Once upon a time, like how I first laid my eyes on the Berkeley bag and decided that would be one to covet, Jaan was it. Back then it was Chef Andre Chiang helming the kitchens and just someday I would pay it a visit – after saving up the pennies of course. Somehow Andre was set up and the kitchen was taken over by another and still garnered rave reviews. For sure, Andre has already won the heart and I am still raring for the next visit but I thought a visit to Jaan would be fair to see if Chef Andre is that awesome or the visit was riding on the high of post-Jaan popularity. One point to prove; was Jaan famous because of Chef Andre or regardless the chef, it would be stunning nonetheless.
I booked my table at Jaan well in advance – for fireworks at the preview. There are limited tables with the window view and the earlier you book, the higher chance there is for the window table. I was told one booked in May for the dinner in August – it’s these sort of customers who generate the overhype. Jaan is located on the 70th storey and well tucked away from City Space and even Equinox – which proved later to have a better view of the fireworks. For one, it rained cats and dogs earlier and the windows ended up foggy which obstructed the view and secondly, the fireworks seemed drenched and barely the magnificent display I was eyeing. Major disappointment as it is. Both of us had the Prestige menu of the summer artisanal menu by Chef de Cuisine Julien Royer, one that they claim to be built around a passion to showcase the freshest ingredients through simple but beautiful dishes that reflect both culinary tradition and creativity.
Spot them chestnuts?
Light crisps with barely much flavour.
My tub of hummus.
Complimentaries of crisps with chestnut puree, crispy chicken skin, potato cantal cheese ball with tarragon puree and smoked fresh eel topped with teriyaki jelly. The skins were crispy, croquette infused with Indian herbs and the eel was rather blah in my opinion. Sure enough plating and presentation were impressive but the first stop was disappointing as it is.
Chilean white was recommended for pairing with the night’s menu and it surprised us for a smooth and light finish. Pity I did not get the name of the wine though!
Mushroom Cappucino and walnuts to start the meal, I found this a tad thin and lacking in flavour though the crunchy nuts was an interesting twist.
Black truffle brioche, walnut and raisin bread, baguette and sourdough with unsalted butter and salt. Amongst all, I found comfort in the sourdough that looked like buttcheeks to me. Pardon the language but it stood out for its chewiness.
Dome of unsalted butter.
Cannelloni of New Caledonian Obsiblue Prawn and Avocado
Chorizo Iberico, black mushrooms, osceitra caviar
Cute spoon alert!
The fun of having eggs served in an egg tray.
55’ Rosemary Smoked Organic Egg
Garden peas, black trumpets, bellotta, cepe nougatine
Lift and be greeted by a lovely fragrance while I partook of the heavenly organic runny egg.
So, I was not that excited after mixing in the trumpets, peas, bellotta and well the silky runny egg. It came across as just a runny egg in seaweed soup. Barely piqued nor blown away – if anything, I thought the glassware was pretty.
Yet another set of cutlery.
Bread and Butter Crusted Wild Caught Langoustine
Fennel, Grapefruit, Elderflower, Burnted Onion Consomme
The point is, the ingredients are obviously not run of the mill yet put together was hardly fireworks kind of magnificent. This was served lukewarm and consommé tasty but that was just it. I missed out on being wowed, yet again.
Escalope of Landes Foie Gras
‘Pain Perdu’, Maria des Bois Strawberries, Rhubarb, Hazelnut
Confit Arctic Char
Crayfish, Girolles, ‘Beurre Noisette’ Broth
Pigeon from Bresse
Hay Roasted Breast, Confit Leg, Smoked Aubergine, Pickled Cherry, Buckwheat, Jus D’abats
Not many courses were left to impress. They showed a casserole of a fairly large pigeon before dissecting it and presenting the main parts for our mains. The crimson coloured breast made it look raw but was tender with an interesting texture. Almost like liver if you ask me. Its skinny confit leg made the heart ache eating it – yet this was bland. Overall a decent pigeon dish but I missed out on being blown away, if any at all.
Palette cleanser of what tasted like lime sorbet with foam and egg custard, I expected the lime to be stronger in punch.
Lovely contrast of colours.
Sable Breton, Tanariva Chocolate, Tonka Bean Icecream, Macadamia and Pecan nuts, Walnut Snow
Mara des Bois Strawberries ‘Comme un Millefeuille’
Ginger Meringue, Lemon Curd, Cardamom Sorbet
Café Express with tea and coffee. Nothing to fault with good grade coffees and teas used.
Mignardises of passionfruit marshmellows, mint popsicle, Madeleine, chocolate nuts and chocolate lollipop. I liked the popping candy on top of the mint popsicle for novelty, soft marshmellows and sweet Madeline.
Blast from the past with popping candy.
Birthday cake on the house!
I am possibly the few who does not think much of Jaan, even with a stellar ex-chef like Andre and the reviews have mostly indicated that Chef Royer has brought it to greater heights. Too much pomp and fuss left me unimpressed and unfazed by the experience, money that was not well spent and it left me dissatisfied, much so for one who was celebrating a birthday. I cannot find any reason to fault on service which was attentive and most apologetic for the stray hair that made its way into the dish nor for the trousers they lent us for inappropriate dressing. 70 storeys, a fogged view and mediocre food…possibly just one visit and I’m done. I would have been better off in Equinox with a clearer view or at least a guaranteed one at Cityspace – a couple of hundred bucks at Cityspace would make me triple times happy at least!
I reached my conclusion and will be keeping Andre on the list of personal favourites. With a price of $280 per pax, I was definitely expecting far more than this. Even with the feedatraffles discount, there is still dissonance.