Solid as ever at suitably-starred Jaan, Singapore

The eagle eyed amongst you may have noticed that we have already written a review of Jaan, which we visited back in November last year. However, after a couple of chance encounters with chef Kirk Westaway where we got chatting about all things food, he invited us back to check out some of his new dishes. He kindly sorted us out with a prime window seat position at pretty short notice, which is a great result given that since the recent release of the Michelin Guide in Singapore, and Jaan being awarded a Star, the restaurant is fully booked every night for the foreseeable.

So we went into our second Jaan visit pretty sure of what we could expect, and it delivered. Solid, beautiful, fine dining, fantastic ingredients, perfectly executed. But it was all very…well, expected. Granted we had been there before and so some of the ‘first time’ awe was perhaps lost this time, but whilst the food was really, really good, it just somehow lacked that extra edge of je ne sais quoi.

This restaurant is largely about the view, and that still got us the minute we walked in, it really is breathtaking. IMG_4341.JPG

A pre-dinner drink (be warned, the champagne is heinously expensive) and the ‘snacks’ arrived. Spectacularly beautiful little morsels, and we remembered the foie gras macaroon on the branch from our first trip, clearly a permanent fixture on the menu and for good reason. Light and sweet yet salty.

Our first course was a little disappointing. Chris’s oyster was by all accounts slightly unremarkable, and my crab dish (I’m not a huge oyster fan) was intriguing and pretty but somehow I couldn’t really taste the crab under the foam.

Our next dish was the ‘Farmer’s Harvest’; essentially a plate of vegetables. Exquisitely beautiful vegetables, slathered in butter and each one cooked perfectly, but we were still missing that ‘wow’ moment. The next dish we had is Kirk’s signature, the Heirloom tomato and burrata, which is elevated SO much beyond that classic combo, via the likes of basil sorbet, mozzarella foam, olive crumb, and the most tomato-ey tomato flavour you can imagine somehow injected into every little element of the dish. Previously this had been our ‘wow’…but we had seen it before (yes, we are very hard to please, unapologetically).

Luckily, the next dish hit us with our wow moment, simply put, it tasted incredible. Soft egg with artichoke puree and crisp ham. Salty and creamy, delicious. Yet I couldn’t help but remember a similar dish from our previous visit which was presented with dry ice around the egg shells, spectacularly smoking. I am sure it tasted similarly delicious (maybe even less so) but it was certainly more memorable, for the pure theatre.

The next dish was an absolute delight on the taste front as well, probably my favourite of the evening; halibut with girolles and baby squid. The sauce made it, no idea what was in it (I’m guessing a lot of butter as it tasted heavenly).

And so it went on from there, beautifully presented, wonderful tasting food. Tender pork with deep salty ‘bacon’ chunks and crispy pigs skin, with a rich jus,  a stunning palate cleansing sorbet, and the dessert of strawberries and cream with mini victoria sponges. Painstakingly created and like a work of art.

The last hurrah was a bespoke Jaan segmented box containing multiple petits fours. A lovely touch.

And so we ended our meal, absolutely impressed & satisfied; it’s clear why Jaan was awarded their star. If it is classic fine dining you are looking for, with an incredible view, elegant dining room setting and a focus on top-quality ingredients & produce, then Jaan is absolutely bang on the money. (And you’ll require quite a bit of that by the way.)

For us, looking back at our first review, the view is still just as stunning, as are the beautiful dishes, but it was too much of the same. 10 out of 10 for consistency, but we were also hoping for something new and unexpected since our last visit, that extra touch of personality, differentiation & distinctiveness.

Jaan, Swissotel The Stamford, 2 Stamford Road, Level 70, Equinox Complex

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