It’s been about two years since I’ve had dinner at JAAN. And when I heard Chef Julien Royer had left the restaurant, I was curious to find out if his predecessor had what it took to keep it in among the best restaurants in Asia. These are huge shoes to fill, and 29-year-old Chef Kirk Westaway was definitely a top contender for the spot with his outstanding performances taking top prize in competitions like the San Pellegrino Young Chef 2015. Also, Chef Kirk has been working for awhile in the kitchen with Chef Julien and knows how things are run. And this reveals itself in the preparation and care that goes into the dishes. We have a hint of Chef Kirk’s unique style (which is slightly richer and heavier) without much of a shock or change when it comes to JAAN’s signature style.
Overall: ★★★★☆ Creative use of ingredients, a feast for the eyes and the palate.
Here’s what he served up for lunch on a weekday afternoon.
We started with a coupe of amuse bouche before moving on to the first course. These were wagyu lollipops and foie gras macarons.
We started with this succulent Irish Majestic Oyster with Light Artichoke Foam and Oscietra Caviar.
This was an umami explosion of salty sea flavours and that natural burst of briny goodness from the caviar. Topped with a light artichoke foam, this was a mouthful of beautiful flavours from the sea. Absolutely delightful.
Next, the stuffed Vine-Ripened Tomato with Burrata Artigiana, Basil Sorbet and Tomato Consommé.
This was one of my favourite dishes served that day. I’ve always loved the signature vegetable gardens that are semi-works of art at JAAN and this was no exception. The burrata was light so as not to overwhelm the natural sweetness and tartness of the tomatoes. And that basil sorbet brought everything magically together. Things were looking good so far.
Next, a Pumpkin-stuffed Pasta dish with cheese and topped with a delicious broth. The pasta was cooked well and had a good bite, but there wasn’t anything exceptional in flavour or texture here.
Then came a Fish and Chicken dish served with some intricately-fried Chicken Skin Mesh with a side of asparagus. Chef Kirk was aiming for a simple, comforting dish but I found this somewhat forgettable.
One of the highlights at JAAN is their Hay-Roasted Bresse Pigeon. Chef Kirk presents this to much oohs and ahhs at the table and that gorgeous smoky flavour was very tantalising.
When served with some hearty mash and a brown sauce, the pigeon leg was tender, juicy and had a subtle sweetness brought out in part by the cooking in hay. I enjoyed this dish.
We were pretty stuffed by then, but no one says no to dessert. Ever. We had some mouthwatering green apple and lemon sorbet as a palate cleanser before we were presented with dessert.
While waiting, we took the time to enjoy the view from the 67th floor. Even in the afternoon, the view was stunning.
Dessert was one decadent, dark and nutty bowl with a hidden surprise. Beautiful textures of meringue, creamy hazelnut ice-cream, dark chocolate foam and some bits of chocolate with popping candy. This was one ended the meal off with a bang. Chocolate lovers, you will adore this.
Just when I thought this was the end of it, knowing I wasn’t a huge fan of chocolate, Chef Kirk whipped up another surprise he was planning for the next season. This beautiful plate of figs, cinnamon, vanilla and all kinds of sweet, melt-in-your-mouth creamy awesome. I adored this not just because great figs are so hard to come by in Singapore, but because of how harmoniously the flavours came together and left you wanting more.
This meal was truly a testament of how JAAN consistently manages to pick the right people to helm their kitchens. First Andre Chiang, then Julien Royer, and now Kirk Westaway with his slightly heavier, richer style while retaining the essence of JAAN’s style and flavour. Foodies can heave a sigh of relief, one of Singapore’s best restaurants is in young but very capable hands.
Mon – Sat: 12:00 – 14:00
Mon – Sat: 19:00 – 22:00
Closed: Sun & PH