If anyone ever offers to take you to Jaan for lunch, don’t hesitate. Just say yes. You may vocalise your loud cheers and fist pumps in the air later. I need not tell you that Jaan was awarded one Michelin Star in 2017. Nor do I need to say it is ranked 42nd in Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2017. What I do have to say is that Jaan was a fabulous start to my dining year.
This year, 2018, I am taking advantage of the many set lunches available at fine dining establishments so if you have a recommendation, please do tell. I would also like to know what I am missing out on by not dining at their full dinner service. Feel free to share.
How I was fortunate enough to be treated to Jaan’s four course lunch set ($88++), I will never know. Thank you to my dining partner for bearing with me as I took photos (at the risk of our food getting cold). And of course, for their delightful company. I think we stayed well past the normal lunch service and really didn’t want to leave! Such was the hospitality at Jaan. Elegant, understated but completely indulgent.
After weeks, it seemed, of rainy weather, our lunch at Jaan was on a beautiful day. Up on the 70th floor of Swissotel The Stamford, we could see all the way out to the airport. The decor was surprisingly minimal but elegant. The space, cosy but each table could view the skyline beyond. We were fortunate enough to be seated right next to the window.
Every little detail
The simplicity of each table was striking, however there is beauty in plainness. From white plates textured with what looked like craters of the moon to napkins tied with a string and decorated with single stem of flowers. I suppose the aim is to not distract from the view. And, of course, the food.
More than four courses
Their four course set was actually much more. We were first presented with their amuse-bouche. Three bite sized morsels, each intricately detailed, beautifully designed and wonderfully flavoured. Ours were a macaron filled with creamy foie gras perched on antlers, a tapioca crisp on which was piped a garden of hummus inspired elements. The third, a round ball with melting cheese in the centre, simply set in a dish filled with a toasted grain (buckwheat I think it was).
This was followed, almost too soon, with soup. Served in a softly tilting bowl, we were asked to grasp hold with two hands and savour the warming liquid. Ours that day was made of chestnut, silky in consistency but with elements of texture brought by pieces of chestnut and other vegetal ingredients in the soup.
In between these welcoming starters, they served their signature sourdough bread with butter, one whipped with seaweed and one that was plain. I preferred the plain butter. The presentation was too sweet and a photo had to be taken. Nestled in a bowl reminiscent of a birds nest, the crusty loaf was beautifully baked.
The actual four dishes in the set lunch
Our first course was winter vegetables with delicately coiled strips of prosciutto. It was sauced at our table with a creamy Jerusalem artichoke cream. I enjoyed the variance of flavours and how each vegetable was highlighted.
Next came our fish course with a sauce inspired by Thai red curry. Fish, perfectly poached paired with the best part of a little slipper lobster. At this point, I’ll make my apologies to Jaan as I am not sure how accurate my descriptions are and I forgot to take a picture of the actual menu for reference.
By this point, I was really too busy enjoying the food, service and presentation. I am also not one to go too far into minutia as my aim is to inspire you to go and try it out for yourself. The menu at Jaan is seasonal so it changes as the weeks pass.
Our main dish of roasted venison was tender with a deep gamey flavour, but not overpowering. Again, this was sauced at the table with a divine jus that slowly trickled off my plate. I told Chef Kirk Westaway later how utterly delicious it was and how I didn’t want to waste a drop but it had dribbled off the gorgeous plate. Hopefully I didn’t offend as he apologised for the act of gravity that forced the liquid off the dish. Obviously not his fault but showing that he actually cared about every detail at Jaan. Another interesting fact he told me was that he had designed some of the serving pieces himself in Bali.
Sweet finishes, coffee and a sugar bowl
Dessert was a three dish chocolate and caramel extravaganza! When it was presented by Chef Kirk, he encouraged us to try all the different elements in different ways and mix them all up between plates. What a wonderful way to end a luscious meal.
We, of course, ordered coffee and tea so we could prolong our time there. Funny story here, the waiter humoured me by setting the sugar bowl on the table so I could take a picture. Apparently, this is not something they do as they would actually plunk the sugar into your coffee for you and leave with the sugar dish. By the time I found this out and the sugar bowl was placed in front of me, only for picture taking, I was so flustered that the photo is actually not a great one. The sugar bowl was removed shortly after.
Still, we relished our coffee and tea which was served with a three tiered box of petit four. Not that we needed anything further but it was a delight to have.
By the way, Jaan serves Nordaq Fresh water which is free flow, still or sparking and a sustainable source of water for pampered palates. Read about the water tasting we had with Nordaq Fresh last year.
My dining experiences for 2018 has started with one that will be hard to top but shall we try and see if we can? I am on the lookout for dining partners and recommendations!
For more information visit jaan.com.sg
Jaan is located at Swissôtel The Stamford
2 Stamford Road, Level 70
Equinox Complex 178882