At Jaan, you almost forget you’re living in a ‘new normal’ Singapore. Pre-pandemic, the luxurious space had tables thoughtfully spaced out, to give diners breathing room and a place where private conversations could be had. At present, it hardly feels any different as the restaurant only had to remove one table to accommodate Singapore’s social distancing restrictions. The views of Singapore are the same as it’s always been, and on a clear day, there could not be a better place to soak in our city. If not for masked waitstaff, you would think we were in 2019.
Chef Kirk Westaway is known for his unflinching cooking and his take on modernising British food. As the restaurant reopened to the public, Chef Kirk decided an elevated menu was needed to put another definitive mark on both the cuisine and his career. The new roll-out of items on the Reinventing British menu doesn’t disappoint either—in fact, it retains what we love and know of Jaan and cleverly modifies the rest into delicate plates with the perfect balance of flavour.
Your experience at the 1-Michelin star restaurant kicks off with Chef Kirk’s signature stylish snacks. His Tomato Cloud, inspired by a Bloody Mary, has savoury tomato juice piped into a fluffy meringue and bursts the minute you pop it into your mouth. The Fish & Chips, while bite-sized, packs a wonderful punch. Cod fish sourced from the Atlantic is cured in salt and fennel seeds for 48 hours, before it’s poached in an aromatic milk.
The best kind of soup has both flavour, texture and a decadent creaminess, and Jaan’s famed Roast Leek & Potato Soup is exactly that. This soup is one of the staples we’ve grown to anticipate and love, and it never disappoints. Packed with the essence of roasted potato, mushroom stock, truffle trimmings and pure truffle juice, it is served with a warm English muffin and leek-infused English butter. You’d wish seconds were an option.
Jaan has a curated vegetarian menu to cater to those on a plant-based diet, but their Reinventing British menu gives you a taste of that. The Summer Vegetable Pie is bright and beautiful, carrying fresh artichokes, tomatoes, yellow beans and basil, and adorned with flowers from a local farm in Singapore.
The transition from the pie to the next course, a Scottish Langoustine, is seamless. The residual refreshing flavour from the pie sets the palate for a rich roasted and braised langoustine drenched in seaweed-infused butter. Accompany each mouthful with Jaan’s homemade Saffron spaghetti and lashings of brown butter mayonnaise—this was our clear favourite.
Chef Kirk’s ingredients demand attention—his lunch exclusive, the Welsh Herb Crusted Lamb, is a beautifully marbled cut of meat due to its diet of minerals, sea succulents and clovers. He generously crusts it in rosemary, parsley and garlic and pairs it with blanched onion, braised aubergine and a decadent lamb sauce. The dish is a sweet-savoury pleasure to eat, and proves melt-in-your-mouth tender.
You may find yourself visualising dessert by now, and you’ll get two—the former, a tart Greenage & Apple palate cleanser, followed by the British Strawberry, which pays homage to the Eton Mess. As its name suggests, expect a comforting mix of strawberries, light cheesecake cream, meringues, Victoria sponge and lemon zest. While it’s hardly surprising, sometimes all you want is food you know well with just a little remodelling.
If you have the capacity, their selection of fine cheeses from the UK is worth a try. Call for the crumbly, smoked Devonshire cheddar, which has been aged 12 months from Quicke’s Farm in Exeter where cows are free grazing—15 minutes away from Chef Kirk’s family home. The Baron Bigod, similar to a French brie, is lusciously gooey and pairs well with sweet crisps.
We couldn’t think of a more well-rounded fine-dining meal, complete with Chef Kirk designing some of the crockery you’ll see at Jaan. Let this be your indulgent escape for the day.
Jaan, Level 70 Swissôtel the Stamford, 2 Stamford Road, Singapore 178882
Contact: 6837 3322