Gary and I were fortunate to recently experience exquisite fine dining in Singapore at the intimate JAAN Restaurant. Located on the 70th floor of Swissôtel The Stamford, JAAN offers incomparable views of the city skyline and Marina Bay. JAAN’s kitchen is helmed by award-winning Chef de Cuisine Julien Royer (read more about him here). Hailing from central France, Chef Royer created an exceptional multi-course Artisanal Menu highlighting his passion for fresh, organic ingredients from his home country and beyond. He treated us to a wide array of tastes, textures, and aromas alongside our dining companions Tom & Elaine from Suma Lifestyle and gracious Swissôtel hosts Susie and Ee Jin.
To commence our intricate meal, a platter of assorted freshly baked in-house bread consisted of a series of rolls: truffle brioche, black olive, sourdough and baguette. The breads were presented with unsalted conical French butter and Fleur de Sel.
The trio of canapés above from left to right were Smoked Unagi (eel) with pickled apple and kombu (kelp) jelly, Crispy Chicken Skin topped with taragon micro herb and dollops of mild curry yoghurt, and warm potato Cantal Cheese Cromesquis with cheese from the Chef Royer’s hometown.
The small bites proceeded with ‘Le Puy’ Lentil Hummus made with green lentils from the Auvergne region of central France and served with thin, seeded crackers.
Next, to our delight, came an amuse bouche of warm and frothy Wild Mushroom Tea (poured tableside from a cafetière into double-walled glass cups) containing cep sabayon, crunchy walnuts, and a delicate hint of lovage herb. A crowd pleasing soup as each sip was intensely satisfying.
A beautifully plated salad was created with rare Sicilian Trumbetta Zucchini, courgette spaghetti, heirloom tomatoes from the south of France, fresh burrata ‘artigiana’ cheese, black olive sugar, basil puree, and olive oil spheres that delightfully burst in our mouths like caviar.
Next came a dish that stood out with its dramatic entrance, the 55 Rosemary Smoked Organic Egg. The silky-textured egg was cooked for 55 minutes at 64 degrees in volcanic water to allow it to retain its softness. A feast for the eyes, the egg was accompanied by dry ice and poured tableside from its shell onto a bed of mushrooms, garden green peas, and paper thin slices of the finest bellota (acorn) ham from southwestern Spain. The glass bowl made its own theatrical journey from the kitchen with the smoke of burning rosemary sprigs rising from its underside.
The seafood course contained a perfectly cooked Hand-Dived Scallop from Norway topped with a succulent crayfish tail resting in girolles mushrooms, Japanese artichokes, and ‘beurre noisette’ nut butter broth.
Our next main course was the 2 Day Confit Tajima (type of Wagyu) Beef Short Ribs slow cooked for 48 hours so the flesh became incredibly soft. The outstandingly tender meat was topped with enoki mushrooms and surrounded with radish ‘primeurs’, smoked ‘ratte’ potato with its unique nutty flavor and buttery texture, and finished with sweet Cévennes onions lightly charred for a touch of bitterness to contrast the richness of the beef.
A ‘Cafe Express’ interlude was offered so we opted for some pleasingly strong espresso to accompany our desserts.
For our ‘Pre Dessert’, we were served a refreshing treat to cleanse our palates. It consisted of organic lemon panna cotta topped with Thai basil sorbet, finished with bits of crunchy lemon meringue.
The summer-inspired main dessert was the Mara des Bois Strawberries ‘Comme un Millefeuille’. Mara des Bois are little strawberries cultivated in France to rival the “wildness of the woods”. Their flavor composes a rare balance of sweetness and acidity that melded seamlessly with this dish’s ingredients. Layered like a Napolean, the dessert’s bottom layer consisted of almond sponge cake topped with lemon curd, sliced strawberries, and finished with a thin strawberry sheet. To round off the dish, cardamom sorbet with freshly ground black pepper along with berry puree and ginger flavored mini meringues were showcased for a crunchy contrast.
The final presentation was a beautiful platter of mignardise to end our meal. Brought to our table billowing with dry ice fog, it consisted of an assortment of petits fours, including tangy lime sorbet sticks, passion fruit marshmallows that resembled little macarons, freshly baked madeleines, lavender chocolates, and rosemary and chocolate dipped ice cream lollipops. And as a departing gesture, Chef Royer gifted us with his luscious, homemade caramel and cookies to take back to our Swissôtel room.
JAAN is the ultimate fine dining experience in Singapore with flawlessly presented dishes consisting of perfectly cohesive flavors. The level of service and attention to detail bestowed upon us was unrivaled — service was absolutely top Michelin-caliber standards with impressively knowledgeable staff from servers to the maître d’. JAAN is without a doubt, one of the best restaurants in all of food-centric Singapore. Also, the spectacular view cannot be beat.
Many thanks to Susie and Ee Jin from Swissôtel for our unforgettable dining experience!