JAAN by Chef Kirk Westaway – Bold, Fresh and Produce Driven Dining Experience
Ranked 29th on Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2016, JAAN at Swissôtel The Stamford is one of the most sought-after jewels in Singapore’s culinary scene. Perched on the 70th floor of the Swissôtel, this artisanal French restaurant has launched a series of new menu highlights created by the new Chef de Cuisine, Kirk Westaway.
Growing up in the quaint seaside town of Devon in the United Kingdom, which is renowned for its dairy products, fresh fruits and vegetables, has shaped Chef Kirk’s deep regard and respect for produce. It continues to define his philosophy as a chef and instills a strong dedication to creating dishes that are rooted in showcasing the natural flavours of his ingredients, but are modern in approach and technique. These new highlights by Chef Kirk celebrate a new chapter at JAAN and are an indication of the new epicurean journeys to come.
I was already impressed with the amuse-bouches — a clever serving of wagyu beef tartare alongside “fish & chips” and a foie gras and truffle macaron, and mushroom tea. These creations are well-balanced which exemplify the harmonious interplay between the natural flavours of ingredients.
The Tomato Collection is a classic combination of perennial tastes while exploring the many flavours that can be coaxed from the humble tomato. A vine-ripened heirloom tomato is cooked Sous Vide in a tomato consommé to intensify its flavours and then stuffed with a mixture of cubed Oxheart tomatoes, gherkins, capers and oregano.
In an elaborate process of dehydrating and rehydrating the fruit, the stuffed tomato is restored to its original shape, again demonstrating Chef Kirk’s deftness at extracting the essence of deliciousness from the produce and presenting it with finesse through sophisticated technique.
The dish also features a green basil and mimolette cheese pesto, Japanese tomato berries, burrata, as well as a refreshing basil sorbet. The accompanying pieces of toasted ciabatta croutons are a nod to the humble tomato soup and give an added crunch. The dish is finished tableside with an intense yet light tomato consommé foam dispensed from a siphon.
Established crowd pleasers like 55-degree egg with chorizo remain, Chef Kirk added his own take to the dish with crunchy buckwheat, chorizo and slices of black truffle. Featuring a plethora of exciting flavours and the freshest of seasonal produce, the Scallops, Winter Leaves and Seaweed Hollandaise Sauce. A complementary combination of the best seasonal vegetables comprising savoy cabbage, Romanesco, broccolini and Cevennes onions are cooked and blanched in an olive oil emulsion. These are served with a roasted Scottish scallop glazed in lime vinaigrette, after which, more Cevennes onions are roasted and peeled into petals before being individually burnt to create “Black Lips”. The finishing touch to this dish is a fragrantly smooth seaweed hollandaise sauce made from seaweed butter. Similarly, we enjoyed the Crayfish Zucchini which is a light summer dish with thinly sliced Italian Trombetta Zucchini. These additions are culinary testaments to Chef Kirk’s commitment to presenting the natural characteristics of each ingredient at its prime.
Roasted Turbot is excellent. The fish is cooked until the skin is crispy yet the flesh is tender. Served with brittany glazed shellfish and heirloom carrots, it’s simple yet satisfying. I am very full by now but I can still clearly remember the the Roasted Venison Saddle which was very heavy in flavours. The New Zealand venison is served medium rare, with pear glazed in port sauce, pear chutney and celeriac puree.
We had a refreshing glass of Fennel and Grapefruit Sorbet with Lime Espuma as palate cleanser before Ivory Caramel was served. A decadent chocolate bowl made with 45% Michel Cluizel white chocolate, flourless chocolate sponge with tempered chocolate sheets are paired with French caramelised hazelnuts and sous vide Aero chocolate. Some caramel meringue is added with a sea salt caramelised white chocolate ice cream made from white chocolate at 95°C for 3 hours. Peta Zeta sprinkle and 72% dark chocolate espuma gave the dessert a beautiful finish. The meal ended perfectly with the petit fours featuring thin ginger snaps with pineapple, lemon tart, Devonshire butter biscuit with jam and cream, and caramel filled chocolate ball.
While building on JAAN’s signature style of produce-driven modern French cuisine, Chef Kirk’s creations are clearly underpinned by his own intimate understanding and appreciation of the subtle changes of the seasons and their impact on the produce he chooses to work with. His beautifully plated and well-executed dishes, even though are richer in flavours, reflects JAAN’s produce-driven philosophy, which will definitely satisfy those who love hearty flavours.
JAAN’s lunch menus are priced at $78++ (including coffee or at $98++ with truffled brie de Meaux) for three courses, $118++ for five courses, and $168++ for seven.
Dinner menus are priced at $198++ for five courses, $238++ for seven courses, and $298++ for ten courses. Jardin Gourmand menus are priced at $168++ and $198++ for five and seven courses respectively.
Address: Swissôtel The Stamford, Equinox Complex, Level 70, 2 Stamford Road, Singapore 178882
Opening Hours: Mon - Sat, Lunch: 12pm to 2pm. Mon - Sat, Dinner: 6pm to 9.30pm. Close on Sunday