Petit Fours: a Sydney food blog


Petit Fours: a Sydney food blog


Petit Fours: a Sydney food blog

Monday, 4 February 2013

Jaan, Singapore

Jaan in Singapore comes highly recommended by many international reviewers. With the arrival of chef Andre Chiang, it's direction really started to head off in the way of sourcing rare produce and gained international attention along the way, climaxing at no.39 in the World best 50 in 2010. With the departure of Chiang, french chef Julien Royen has very much continued this direction. Royen is the main attraction here and the restaurant makes no secret of it, exposing his so called 'artisal' cooking style in every opportunity.

As you enter the Swissotel complex, you pass through 2 checkpoints before you enter the restaurant itself. Located 70 floors up, 741 feet up, the view is absolutely breathtaking to say the least. Really gives new meaning to high-class doesn't it. Sorry that was lame. What isn't is the adjacent buildings quivering against its height as you see the Singaporean skyline along with Marina Bay with its distinguished Sands hotel and garden amongst many other things. Windows of the room are large and the room itself is elegantly understated save for the elaborate ceiling so as to avoid detracting from the view.

A bread selection from truffle brioche to traditional sourdough gives us an interesting variety. I obviously opt for the truffle brioche in an attempt to get the most value and its generously laced with visible truffle strands and the flavour itself is potent.

You've got to love freebies as they continue to bring a whole set of canapes along to enjoy. We begin with the smoked eel enhanced by the apple jelly and cut right through with tart limes (back) and then move on to chicken skin pressed flat and spiced (middle) and then onto the delicious cheese croquettes (front).

'My Hummus' with crisps
Royen's hummus is deliciously chunky packing loads of Puy lentil flavour sourced from a little French village called Saint Flour. Almost transparent thin crisps with a variety of seeds accompany it and you're invited to spread them on.

A little soup start us off which begins as a airy sabayon (egg emulsion) laced with cepe  
mushroom and topped with buckwheat puffs lifted here with an almost too generous amount of seasoning. 

Hot mushroom consomme then poured from a coffee press in front of us and the mixture rises up.

Their signature comes with a bit of theatre involved. It comes in 2 parts: the dish simply of slightly salty iberico, mushrooms and its puree and a crunchy buckwheat puffs as well as the egg itself. 

55' Rosemary Smoked Organic Egg
Smoked Rattes, Wild Mushrooms, Chorizo Iberico, Buckwheat
This 55 minute, 64 degree creamy thing of beauty is rosemary smoked and arrives liquid nitrogen rosemary-perfumed in its eggshell for good measure. As if that wasn't even enough, rosemary is smoked underneath the transparent bowl as well. 

Scottish Salmon Tartare
Horseradish, Pickled Kohlrabi, Aquitaine Caviar
Their other entree comes in the form of a salmon tartare with caviar with kohlrabi balls dotted around. A bit different from usual tartares but, as opposed to the previous appetiser, it just seems a little tame at the same time. It was delicately delicious, yes, but it didn't have as much impact.

Line Caught John Dory suppl 15
Romanesco Textures, Crustacean Bisque 
Tiny little romanesco broccoli plays the star attraction here. The joy is not in the taste which has slightly less flavour and milder in taste than its cousins rather than in its looks. The textures come in the from of pan fried, crumbed and pureed. This little fractal beauty is a feast for the eyes if you take the time to notice the cone like shape and comes at the forefront with all its textures. By itself it feels a little bland even, missing a little oomph that's quickly remedied by a saucing of crustacean at the table.

36 Hours Kurobuta Pork
Forgotten Vegetables, Winter Broth
The fat to meat ratio on the pork is nauseatingly tilted towards the fat . It feels like it needed a little something to be fresh and punchy, something bitter or sour to cut through it all which it didn't have. 

Organic Chestnut Ravioli
Jerusalem Artichoke, Black Trumpets
Chestnut has never tasted so good. It's mind blowing how much chestnut flavour they squeezed into the little tortellini and the creamy nutty flavour is further amplified by the earthy trumpets and artichokes.

Choconuts 4th
Sable Breton, Textures of White, Milk and Dark Chocolate
Our first dessert feels like a textures of chocolate refined with additional elements. In digging in you experience a textural delight; you might get a little sherbet going on, maybe one of the 3 assorted Valhorna icecreams on the plate or a little dense brownie mixed with the crumbly sable breton or the crispy chocolate leaves.

Chestnut 'Gormandise'
Speculos, Meringue, Eglantine
We were advised to mix everything up together and eat it so but I couldn't help but be a little curious about how they tasted like individually. Turns out the waiter was right as the glossy eglantine puree, a rose native to europe and asia, was incredibly bitter but mix it all up and its just magical. The mix of textures is sublime but it's its concoction of the boozy kick of yellow rum jelly mixed together with the smooth chestnut icecream wrapped in a cylindrical tuille which offsets the sharp bitterness that makes it a winner.  

Petit fours and coffee finish off our light lunch with the most memorable being the liquid nitrogen rosemary smoked chocolate which seriously works, why have I not discovered this before and the ice block with popping candy which brought me back to my childhood.

What Royen does superbly and makes him special is the ability to squeeze the utmost absolute flavour out of ingredients. What's more astounding is this is achieved with seemingly no gadgetry and maintaining a prevalent theme of earth driven produce with root vegetables making an appearance in nearly every dish. Coming from a generation of farmers, his respect for ingredients is unparallel. 

The food is right up there but its the front floor where it starts falling apart. Mistakenly getting handed a dinner menu during lunch was certainly an awkward start as well as the dirty green thumb stain on the lunch menu and forgetting to sauce my dory dish mid way through. Service exhibits a welcoming tone of relaxation and calmness but can occasionally be quite imposing especially during payment where they'll just idly linger around very close to you. Still, the food more than makes up for it and besides a few missing touches here and there, Jaan rounds out a great Singapore culinary experience.

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everything looks incredible! i've heard so much about jaan and dying to return to singapore and try!

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No, we aren't the most amazing gastronomes or chefs. Heck, half our team doesn't even know how to cook... well. However, what we really love is eating. And lots of it. We enjoy that occasional freebie, filling up that craving for a midnight snack and finding a 20 in our pockets that we thought we never had, and using that as an excuse to go out eating. As we battle the ongoing war on uni student poverty, we'll bring you the most swoon worthy recounts of our latest foodie adventures.

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