Tag Archives: French

Seasonal Harvests of Autumn/Winter at JAAN

Chef de cuisine Julien Royer is back with an Autumn/Winter menu inspired by the fresh seasonal produce of his hometown of Cantal, France. Featuring the heartiness and rustic nature of the quintessential vegetables and fruits of fall, each of his creations explores and highlights the richness and textures of the season’s harvest in its truest organic form.

blogIMG_6145

I had an awe-inspiring experience at my first visit to Jaan last year when I tried Chef Julien’s Summer Menu and have since been recommending it to anyone asking me for the best restaurant in Singapore. That dining experience was after all, one of the frontrunners of my 10 Most Memorable Meals of 2013 list. Needless to say, this invite to sample the newly launched artisanal menu was greeted with much anticipation and excitement- I was eager to find out if the food was still as excellent as I remembered.

blogIMG_6109

As usual we start off with some amuse-bouches with compliments from Chef Julien- a platter of miniature Chicken Pastillas, Black Sesame Sponge with Danish eel and Walnut Crackers topped with Cantal cheese presented with crisp rye crackers and homemade hummus dip.

Following this shortly was the thick frothy brew of Wild Mushroom Tea which brought back fond memories from my previous visit with bits of chopped grilled Portobello and Walnuts delivering a touch of earthiness and comfort.

blogIMG_6120

Another mainstay of JAAN’s set lunches is their Bread Basket of warm viennoiseries with French butter and sea salt which never disappoints. The Truffle Rolls which I adored were unavailable this time so I settled for the Onion Brioche instead. Buttery, fluffy and a little flaky with a hint of sweetness and tanginess from the onions, I was sold.

You can always trust the French to get their pastries and bread right.

JAAN | Swissotel The Stamford

Seasonal Harvests of Autumn and Winter 2013/2014 at JAAN

The people behind JAAN certainly do have an eye for chefs. Previously home to Chef Andre Chiang, who has since left to start his own restaurant Andre, the fine-dining French restaurant is now helmed by Chef de cuisine Julien Royer, winner of the title ‘The One To Watch’ at this year’s Asia 50 Best Restaurants. JAAN itself was ranked at No. 22.

Perched at level 70 of Swissotel The Stamford, JAAN restaurant boasts of a panoramic view of the Singapore skyline that is simply postcard worthy and quite breathtaking. With no elaborate architecture or snazzy décor, the space itself is decidedly intimate with no more than 13 tables and is simply designed with clean finishes, allowing the picturesque view and artisanal menu to speak for itself.

Chef Julien Royer’s seasonal menu places a heavy emphasis on fresh and sustainable produce, a trait he picked up when growing up in France, as a descendent of four generations of farmers.

blogDSC_3311-003

JAAN offers 4 different set lunches- the first which we went for, was a 3 course for $68, the second was a 5 course Degustation at $118, the third was the Jardin Gourmand also 5 courses at $118 and the last was the Artisanal Cuisine comprising of 7 courses for $158.

Our gastronomic journey began with an assortment of gourmet snacks, formally known as amuse bouche. We were treated to Smoked Unagi, Cantal Cheese Cromesquis, Chef’s Julien’s own Hummus with a rich and nutty flavor conferred by the Auvergne lentils and accompanied with paper-thin crisp sesame crackers. An extremely delightful beginning that was peppered with a myriad of earthy flavors which paid tribute to Chef Julien’s love for the unadulterated rawness of what the harvest has to offer with each season.

Next, we indulged in a brew of Wild Mushroom Tea, a soothing concoction of Cep Sabayon, bits of grilled Portobello Mushroom and Walnuts, complemented by the subtle sweetness of Lovage and finished with a frothy cap for a touch of elegance.

blogJAAN-001

The bread basket followed soon after, with a concise selection of Truffle Rolls, Mini Baguettes, Walnut Raisin, Dark Rye and Mini Croissants for your pick. I could not get enough of the Truffle Rolls and indulged in at least three servings. Paired with luscious French butter and sprinkled with sea salt, the breads were a definite underrated part of the meal here.

blogDSC_3327-001

Starting on our meal proper, 2 of us had the 55′ Rosemary Smoked Organic Egg as our appetizer.

SAVEUR @ Far East Plaza

Saveur has long been synonymous with affordable French cuisine since the successful start-up of their flagship eatery along Purvis Street. With their no reservation policy, the waiting time before one gets a table has been at least half an hour and even up to an hour during peak hours. The full house which is bustling every single night speaks volumes about their popularity and appeal to the masses.

About a month ago, to meet the high demand for Saveur’s recipe of quality French fare at inexpensive prices, owners Joshua Khoo and Dylan Ong opened a second branch right in the heart of town, at level 1 of Far East Plaza. I personally never got down to the Purvis outlet as the queues have been a large deterring factor so I was extremely psyched to hear about a second outlet opening.

blogDSC_2717-001

Moving onto the food itself…

Saveur’s Pasta $4.90

This highly raved about appetizer, also a Saveur signature, won me over instantly with its elegant presentation and how every single strand of pasta was twirled neatly in its characteristic roll. The key to thoroughly enjoying this exquisite dish is to first ‘untangle’ the pasta before mixing it all up so that every part is covered with the concoction of chilli oil, minced pork sauce and finely-chopped sakura ebi. An extremely refreshing and oriental take on regular pasta and this was sure memorable.

blogDSC_2721-001

Duck Leg Confit $10.90

My choice of main was a slightly flattened duck leg confit sitting on a bed of homemade potato mash and sauteed shitake mushrooms on the side. A superbly crisp browned skin with succulent salty meat which was also fork tender and delectably delicious. Mmmmm.. I am getting hungry just thinking about it right now! And for just $10.90, this was an absolute steal and a must try! The mashed potatoes too were creamy and smooth, complimenting the French classic perfectly.

blogDSC_2727-001

Pan-Seared Sea Bass $14.90

My sister’s pan-seared sea bass was another winner with its freshness and rich flavours. I especially enjoyed the diced saute potato crabmeat that added a salty rustic touch to the overall dish. One does not usually get such good quality fresh fish at a mere $14.90 price tag. For a more premium alternative, go for the Cod at $24.90, which is still unbelievably affordable for cod in my opinion.

Weekend Breakfast @ Bistro Du Vin (Zion Road)

A classic French breakfast is traditionally a simple affair. Unlike your elaborate hearty American or Continental breakfasts which often feature whole sausages, thick bacon strips and the like, the French value quality and satisfaction over quantity and is instead all about freshly baked baguettes and croissants served alongside a good brew of coffee or freshly squeezed fruit juice. The Bistro Du Vin branch at Zion Road offers just that very experience.

Available exclusively at only the Zion Road branch, Bistro Du Vin has recently added a breakfast menu on the weekends. From 8.30-11am every Saturday and Sunday, one can expect only the classics of Le Panier (1 croissant, 1 Pain au chocolat, Baguette) $9, Brandade with poached Egg $14, Plates of Cheeses, Ham & Saucisson at $20 each and Eggs prepared in different ways for $16. The menu, while limited in variety, is comprehensive enough to re-create the actuality of having a very Parisian breakfast in a little French bistro.

blogDSC_0677

Le Petit Déjeuné Complet: $23.00
Choice of hot Beverage
+ Glass of Juice
+ Basket of Bread & Croissants
+ Choice of “Let’s Get Serious”

  • Omelette $16.00 (ala-carte)
  • Fried Egg $16.00
  • Scramble Egg $16.00

I strongly recommend getting the Le Petit Déjeuné Complet. For $23, one can enjoy two beverages, a basket of freshly baked French breads and a choice of eggs done the way you like it. The eggs also come with sides of Sautéed Lardons, Iberico Ham, Sautéed Mushrooms & Grilled Tomatoes as well. An absolute bargain for a hearty brunch, let alone a quality French one at that.

London Eats: Pierre Hermé Paris, Belgravia

Pierre Hermé is a legend in the macaron and French pâtisserie world for his wildly creative experimentation with flavours and insanely gorgeous pastry and cakes. And after seeing countless beautiful photographs of his work online, it has become a dream to step into a Pierre Hermé Paris boutique.

I had collated a list of Pierre Hermé creations that I really wanted to try during my trip to Paris. The Ispahan was first up, followed by the Plaisir Sucre and of course the macarons!

blogDSC_0268

Unfortunately, we never made it to Paris due to some work scheduling changes and settled for the little boutique at Belgravia instead! I morphed into a crazy fan girl when we found the entrance of the shop and could not stop snapping photographs of the sign.

‘I AM FINALLY ENTERING A PIERRE HERME PARIS BOUTIQUE’ ran through my mind over and over again as I pushed through the glass door, preparing my eyes for a visual treat.