Most people have the impression that I always eat at fine dining restaurants, but my friends would know that I usually prefer going to casual places that are cosy and provide good food at reasonable prices.
But sometimes if you want a very good meal, you really have to fork out top money for it. JAAN Restaurant at Swissotel is the prime example. I had one of my best meals of 2011 at JAAN. I’m going out on a limb and say that they are among the top restaurants in Singapore.
When you eat in one of those fine dining restaurants, you’re not just paying for the food. You’re also paying for everything that comes along with it: the location, the rent, the service, the plates, the view, and the ambience. JAAN has it all: central location at City Hall; highest restaurant in Singapore; breathtaking view of the city’s skyline; knowledgeable servers who do a good job between the dining room and kitchen; and most importantly, good food.
At lunch time, they have extremely good value for money set lunch: 3 course at $52 and 5 course at $82; and during dinner, there are two different choices, including the 5 course menu for $198 (with wine pairing $318), and 7 course menu for $238 (with wine pairing $418).
And of course, you can also order from the ala carte menu which has five appetisers ($46-52), five main courses ($82-118), and four desserts and cheese ($28-45).
We sat there waiting eagerly for the food to come, while having some wine. The amuse-bouche arrived on our table and I put it into my mouth without hesitation.
We were on a roll. The mushroom soup next was excellent. I took a sip, and the only word that came out of my mouth was: wow. This is coming from a guy who doesn’t fancy mushroom soup.
I didn’t want to fill my stomach with bread, but I couldn’t resist having one, okay two from the impressive selection of bread.
And then, we were served the Trumbetta Zucchini ($49) – burratina, basil, almonds and black olives. In terms of presentation, it was one of the prettiest dishes that I’ve seen.
I thought that the Saint Jacques ($49) – rosemary smoked trondheim bay scallops, reinette apple cider, boudin noir and burnet – was good, but my friend told me she had an even better one at another restaurant.
Still, it was quite a sight to behold, and there was a mini performance when the staff sent this to our table.
The star of the meal, without a doubt, is the Ravioli ($46) – organic hen egg, artichoke, melanosporum truffle and cantal. Chef Julien Royer brought the dish out, and he gave us a generous shaving of white truffles on the spot.
It was hands down the most delicious ravioli I’ve ever tasted.
The Atlantic Cod & Baby Squid ($82) – chanterelles, broad beans and smoked garlic emulsion – was equally splendid.
We couldn’t stop gushing about the food, and on top of that, the wine recommendations from the sommelier were spot on. No one that day could have eaten a better meal than us.
After our empty plates were taken away, we continued with desserts. The Choconuts ($28) – Jivara mousse, peanuts, Macadamia nut ice cream. The perfect ending for a perfect meal.
I was wrong. It wasn’t the ending, I’ve forgotten about petit four. Now we can live happily-ever-after.
It’s been a while since I’ve been surprised and won over by a meal. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been eating plenty of very well executed food but the problem with having a benchmark is that it’s getting increasingly difficult to wow me. But JAAN managed to do just that.
The presentation of the food is flawless. Chef Julien Royer and his team pay attention to every single detail and all the dishes are plated beautifully.
$200/pax (probably more because you are going to have wine) for a meal is not a small sum. I can’t afford to eat there all the time, but for a lavish meal like this, enjoyed with a amazing view of Singapore’s skyline – it was a fine way to splurge during a special occasion. JAAN is, without a doubt, one of the best restaurants in Singapore.
2 Stamford Road
70F Swissotel The Stamford
Tel: +65 6431 5670
Mon to Sat: 12pm – 2.30pm, 7pm – 10pm
Note: This was an invited media tasting.