Jaan, derived from the ancient Sanskrit word for ‘bowl’, is currently ranked 29th in Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants. Currently lead by Chef de Cuisine Kirk Westaway, Jaan offers elevated modern french cuisine with imaginative twists and beautiful aesthetics. I visited this establishment with Miss M in September 2015 as a celebration for both of our birthdays.
This restaurant had been on my to-go list for a very long time. Having only 40 seats in the dining room, it was quite a challenge to get a reservation in their restaurant. During my previous visit to Singapore, I had tried calling them up to reserve a table one week in advance, but it was fully booked. So during my subsequent trip, I’ve made sure to e-mail them about one month in advance.
Located on the 70th floor of Equinox Complex, entering the restaurant is an experience by itself. There is a booth at the ground floor that leads the way to an elevator up to the restaurant. After passing through several short hallways, we entered the restaurant and were lucky enough to be seated at a table with a spectacular view that oversees the Marina Bay Sands. The set up of the dining room felt really special with its bright, classy interior at such a high elevation. This was by far the most romantic restaurant I’ve ever been.
Jaan serves 3, 5 and 7 courses for lunch. For our experience, we chose ‘Degustation Lunch at Jaan’ which was comprised of 5 courses for $118 per person.
To start the meal, they presented us with a bite sized trio of foie gras macaron, a play on ‘fish and chips’ and wagyu tartare on a stick. The playful presentation with twigs and pebbles were just absolutely gorgeous. Along with adequate sunlight, pictures could no wrong here.
Next, we were presented with wild mushroom ‘tea’ where you can enjoy every sip from a transparent cup which also contained sabayon of cep, lovage and walnuts. This was a pleasant surprise as this dish was not written in the menu. The soothing and earthy fragrance of the wild mushrooms was really lovely. At this point they managed to tease my palette and I was very excited for whats to come.
As with all fine dining restaurants, we were provided with bread, butter and a side of salt to dip.
For the first course, they presented a perfectly cooked heirloom tomato stuffed with oxheart tomatoes, capers, gherkins and oregano. It was cooked sous vide in tomato consommé. Alongside are a collection of ingredients with different textures on the plate. One of the key ingredient was ‘Burrata Artigiana’ – an artisanal french cheese. But the star of this dish was definitely the tomato itself. I incorporated each individual ingredient separately with the tomato in every bite. From basil sorbet to aerated tomato consommé and spherified pearls, this dish was like an adventure and it challenged my taste buds.
This was the dish that made Jaan so iconic. Their signature dish – highly talked about among foodies, was the highlight for our meal. The waiter brought out our second course in a large box containing liquid nitrogen, an egg carton carrying our all-important organic egg and stems of rosemary. As the liquid nitrogen fog oozes out of the box for theatrical effects, the waiter gently takes the egg and pours it into a transparent bowl.
At the bottom of the bowl, there sits a bed of mashed ratte potato, a type of small potato with a unique nutty flavor and smooth, buttery texture. On top of that are little bits and pieces of chorizo iberico and buckwheat. Last but not least, as a result of being delicately poached at a precise 64 degrees celcius for 55 minutes, we have our organic egg with a perfect runny egg yolk.
Our waiter informed us that there are rosemary smoke trapped underneath the bowl. He suggested to lift the bowl to take a whiff of that wonderful fragrance of rosemary before starting to dig in. Combining the element of the rosemary scent really added another dimension to this dish. It complemented with the rest of the ingredients very well.
As for our main course, they served a wonderful confit rainbow trout. It came with organic chicken, quinoa and and a lemon dip. Confit is a classic french cooking technique that cooks the ingredient at a low temperature (around 90°C) for a long period of time. The initial purpose of this technique is to preserve ingredients but doing so also enhances and intensifies the flavours of the fish. The saltiness of the trout was brought out nicely. With the other components on the plate, it was interesting to try and combine the different elements onto one spoon to taste.
The next main course is named Iberico Pork. The pork itself is sourced from black Iberian pigs that can be found in the southern part of Portugal and Spain. It was served with ‘Coco de Paimpul’ – haricot beans found in pods. Alongside that are mildly sweet tasting onions originated from the terraced hillsides of the Cévennes mountain range in France. And of course, delicious pork crackling. We realised that this was the third time they served foam in their dish and we were thinking that the chef must really like to experiment with foams. There were also – I believe it was mustard seeds, that added a really good kick to each bite.
After a heavy pork dish, we were given a lime sorbet as a palate cleanser to prepare our taste buds for their chocolate dessert.
For everyone’s favourite part of a meal, we were presented with chocolates in different tastes and textures. We managed to taste almost all the different intensity levels of cocoa, sweet to bitter and smooth to crunchy. With the combination of mousse, brownie, hazelnut, biscotti, ice cream and caramel sauce, this dessert was very playful and fun. It was a great way to end such a wonderful meal.
After dessert, the waiter brought us a selection of three mignardises placed on a tree stump – Passionfruit Marshmallow, Earl Grey Biscuit with Lemon Cream and Almond Rocher. Each of the pastry was simply light and delightful. The waiter also asked if we would like any tea or coffee.
Since it was our birthday celebration, I requested for a surprise birthday cake for Miss M when I made the reservation and I was ready to pay for the additional charges. To my surprise, they were kind enough to provide a small complimentary chocolate mousse cake.
Dining at Jaan was one of the best fine dining experiences I’ve had so far. At a very affordable price point of $118, I would say that their lunch degustation was more than worth it. However, be mindful that they have an additional charge for their amuse bouche which was automatically included in our lunch.
Their stand out dishes were the heirloom tomato collection and their rosemary infused organic egg. I can’t praise them enough for the creativity and artistry demonstrated in all of their dishes. All of their plates looked so aesthetically pleasing to the eyes. All these factors combined, along with excellent service, lead to a very enjoyable meal. Thanks for the unforgettable experience.
On to the next destination!