D.E.A.L. At Jaan In The Swissotel Stamford

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It was shaping up to be a long day when I left the office to finally pick up my laundry that had been languishing for a few days. I was dozing in the cab when an SMS arrived from Joone! asking if I have been to Jaan lately.

I rarely ask people to join me for meals now because of a recent misunderstanding which ended with the relationship with a still dear friend turning cold and unpleasant as a sauerkraut.

Anyway, this is one of those times where the Principle of D.E.A.L kicks in. This concept is similar from the D.E.A.R. programme. D.E.A.L. stands for Drop Everything And Lunch and it’s not as popular, acronym-wise as Drop Everything And Dine, but whatever.

Faced with collecting laundry or lunch with a friend, it’s a no-brainer question; so it was off to Jaan with Joone! in hopes of a good lunch as we were very late.


Actually, I’ve not been to Jaan because the previous chef (not Andre Chiang) was annoying and I am not sure if I was ready to face a water sommelier with a menu of 17+ different types of water. I travel a lot and invariably, when faced with a choice of sparkling or still, I ask for local, piped and potable. With ice.

Singapore is the only country I know where some restaurants refuse to serve perfectly potable eau du robinet glacée. We really have a long way to go before we achieve world class service levels when something as basic as “what the customer wants” is not properly understood.

Moving right along, we were promptly seated and served what I can only term as “Batons de pain de ralentissement de l’activité économique”.

Squid Ink and Parmesan

Actually one was coated with Parmesan and the other with squid ink. They were both crunchy. To be fair, there was an actual bread basket that had the most delicious (and warm) onion bun that crackled satisfying when lightly squeezed.

Onion Crust

It happened that one of the top chefs of Spain, Angel Palacios – who cooks at two-star Michelin restaurant La Broche in Madrid – was visiting Jaan. There were two menus, a 6-course lunch by Angel Palacios and a 3-course lunch that wasn’t. Unfortunately, because we were late, the Palacios lunch was unavailable.

As a starter, I had the Salmon confit with Cucumber Sorbet. I couldn’t tell what the Salmon was a confit of but the Cucumber sorbet stole the show.

Salmon Confit With Cucumber Sorbet

We had fun deconstructing the flavors of cucumber water, sugar, vinegar and salt. Simple ingredients in a fantastic combination deconstructed into a very refreshing sorbet. I was already getting ideas with my ice-cream maker

Joone! chose the Wild Mushroom Ravioli With King Prawn On A Bed Of Sauteed Chinese Cabbage With Bacon because she was, if I remember correctly, sold on the bacon.

Wild Mushroom Ravioli With King Prawn On A Bed Of Sauteed Chinese Cabbage With Bacon

We both agreed that the Wild Mushroom Ravioli was very good. For me the mushrooms were meaty and full of earthy flavors that was supported very well by the slightly green Chinese cabbage; surprisingly, the bacon just gave it that slight depth of flavor without overpowering.

The Braised Lamb With Wild Mushroom Cereal was very good with the right amount of tenderness and chew but again, the side stole the show. This is the first time I’ve tasted barley done like a risotto, and done just the way I like it too: moist, al dente and infused with earthy mushroom and lamb flavors.

Braised Lamb With Wild Mushroom Cereal

I had to look around to see if the coast was clear for me to suck (as discreetly as I can) the marrow out of the bone. Fantastic.

The Capellini With Deep-fried Sakura Ebi came in a very classy black plate. I found the Capellini slightly dry but well-flavored with little bits of black olive.

Capellini With Deep-fried Sakura Ebi

I forgot to ask Joone! or if I did, I forgot what was her reaction, but I’m sure it made a fine contrast to the prawns. 🙂

For dessert, I was intrigued by the combination of Rhubarb and Strawberries. Coupled with the promise of jellies and ice cream, I could not help but order it.


I must say that while it looked nice on photo, I was a little underwhelmed by the whole concoction because frankly the flavors weren’t at all integrated. I could not fathom the concept behind this dish and the Blackcurrent Ice Cream, while delicious, seemed out of place.

The Yoghurt Sorbet With Plum Disc, Berries In A Basil Sauce was much better. The Basil sauce gave the whole sweet concoction an interesting contrast and again, I’m having ideas for my ice cream maker… 🙂

Yoghurt Sorbet With Plum Disc, Berries In A Basil Sauce

Would you believe that all this while we ignored the view? That’s how much of a foodie we are. To be honest, I felt that the view was not as interesting as the one in the other restaurants, but I’m sure it would look better at night because it would be cooler and the city will light up.

a la 1970s

Jaan is said to be a French restaurant, but I can see that the restaurant does not wear that categorization comfortably as influences from other cuisines are obvious. And from what I’ve tasted, I don’t think it deserves to be confined with a categorization either as it would not do the food justice.

I was a little uncomfortable at first because the tables were very close together – to maximize window space, I guess – and I was afraid of knocking into people and I am always a little wary of sitting too close to a window during lunch because of the heat emanating from the noon sun, but once settled in my chair, all was forgotten.

After all that’s being said, my first visit to Jaan was an enjoyable one; the service was good, the food was great and the company was excellent.

Skid Marks

Posted on 4th Nov 2008 in Asian, French, Fusion, Italian


There Are 2 Comments


MissyGlutton commented on November 4, 2008 at 2:32 pm

I was wondering where were those wonderful pictures taken… till I got to Jaan that day myself 😛

Great Review 🙂


Ivan commented on November 4, 2008 at 6:05 pm

@MissyGlutton: That’s the most polite statement I’ve ever seen from you!

Who are you and what have you done to MissyGlutton?


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