Saturday, February 22, 2014

JAAN Lunch at Swissotel The Stamford: Autumn/Winter Menu Celebrates Rustic Harvest Flavours with Artisanal Sophistication

UPDATE 24 Feb 2014: Congratulations to JAAN for rising to no.17 on the San Pellegrino Asia's 50 Best Restaurants List this year!
UPDATE 2015: Julian Royer has left JAAN and started his own restaurant Odette.

Lunch at JAAN is always lovely. The wonderfully talented Chef de Cuisine Julian Royer has come up with a seasonal menu capturing the best of harvest produce. The nostalgic and comforting flavours of autumn and winter are particularly close to his heart.

“During the cold European seasons, an abundance of fresh wholesome fruits and vegetables are harvested back in my hometown of Cantal, France. I am inspired to give my guests a taste of the countryside by highlighting a variety of Autumn and Winter produce in my new menu, presented in their purest form to best enjoy the rich flavours and textures,” says Chef Julien.

JAAN at Swissotel Stamford
Photo taken with Canon EOS 100D
The 40-seater restaurant was recently appointed as Krug’s first restaurant Ambassade in Singapore, joining an international network of exceptional restaurants. JAAN is also ranked 22nd in San Pellegrino's Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2013, the awards where Chef Julien also clinched the coveted ‘One to Watch’ title.

Amuse Bouche
Photo taken with Canon EOS 100D
We begin with the now instantly recognisable amuse bouche. Mini little bites that look too good to eat. Crisps with lentil hummus, and a trio of delightful snacks. The dark sponge cake item in the middle is very interesting - like a savoury cake.

Breads! Four delicious kinds to choose from
And then you have four delicious kinds of bread to choose from. The truffle brioche is most popular.

Cepes sabayon
Cepes sabayon
This intense porcini mushroom custard is now presented in beautiful wooden cups, topped with chopped walnuts and dill.

Mushroom tea is poured onto the cepes sabayon
A strong, smoky mushroom tea is poured onto the cepes sabayon. Your tastebuds will love the awesome intensity of flavours.

Beetroot Collection
Photo taken with Canon EOS 100D
Beetroot Collection
Burratta artigiana, honeycombs

This is so pretty, like an art piece. Beet varieties prepared so many ways - lightly blanched and seasoned, sliced, pickled, done as sorbet, meringue and coulis. Pickled blackberries, burrata cream, a drizzle of honeycomb and fresh pomegranate seeds add texture, tang and sweetness. Gosh, the amount of work that goes into preparing each element is just mind-boggling.

Winter Garden
Photo taken with Canon EOS 100D
Winter Garden
This is a sequel to the signature Autumn Garden, and features the season's forgotten vegetables such as Jerusalem and Chinese artichokes (crosnes - see the pale beaded tuber at the bottom left?), chervil, parsley roots, and parsnips. All delicately cooked different ways and interlaced with a specialty smoked ham from Auvergne. Parsley sponge, puree of parsnip and white chocolate, artichoke, almond and sweet chestnut complete this colourful ensemble.

55’ Rosemary Smoked Organic Egg
55’ Rosemary Smoked Organic Egg

Oh the famous sous vide eggs! So beautifully presented in carton, with rosemary sprigs and dry ice vapour.

The egg is poured out onto a bed of ratte potato espuma topped with chorizo iberico and buckwheat
The egg is poured out onto a bed of ratte potato espuma topped with chorizo iberico and crispy buckwheat.

Breakfast! Look at the beautiful colour of the yolk
That's a really "atas" (high class) breakfast - egg, ham and potatoes like you'll never see anywhere else.

Break open that beautifully deep orange yolk of the organic egg, and enjoy.

Grilled Atlantic Brill ‘Tournedos’
Grilled Atlantic Brill ‘Tournedos’

This is am amazing dish. Pristine grilled fish atop Kagoshima kurobuta pork belly, adorned with lovely garden vegetables, and umi budou (sea grapes).

Hay-Roasted Pigeon ‘Plouneour’
Hay-Roasted Pigeon ‘Plouneour’
The main course is Hay-Roasted Pigeon. It's presented whole first, in golden brown splendour with the herbs, garlic and hay. Then it's taken away to be cut and served.

Pigeon ‘Plouneour’
Photo taken with Canon EOS 100D
Pigeon ‘Plouneour’
The pigeon comes back with rustic companions of barley, winter mushroom, vin jaune (a special white wine), pigeon jus and mushroom-infused foam. The meat is tender and rare, all wonderfully seasoned. The presentation is just stunning.

Brie de Meaux Truffé
Brie de Meaux Truffé

Oh cheese, the love of my life. A slice of very good truffle-filled Brie.

Truffle Ice Cream
It's served with truffle ice cream. Decadence defined.

But we are not at dessert yet. First, we have to clean our palates.

Palate cleanser "Citrus"
Photo taken with Canon EOS 100D
Palate cleanser "Citrus"
What a delightful mix of mandarin orange sorbet, grapefruit espuma and pomelo sacs.

Chef Julien Royer adding chocolate espuma to dessert
For dessert, it's a chocolate tart with chocolate ice cream, nuts and sponge cake. Chef Julien adds the chocolate espuma at the table, so that the foam doesn't go flat by the time it reaches you.

Chocolate Tart
Chocolate Tart
Taste and textures

I was quite full by this time, but still had to try it. This is playfully good chocolate.

Even petit fours are presented with dramatic flourish
Even the final sweets are presented with dramatic flair. The scent of fresh rosemary really enhances the chocolate pops.

Petit Four
Photo taken with Canon EOS 100D
I love the chocolate nougat with pop rocks (foreground).

The five-course lunch seems more than five courses with all these little treats thrown in. And sometimes Chef Julien likes to add a surprise course.

Chef Julien knows his produce, being from a family of four generations of farmers. The Jardin Gourmand (Gourmet Garden) menus showcase the produce at their natural best.

If you have seen my previous post on JAAN, you will find that he has kept to what works. I'm glad that the familiar favourites are still there.

This seasonal menu is available until end March 2014. For lunch, there is a three-course menu starts at $68, a five-course degustation lunch (normal and Jardin Gourmand) at S$118, and an epic seven course of signatures at $158. Dinner menus run from S$198 (five courses) to S$298 (ten courses). You can see all their menus in detail online.

2 Stamford Road
Level 70, Equinox complex
Swissotel the Stamford
Singapore 178882
Tel: +65 6837 3322

Monday - Saturday: 12.00pm - 2.30pm
Closed on Sunday and Public Holidays

Monday - Saturday: 7.00pm - 10.00pm
Closed on Sunday

Photos taken with my own Canon EOS 400D, except for a few taken using the Canon EOS 100D kindly loaned by Canon Singapore. Yes, I was crazy enough to bring two DSLRs to lunch. Greedy much? But hey, it's JAAN.

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