Lunch @ JAAN

October 10, 2014 in French

Having seen the nicely taken photographs of the food at JAAN on instagram, I was really excited about checking them out. I was particularly interested in their egg dish which used dry ice for the dish presentation. I am a sucker for such. Keke.

However, the 55′ rosemary smoked organic egg is only available in the 7-course menu for dinner. Priced at $238, we decided to go for lunch instead which had the same egg dish but in their more affordable 3-courses ($68) and 5-courses ($118).

Reservation is strongly recommended. When I called, I was told the next available slot for lunch was 3 weeks later. Although when I called a second time to reschedule the lunch appointment, I was able to change it easily to a week later.

And to be honest, I have not been coming to City Hall area. Took me a while to find my way to Swissotel Singapore from City Hall MRT station. Ha. To get to JAAN, one must come from Swissotel main lobby. There’s a lift dedicated for patrons heading to Equinox Complex.

And once we stepped out of the lift, the receptionist for the restaurants at Level 70 checked our booking before leading us to JAAN. As requested in our reservation, we were allocated window table! Yeah. But ladies, please remember to put on sunscreen. (^^lll) Ha.

And from the menu (pages 1, 2, 3, 4, 5), we ordered:-

1) Degustation lunch (5 courses), $118 comprised of:-

(A) Amuse bouche (above) – Rye crackers to go with the Chef Julien Royer’s take of hummus. Made with lentil, auvergne and chestnut paste. And I especially liked the fluffy black sesame sponge and cracker topped with cheese. So good!

(B) Amuse bouche (above) – Oh yes, amuse bouche continued! What I did not manage to capture in picture was the initial presentation where flask containing the mushroom tea and wooden cups of cepes sabayon were placed on a piece of oak. After a detailed explanation, the staff then poured the mushroom tea into the wooden cups. It was a little magical as we watched the contents foamed. And this was so good. It was just so tasty.

(C) Beetroot ‘collection’ (above) – Burratta artigiana, honeycomb, radish. Unfortunately, this was one dish we could not truly appreciate. Not a beetroot fan.

(D) 55′ rosemary smoked organic egg (above) – Ratte potato, chorizo iberico, buckwheat. And the dish that I came for! Eggs made a dramatic entrance with the dry ice effects. Ha. Egg cooked at 64 degrees for 55 minutes to achieve a gooey yolk of vibrant orange. And I admit I got a little distracted (by taking photographs) as the staff explained the content within the glass bowl. And once the explanation was over, the staff poured the egg into our bowl of chorizo iberico, smoked ratte (potato) and toasted buckwheat. And this was so good. Lift up the glass bowl to release the scent of rosemary that’s placed underneath.

(E) Hand dived scallop (above) – Crayfish, cauliflower, miso caramel.

(F) Grilled mangalica pork (above) – Baby girolles, violet artichokes, sherry vinegar.

(G) Black truffled brie de meaux (+ $20, supplement) (above) – Hazelnuts, truffle ice cream. I decided to go for the cheese and was surprised when the staff seemed to have given us a very generous portion for 1 that easily fed my girlfriend and I. Brie cheese with sandwiched filing of hazelnut and black truffle, toasted poilane (sourdough) and black truffle ice cream.

(H) Palate cleanser (above) – Kyoho grape on a bed of grape granite and sago pearls.

(I) ‘Choconuts tart’ (above) – Tastes & textures. This was so good! Chef Julien Royer even went to the extent of introducing elements of different temperatures! Staff scooped warm chocolate cream onto the cold tart.

(J) Cafe express (above) – Mignardises. Comprised of lollipop which was rosemary-scented ice cream coated with chocolate, coconut marshmallow and canele.

(K) Coffee / tea – I opted for latte.

My girlfriend and I left JAAN feeling very full, but very satisfied and happy! Having tried a few lunch courses at similar fine-dining restaurants, we were surprised at the generous offering of amuse bouche at JAAN.

Food was not only beautiful on plates, but tasted really good too. Great job, head chef Julien Royer! I liked the dramatic entrance of (some of) the dishes with the use of dry ice. Keke. Service was impeccable. Staff were professional with a personal touch. I highly recommend one should dine at JAAN at least once. But set aside at least 2 hours for a comfortably paced meal.

And depending on where one is seated for window table, the view varies between Suntec City and Marina Bay Sands. Of which both are equally great.

2 Stamford Road, Swissotel The Stamford, Equinox Complex, Level 70, Singapore
6837 3322, Website, Facebook
Overall: 9
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 8
Mon – Sat : 12:00 – 14:30 (Lunch)
Ambience: 9
Mon – Sat : 19:00 – 22:00 (Dinner)
Value: 9
* Closed on Sun
Service: 9

UPDATE 1: Restaurant was awarded 1 Michelin star by Michelin Guide Singapore 2016.
UPDATE 2: Restaurant was awarded 1 Michelin star by Michelin Guide Singapore 2017.

UPDATE 3: Restaurant was awarded 1 Michelin star by Michelin Guide Singapore 2018.

Lunch @ Les Amis

September 17, 2014 in French

It being one of the rare days that my girlfriend and I could meet for weekday lunch, we decided to head off to Les Amis! =) And we were lucky to be able to book 2 days in advance cause when we reached, we realised they were running at full house!

Enter through the door to be greeted by staff in suits. Oh yes, not just the service manager but everyone was smartly dressed in suits. I was glad I was not dressed too shabbily. Keke.

My girlfriend and I went with the 5-courses set menu, priced at $95:-

1) Bread, Complimentary (above)

2) L’asperge blanche (above) – White asparagus in “blanc mange”, oscietra caviar. This was so good! Smooth pudding of white asparagus on top of sour cream, and perfectly dotted with parsley purée!

3) Le homard (above) – Warm lobster encased within baby spinach accompanied by classic fish bone sauce. The effort that was put to wrap the ball of fresh, chunky lobster meat with just 1 thin and delicate layer of spinach leaves. Oh my! And the results for both presentation and taste were amazing.

4) L’anguille de riviere (above) – Grilled river eel with baked potatoes, pearl onion confit.

5) Main with options of:-

(A) Sakura ebi (above) – Angel hair pasta with lobster, crispy sakura ebi and a touch of parmesan. This was normal. Although it’s also a dish I wouldn’t recommend choosing, especially at a restaurant like Les Amis. I felt the ratio of lobster meat to ebi (shrimps) should have been better managed. There were too much of the fried shrimps.

(B) Saumon d’ecosse (above) – Wild Scottish salmon served in two ways with aromatiques aromates.

6) Souffle “reine-claude” (above) – Hot souffle of Reine-Claude with a refreshing yoghurt sorbet. Soufflé was beautifully baked although it was the yogurt sorbet, topped with a fresh plum, that stole the lime light. So light and refreshing!

7) Petits fours (above)

8) Coffee / Tea

And lunch was over in what seemed to be a blink. Haha. We wanted more! Les Amis certainly delivered their philosophy of giving the ultimate fine dining experience through their attention to details and dedication to sourcing the finest ingredients. However, Les Amis being one of the longest players in the F&B industry, probably it’s time to step up and out of comfort zone by serving more bold and outstanding dishes that leave an impression.

1 Scotts Road, Shaw Centre, #02-16, Singapore
6733 2225, Website, Facebook
Overall: 8
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 9
Mon – Sat : 12:00 – 14:00 (Lunch)
Ambience: 8
Mon – Sat : 18:30 – 21:30 (Dinner)
Value: 8
Service: 8
* Closed on Sun

UPDATE 1: Restaurant was awarded 2 Michelin stars by Michelin Guide Singapore 2016.
UPDATE 2: Restaurant was awarded 2 Michelin stars by Michelin Guide Singapore 2017.

UPDATE 3: Restaurant was awarded 2 Michelin stars by Michelin Guide Singapore 2018.

Lunch @ Sushi Kuu // CLOSED

June 3, 2014 in Japanese

It was one of the (rarer) days where I get to head further out for a nice (extended) lunch. Keke. Most of my Japanese meals are ordered either a-la carte or omakase. So, it being my first time at being able to try weekday ‘set lunch’ menu, I decided not to go a-la carte (fully, that is. Ha) or omakase.

And from the menu, we ordered:-

1) Assorted seafood on sushi rice, $52 (above) – This is from the ‘set lunch’ menu. All ‘set lunch’ comes with miso soup, udon and ice cream. The bowl, in which my chirashi was served, took up 2/3 of the table width! Now, isnt there the saying which goes “If you want to go grand, go all the way out”? So yes, Sushi Kuu did exactly that and we were impressed. And this is definitely not a case of big bowl but little serving. Thick cuts (of a wide variety) of sashimi were given. A must try.

2) Deep fried black pork with curry rice, $32 (above) – This is also from the ‘set lunch’ menu which we decided to get for variety. And it’s done very nicely with the batter enveloping the meat tightly. Japanese curry being milder in taste compared to Indian curry, was thick and not spicy.

3) Sea urchin with black truffle egg custard, $25 (above) – Ordered this from the ‘steamed’ section under a-la carte menu. Again, portion was generous. Not just the chawanmushi, but the truffle too! I din think the urchin went well with the truffle though. Felt the truffle overpowered the flavour of the urchin meat.

4) “Mirin” blow fish (grilled), $20 (above) – From the ‘appetizer’ section under a-la carte menu, we chose to go with the staff’s recommendation and had it grilled instead of tempura. I remember hearing from someone that you cant get fresh puffer fish in Singapore. In any case, the grilled blow fish tasted like our bak kwa (肉干).

5) Ice cream (above) – This came complimentary with our set lunch. You get to choose from green tea, black sesame and yuzu. We went ahead with green tea and black sesame. Nothing to scream about. Just about what you get (from) everywhere.

We were generally pleased with our dining experience. In fact, I will like to give a big thumbs up to the waiting staff (wish I got her name). We wanted to order a sushi roll, but the staff advised us not to. She mentioned that the serving is pretty big, and that if we really want to go ahead and order the sushi roll, I just needed to signal to her for her to proceed. So yes, I am always appreciative of staff who takes such initiative. It goes to show how passionate they are of their jobs, which includes not wanting to see food being wasted. Reservation is encouraged as all tables were occupied when I was there for lunch! Dont expect a very authentic experience though. In the sense where the décor of the restaurant is more modernised with usage of black, grey and brown colours and you can see the chef’s creative juices in some of the dishes creation.

390 Orchard Road, Palais Renaissance, #01-06/07, Singapore
6222 2159, Website, Facebook
Overall: 7
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 7
Mon – Sun : 12:00 – 15:00 (Lunch)
Ambience: 6
Mon – Sun : 18:00 – 22:30 (Dinner)
Value: 7
Service: 8