course degustation menu for $148 (without wine and without the cheese supplement of $35).. seriously this place doesn’t come cheap, but good food is what you are paying for. the chef has generously littered the degustation menu with many free servings of pre-appetizers and pre-desserts as you can see from the picture at the top. they are intricate, really yummy stuff that was described kinda quickly and in that foreign accent-style that most european waiters adopt.. so errm.. i couldn’t really catch it. but its nice la.
first course out of the gate and i’m really genuinely impressed. the prawns are tantalizing, but what is truly impressive is the thought that has gone into determining the combination of ingredients that goes on the plate and creates this harmonious and expertly balanced dish – the limey sourness and sliminess of the prawns counterbalances perfectly both the creamy savoriness of the oscietra cream and the crunchy texture of the pear strips and rice cracker. the pear and radish also lent that vegetal note to the dish, really creating a smorgasbord of flavors that complemented each other perfectly. i craved for more.
OMG. this was like taking a humble soft boiled egg and elevating it into taste heaven what with the perfect pairing of ingredients at the side and with perfect execution. our waiter kindly informed us that the egg had been smoked at 62 degrees for 55 minutes, hence the name. whatever the rationale, the egg was perfectly done and smelled and tasted amazing. i especially loved the crunchy savoriness of the dried chanterelles (a type of mushroom), the iberico ham strips and the procini crumbs. omg.. yet another perfect blend of ingredients. this was really the highlight of the meal.
hmm.. the first dish i didn’t particular complete embrace. the scallop (which the waiter informed us came directly from trondheim bay, norway) smelled heavenly, having been infused with the smoky flavor from the rosemary and was once again divinely executed to be just the right amount of chewiness. what turned me slightly off was the use of boudin nour dollops (essentially sauce made from pig blood) because the blood taste was overwhelming and just not appealing to me. but i suppose i can appreciate the thought behind mixing these flavors – giving a meaty savoriness to a fresh seafood, and perhaps boudin noir fans would be ecstatic over the dish.
something i found kinda amusing was the fact that despite having the menu right next to us, we still couldn’t exactly decipher how each ingredient was incorporated into the dish. this is cheem stuff man. the waiter explained that the lamb was done 3 ways for 3 different portions (which i sadly cannot remember the names of). i absolutely loved the long strip of meat though, because it had the most delicious crispy layer of skin coupled with a juicy slab of meat below. very well executed once again. the other ingredients (quiona, artichoke sauce and preserved lemon droplets) formed the sauce to couple with the three different cuts, each presenting a delicious and different combination of flavors that was really appealing.
took some points off the service because we asked what “exotic sorbet” meant but the waiter didn’t know, said he would check back and didn’t return with an answer. hmmz. but anyways we deduced it to be having a decent proportion of passionfruit. this dessert was really interesting, creative and satisfied the sweeth tooth on multiple levels – the blanc-manger at the base satisfied the sweet-vanilla creaminess, the caramelized spiced pineapple satisfied the sugary, chunky fruit craving and the sorbet satisfied the refreshing, cooling icy craving. its like the ultimate dessert! haha.
hmm all in all, a really satisfying meal that was nothing short of creative, perfectly executed and magnificently balanced. this restaurant deserves its hype as no. 39th ranking in s.pellegrino world’s 50-best restaurants list 2010. chef julien royer is a great addition to the restaurant and is poised to take the restaurant to greater heights i say. good stuff, worth it for that once-in-a-lifetime experience, that date, that anniversary or something. watch the cost though [spent $200 per pax in the end, and that was with the 25% discount for Amex thats gonna expire after january] . =) 8.75/10
jaan | 2 Stamford Road, 70F Swissotel The Stamford | fine dining, french, expensive