Lunch at JAAN was wonderful. It was one of those rare degustation meals where every dish was either “really good” or “omfg plate-scrappingly good”. In fact, I thought it was on par with some of the Michelin-starred meals we have had in recent years, including Per Se, Eleven Madison Park and Manresa (which, by the way, was epically disappointing).
When the Mister picked JAAN was his birthday meal, I wasn't like, hey ho, raring to go. We have tried JAAN under chef Andre Chiang and I thought the meal was underwhelming, despite what the groupies and critics said over an arguably talented chef.
Dated Norah Jones soundtrack and meeting-room décor aside, the meal was marvelous and looking at these pictures make me incredibly happy.
KW was in a go-big-or-go-home mood so we had the 7 course Artisanal Cuisine surprise menu and some Krug champagne to go along. Yes, bread and water would be my sustenance for the next few days - and I am not referring to Fiji water and Poilane bread.
I was absolutely starving by the time we arrived at JAAN. Waking up at five-ish on a daily basis means I would have had two breakfasts and lunch by 12 noon. Therefore, you can imagine my delight when the bevy of amuse bouche arrived even before we placed our order. So yes, we could have easily walked out after eating these little bites and I don’t think the restaurant could have done anything- but that would have been absolutely stupid on our part.
An amuse bouche is meant to tease one’s tastebuds and after a whirlwind trip of what JAAN had to offer, I think the staff could have thrown open the doors and I would have remained in my seat, waiting for more to come my way.
Smoked eel with kombu jelly and chicken pastilla
Pissaladiere with anchovy and onion confit
Hummus and multigrain crackers
Apart from the crackers, which required three bites, they were all one-bite, pop-your-mind treats. Fabulous.
Isn’t this side dish beautiful? Can I take you home?
Restaurant theatrics. Table-side dressing would be a common sight throughout the meal.
Another amuse bouche that all diners received was a pungent mushroom sabayon dotted with - get this – toasted buckwheat rice crisps. Amazing.
Chef Thomas Keller has his 'Oysters and Pearls' and chef Julien Royer has his 'Mushrooms and Rice Crispies'. And the rest of the First World lived happily ever after.
Then, a server came around with the perfectly-size bread crate, containing rye sourdough, mini baguettes and a fluffier-than-thou buttery brioche.
Before you start thinking, is this woman for real? Is she going to name her second born after a bread basket? Well, I really love my bread, especially when its been handmade with such dedication.
Butter from Brittany and Fluer de Sel maketh the bread.
Fromage blanc, Vadouvan spices
The meal finally started off proper with a vegetable dish. I have always disliked pure vegetable dishes that taste more like glorified rabbit food but this was not one of them.
You know when you taste lavender, the first word that comes to your mind is “soap?”; well, when I tried the minty green sauce on its own, I though to myself, “Hmm, toothpaste.” Yet paired with the diced zucchini and cheese ice cream, it offered a refreshing sprightly start to our meal.
Polaine and seaweed butter... yes, SEAWEED BUT-TARRR. Don't be afraid, you can hold my hand though it's a little greasy from the brioche.
Seafood composition, ‘caviar de Solange’
You would think that near weekly meals consisting of sashimi would mean we were desensitized to the allure of raw seafood but boy, was this dish amazing!
Who would have thought that raw langoustines, scallops and caviar would go so well with seaweed rice crisps and pickled onions? I guess that's why I am paying good money to
And isn’t this plating just beautiful? *Nods head because you agree 120%*
55’ ROSEMARY SMOKED ORGANIC EGG
Smoked rattes, chorizo Iberico, buckwheat
The egg dish is without a doubt one of chef Julien Royer’s signature dishes. As it made its way to most diners around the room, the whispering trail of dry ice was definitely more exciting than a bride walking down the aisle of a Chinese banquet.
CONFIT WILD BRILL
Crayfish, ‘Gillardeau’ oyster, summer vegetables
Yes, I used the word "perfect" in various forms three times in one paragraph...
WELSH LAMB ‘Saveurs d’Orient’
Cous cous, glazed carrots, argan oil
Three different cuts of lamb blessed with various hints of pink – this was some seriously good timing and coordination. Sweet, maybe pickled, baby carrots and couscous were befitting accompaniants to an already incredible meat dish. Not wanting to jeopardize my appetite for dessert, I left half a baby carrot on my plate. #Priorities
BRIE de MEAUX TRUFFÉ
Artisan brie, truffle ice cream, toasted ‘poilâne’
I wasn’t super keen on a cheese course but I am glad the Mister went ahead and gave the maitre d the green light
because deep down inside, I am really just a docile, gentle and submissive wife.
Dear Haagen daaz, could you produce pints of these?
A palate cleanser of calamansi sorbet, freeze dried banana and coconut foam (ha, foam finally makes an appearance!) eased its way gently into our systems, reminding us to leave space for more.
Tanariva, carambar, gianduja
50 shades of chocolate. Food porn. Incredible satisfaction.
When the petits fours arrived at our table, I was delighted to not see any fruit pastilles or meringues. Instead, we had chocolate and vanilla lollipops scented with rosemary, lemongrass sorbet sprinkled with popping candy popsicles, raspberry shortbread cookies and sweet melon cubes, which went down with a much-needed cup of black coffee.
JAAN provided the glossiest and smoothest chocolate cake for our celebration. They were kind enough to pack it for us as one bite would have sent us over the edge and 70 floors down into a food coma pothole.
PS I don't understand why candle manufacturers have not improved on their product over the past 30 plus years? Are we not in the 21st century? Can we please have better-looking generic candles?