Friday, January 19, 2007

Lunch @ Jaan, Swissotêl The Stamford

This place probably looks a lot more prettier at night when the hours after dusk dims the details of the cheap looking walls and the not so posh looking decorations of the restaurant. It doesn't look bad in the day, it's just a lot more dull than I was led to believe . Jaan can be found at the 70th floor of Swissotêl The Stamford in the Equinox Complex. The restaurant looks like a small dining room that sits maybe about 40-50 (?). The entrance is connected to the elevator via a small passageway on the main landing of the complex and reservations I believe are necessary. The Murano "Wave" chandeliers in the restaurant are a rather unique looking rows of glass lightings on the ceiling which are shaped remotely like....waves. In the day, it actually looks quite dull and cloudy but I suppose, the attraction of it is in the night when it is actually lit and when one is already and partially mesmerised by the scintillating skyhigh view of the city to really notice the non-flattering details. I didn't get a shot of the chandeliers but you can see them here.

Did lunch with fatpig. Equinox offers a 3 course lunch package at $35+++ (or was it $38?) where the selection on the menu can be viewed on their website. I must say that the food was really good although it came in fine portions. If it were larger, I'd probably sink into lethargy and that's not really good for a work day. Lol. The service is that I would describe as sculpted marble. Carefully shaped and doesn't emit warmth. If you're on a schedule or like your food to arrive fast, this isn't the place to be. I spent approximately 2 hours here.

We were served bread and water approximately 15 minutes or so after we've made our orders. I'm not sure what took so long, but to venture a guess, it's probably to give time for the butter that is already placed on the table shortly after we've ordered to soften. Jaan serves a small variety of bread ranging from walnut loaves, wheat and honey ones, regular baguette and a pretty tasty and triangular sesame covered bread which is quite fragrant and looks like a small Lembas bread. Feel free to ask for more to tide the waiting time because this place does a leisurely lunch. The walnut loaf however comes quite dry and with the warmth, tasted like reheated loaves instead of fresh ones.

Appetizer was a Pastilla of Confit Duck Leg with Sweet and Sour Raspberry Jus, followed by a rather delicately sized main of ribeye with pink garlic crème and truffle parmesan rizoni.

Pastilla of Confit of Duck Leg


Pastilla as I've learnt recently is like fried poh piah. A pastry like fried skin which wraps around minced meat fillings. I don't know if that's what it truly is because the oft maligned source which I often look up says otherwise. The filling of minced confit of duck leg was undoubtedly delicious and juicy. The raspberry jus works wonderfully with the dish and truly makes it more appetizing even though by itself, it's already pretty good. I wonder what that token handful of greens on the top really meant to the dish. A poorly conceived decoration or because vegetables are good for you. Because if it serves the latter purpose, there's really a need to have more than a small handful.

Jaan does a very delicious ribeye. I have two gripes with it. Firstly, it is puny in the realm of steaks. Secondly, medium rare does not seem to be in order and I vaguely recall that the last time I had such an experience, it was in another French place. The ribeye turned out more to be medium. Despite that, it was retentive of juices with a good beefy flavor and against the recommendation of the server for Red Port jus, I picked pink garlic crème which I thought was a good choice myself. The truffle parmesan rizoni turns out to be a very thin bed of rice in cheese sauce which was also really to my liking, being a sucker for cheesy things. All in all, it was an enjoyable steak that should have been much bigger.

Dessert was a marinated pineapple in vanilla with dry figs, blood orange granité and tomato foam. I swear the foam tastes nothing of tomato. Hell, it doesn't even look remotely tomato to me. The combination of the figs, granité, foam and pineapples does make an interesting texture on the tongue in a mixture of smooth and granular sensations padded with a foamy citrus feel. It's actually not bad.

So lunch at Jaan is pretty good. A little hefty in prices for lunch, but enjoyable.

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