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2 Stamford Road, 70F
Swissotel The Stamford
Singapore
Tel: +65 64315679

Jaan has been around for a long time, but it was only in recent years that it made its name as a stalwart in Singapore fine-dining. We were curious to see how the local scene stacked up, and if the good repute of the restaurant could persist after Andre Chiang had left. So we ventured forth to let the new chef on the block, Julien Royer, feed us.

Julien did not disappoint. As degustation menus go, there were some bright points and some less so. For the sake of brevity, we shall focus on the stand-out dishes for the night.

Amuse bouche – Cep sabayon, wild mushroom tea, walnut and lovage

Amuse bouches are fantastic. They are the unadvertised freebie first course of the culinary world, and a licence for chefs to experiment new creations on patrons in a perfectly legitimate manner. Even if it was meant as an experiment of sorts, the ceb sabayon and wild mushroom tea came to us as the finished product. The presentation of the dish was polished and the flavours sublime. The mushroom tea itself was incredibly smooth, as teas should be, with the walnut and cream complementing the saltiness of the tea with a classic nutty flourish.

Atlantic Halibut – Summer vegetables, Shellfish Ragout, “Potee”Broth & Iberico di Bellot

The halibut in ‘potee’ broth pulled at my homecooked heartstrings a little. My father is Teochew, and fish soup was a big dinner feature when growing up. When I tasted the dish I half expected to find a sng buey (sour plum) floating around in the dish somewhere. The dish was tasty and I liked the clarity of flavours it presented. What I found surprising was how a chef so recently off the boat from London (in September 2011 when we visited, Julien was only 2 weeks into the job) could incorporate elements of local flavour into his dishes. Quite impressive for a chef as young as he was. I think the man was only 30. One thing I must say  – I was not very sure what contribution the Iberico pork slices on the plate at the side added to the dish. My opinion is that it should not have been there.

Bresse Pigeon – Ay Roasted Breast, Confit Leg, Pickled Matsutake, Organic Corn, Jus ‘D’ Abats

The thing about pigeon, and game meat in general, is that there is really nothing much you can do to make it taste any different from what it really is. Also, it is possible for you to have too much of it, as the marginal satisfaction you gain from eating it decreases rapidly past a certain point. I made the mistake of ordering a whole grouse at a restaurant once. That was clearly too much. That said, I liked what I saw on my plate – Goldilocks-portioned pigeon meat, supplemented with some lovely corn mash and matsusake mushroom. The salty, sweet and mushroomy combination was lovely – I was tempted to have another portion, but I know better now.

Petit Fours

Finally, the dessert. We were first served Choconuts – consisting of Jivara Mousse, Peanuts & Macadamia Nut Icecream. Unfortunately we did not manage to get a picture of it. It was in my mind a classic pairing of two familiar culinary bedfellows. There really is something about chocolates and nuts that make grown people regress into adolescence, and to attack the contents on their plate with childlike abandon. I liked the dessert for what it was –  a classic chocolate creation.

The petit fours, pictured above, provided us with an aesthetically pleasing conclusion to the meal. Taste wise, I favoured the soury-tangy sponge cakes more than I did the chocolate tidbits. The apricot slices in a jar, while pretty, did not make much of an impact on the overall concept of the dish. It would have been nice if there had been a palette cleanser of some sort to wash down the chocolate dessert that preceded it.

Jaan is great for special occasions – an anniversary, a birthday dinner, or a festive occasion. Being at the Equinox complex at The Stamford certainly gives the restaurant a selling point that other establishments do not possess. The view of the Singapore skyline, the level of privacy and service accorded to you will make you glad you chose the place to begin with.  If your plan was to spend a quiet evening with your partner over a meal, you can not do better than Jaan.

Some of the other dishes we had:
Langoustine – Limequat Marinade, Old Radish Species, Wild Fennel & Aquitaine Caviar
Trumbetta Zucchini – Burratina, Basil, Almonds & Black Olives
Ravioli – Organic Hen Egg, Artichoke, Melanosporum Truffle & Canta
Landes Foie Gras – Chestnut Honey Glaze, Confit Beetroot, Rhubarb Fondant & Wild Watercress

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Moo 2, 4203 Road
Ao Nang, Mueang Krabi
Krabi, 8100

Phad Thai

This modest establishment is situated along the stretch of road leading to Ao Nang beach, next to the Red Balcony bar. The food was good – Phad Thai will not get more authentic than this. The raw beansprouts have an earthy aftertaste to it – a throwback to my growing-up days in Singapore, when mother dearest used to force-feed them to her children. ‘It’s for strong bones,’ she would tell us, ‘and more importantly, it provides roughage.’ Thanks Mum.

Green Curry with Chicken

Tom Yam Soup with Glass Noodles 

The curry and the tomyum soups had a good homemade twang to them. The soup was well infused, with copious amounts of fresh-sliced lemongrass and herbs floating around in it. They were also incredibly liberal with the seafood – we had to pick through the veritable forest of herbs, prawn and squid to get to the broth underneath. Gloria swears by the tomyum soup with glass noodles. The green curry was thick and suitably spicy, with a generous dose of coconut for added depth of flavour. My only gripe about it was that the restaurant uses chicken breast meat, to cater to the Western tourist’s palette. Which is a pity, as breast meat tends to turn powdery when boiled in anything. Chicken thigh would have been an infinitely better option.

What would I recommend this place for? Your daily meals in Krabi, if you are fortunate to be lodging in the vicinity. They do Thai fare really well, but not necessarily well enough for an out-of-the-way visit. For that, go to Ruen Mai in Krabi Town. We will do a review on that real soon.

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