The drizzle had many runners fleeing the track last Saturday morning. I don’t get to run much these days, so I pushed on. Soon enough, the sky was clear again, providing the perfect running condition at 7 am, just as the sun began to shine. Circling around the same track just to hit the distance can be boring after some time. Approximately 6 kilometres on, I decided to explore a new route that day. It led me to another 6 km stretch that's linked to a park in the nearby district. Much quieter than around the lake and completely bordered by lush greenery, I have a feeling that I'll be frequenting this route in weekends to come.
A few hours later, we found ourselves on the 70th floor of Swissôtel The Stamford, overlooking the Singapore Flyer and the remarkable Marina Bay Sands, which was still under construction when we visited The Lighthouse at Fullerton Hotel last year. Jaan is one of those restaurants that I’ve been wanting to try but just couldn’t get my lazy self to work on a date. Not until I read a twit from Evan informing the departure of Chef André Chiang at the end of the month. Well, it’s not like I'm familiar with his works nor am I knowledgeable on the who’s who in the fine dining circuit. But if it was under his helming of the kitchen that had Jaan debuting at position 39 of the San Pellegrino World's 50 Best Restaurants for 2010, I thought this might just be the right (and last) time to sample the chef's much talked about nouvelle creations. What's more when it's just minutes away from the City Hall MRT station.
menu du marché
Shitsuoka tomato “sweet & sour”, Madagascar vanilla
Grilled tuna belly "Otoro", smoked basil oil and aromatic charcoal powder
Truffle scented foie gras jelly, served chawanmushi-style
Slow roasted Bresse chicken, barley and almond compote, fresh morel emulsion
Vintage chocolate spice ganache, milk marmalade ice cream
From the iconic capellini-sized parmesan and squid ink breadsticks to the good selection of dainty breads and teamed with impeccable, professional service, the lunch at Jaan seemed to be shaping up pretty well. Starting off the summer menu was the refreshing Shitsuoka tomato, intentionally polarized in taste for that sweet and sour contrast with the serving of basil syrup and candied slice of tomato. Pleasurable was a bite of the grilled otoro, melting easily in the mouth to unravel a smoky scent from the charcoal and sweetened slightly by what I believe to be caramelized onions. Perhaps unfashionable but I just had to soak up the remaining basil oil with my German bread. I can't recall the exact name of the third dish but I certainly remember the taste. Topping the hot foie gras jelly was a crystallized caramel mesh, melting under the heat of the jelly. Live art, this. The combination of the sweetness of caramel, richness of foie gras, invigorating smell of truffles, chives and steamed egg custard was brilliant. Despite the bold ingredients used, they harmonized well to remain subtle. Again, brilliant. After the truffle came the morel foam in which from an artistic point of view, did resemble the honeycombed morel mushroom itself. Nouvelle being light and simple, it replaced a typical heavy cream and still matched the tender and lightly salted chicken nicely while the compote provided some bite and a nice smoky flavour. There was also the salted egg marmalade condiment, which I thought the taste could have been further amplified. Dessert came as a ganache that was perfectly portioned, pairing comfortably with the tasty milk marmalade and decorated with some chocolate crumble.
We tried some dishes from the set lunch menu as well - a panache (of seafood, freshly pickled baby vegetables served with an interesting spiced kafir lime consommé), a light smoked homemade ‘boudin blanc’ (of Mediterranean seafood, served with a fantastic lobster emulsion, ginger scented William pear compote) and this.....
.....Snickers version 2010. There was nothing pretentious about this deconstruction, just a refined, delicious take on one of the most beloved snacks come those carbohydrate-deprived days. It had all the elements of the original bar and more – crushed peanuts, caramelized hazelnut, cream, chocolate crumble and the chef's signature asymmetrical (chocolate) crisps. For me, the absence of the sticky nougat was much appreciated. I wish I could takeout this "Snickers" for a movie later that evening.
A new running route, Jaan par André, Shrek 4 and a cultural lesson at an unknown, exotic steamboat restaurant. It was like spending the whole Saturday in front of the television switching between the sports, food, movie and documentary channels. The only difference was, I became a part of the programmes. Really, most Saturdays should like this.
Jaan par André
Level 70, Equinox Complex
Swissôtel The Stamford
2 Stamford Road
Tel: (+65) 6837 3322