Eye and Mouth Candy

Posted on September 25, 2008 by Aun

I’m really sorry that I haven’t been posting for several months. While I do have two rather substantial excuses (first, S and I have been moving house and we really haven’t had access to a working kitchen for a while and second, we have both been ridiculously busy with work), I know for some of you that really doesn’t cut the mustard. To the readers who emailed me expressing concern, thank you very much. I appreciate your messages. And we will both try our best to update this blog much more frequently in the future.

What better way to revive this site than with an enthusiastic recommendation to try the food of one of Singapore’s hottest (in more ways than one) new chefs. Taiwan-born Andre Chiang is not just tall, slim and (annoyingly) handsome, he is also hands-down one of the most talented and skilled chefs working in Singapore today. Chef Andre prepares what he terms, “French Nouvelle Cuisine”, which essentially means that his food is exquisitely well-conceived, small portions of artfully plated and light French fare. I do have to admit that while I am a huge supporter and fan of what Chef Andre is doing in the kitchen, his food might not appeal to everyone. If you prefer big, hearty portions and fussfree fare, you’re not going to be happy. But if you enjoy trying really interesting, modern, inventive and well-executed food, you have to try Chef Andre’s food.

Now, here’s the kicker. Chef Andre is helming Jaan, a restaurant that until a couple of weeks ago, I honestly would never have dreamt of stepping into. This tiny space, parked in the corner of the rather monstrous Equinox complex in Swissotel the Stamford, has rarely (as far as I know) been known for good food. Good views maybe. Amazingly, however, in the three months that Chef Andre has been running Jaan, it has gone from nottie to hottie and is now (in my opinion at least) one of the two or three best and most high-end European / French restaurants in Singapore.

That said, I have only dined (so far) twice at Jaan, once two weeks ago and again this week. Both times, I and my dining companions asked Chef Andre to do whatever he liked. This week, I took my darling wife S to try the restaurant (my previous visit was a working lunch with two other blokes). Chef Andre wowed us with a lovely 9 course lunch. We started our meal with a trio of amuse-bouches: gambas with pear jelly (pictured above); peach jelly in a chilled earl grey tea; and lobster cornets. The fried gambas ball was delicious and delightfully presented. Second course was a foie gras sandwich. Third was a real treat: Alaskan crab rolled in a snapper carpaccio, topped with caviar and served with a spicy gazpacho sorbet. Yum.

My favourite course of the meal was next (pictured above). It was a pan-seared Hokkaido scallop with a pumpkin-cumin puree and a puffed wild rice carbonara. This was a delicious dish with really interesting textures. S loved the next course, a thin slice of smoked duck with a coriander coulis served in a spicy kaffir lime consomme. Our sixth course was pan-fried goby filet with tapenade and celeriac puree. The main course of the meal (pictured below) was a ridiculously good grade 9 wagyu beef filet served with a cheese pancake, Ratte potato and a pea puree. We ended the meal with a pre-dessert of goat cheese ice cream (gorgeous!) and a taste of three of Chef Andre’s signature desserts: artichoke creme brulee with tarragon ice cream; white snickers bar 2008; and red fruits minestrone with basil and sorbet. To round off an amazing meal, a delectable quartet of petit fours was elegantly presented on steel plates that bore Andre’s name.

Before coming to Singapore, Chef Andre worked for the Pourcel brothers. Shanghai-residents might recognize him as he used to helm Sens & Bund. While young (he’s just 32), he has already worked with many of the best French chefs on the planet, including Pierre Gagnaire, Joel Robuchon, Pascal Barbot, and of course the Pourcels. He has also been recognized as one of just 150 Relais Gourmand Master Chefs worldwide.

A meal at Jaan, I should also say, isn’t cheap (a Feed at Raffles card is a very useful thing for dining here). But neither is a meal at Iggy’s, Les Amis, Caprice, Kahala or any other “super-top” (as a French friend of mine likes to say) establishment in this region. If Andre can continue to push Jaan in the direction he has already been able to set in just a few months, then there is no doubt that it will very quickly establish itself not just as one of Singapore’s best restaurants, but one of Asia’s best.

Jaan
Swissotel The Stamford
Singapore
Tel: +65 6837 3322

About Aun Koh

Aun has always loved food and travel, passions passed down to him from his parents. This foundation, plus a background in media, pushed him to start Chubby Hubby in 2005. He loves that this site allows him to write about the things he adores--food, style, travel, his wife and his bouncing baby boy!

What Others Are Saying

  1. Mei September 26, 2008 at 1:00 am

    sounds delightful – rather reminds me of galvin at windows although of course one is more likely to be assured of a view from jaan

  2. johanna September 26, 2008 at 1:08 am

    wow this looks absolutely amazing! i wish i had a ticket to singapore right now… any chance chef andre wants to come to london? i’ll be camping outside the door to be the first one in!

  3. Charlotte September 26, 2008 at 2:47 am

    Looks amazing! I have seen the contraption holding the gambas with pear jelly at Alinea before. I think it is ingenious to prevent fried items from getting soggy. The cornets also look familar. Schwa in Chicago has an uni ice cream served in similar cones. I find it amazing that restaurants on the other side of the world can have similar concepts. I will definitely make a stop at Jaan when I go to Singapore this December! Do you recommend me buying the Feed at Raffles card for just this one meal? Are there any other recommendations you can give me for the resturants that I can use this card at? Thanks!

  4. dn September 26, 2008 at 7:21 am

    good to have you back!

  5. Chicken Fried Gourmet September 26, 2008 at 7:33 am

    wow welcome back, what a great post to come come back with

  6. Chubby Hubby September 26, 2008 at 9:02 am

    Mei: The view is amazing, albeit a tad bright at lunch (bring shades). But the food really outshines the view these days.

    Johanna: I know he wants to open his own place some day. Maybe he’ll look to London, although that would be a huge loss for us over in SE Asia.

    Charlotte: Well, Andre has lived and worked in the USA and Europe for many, many years. I am sure all these top chefs trade certain ideas and tools. Don’t think the similarities are coincidences ;-) When I saw the cornets, I thought of Thomas Keller.

    Dn: Thanks. Feels good to be back online.

    CFG: Thanks!

  7. Happy September 26, 2008 at 12:12 pm

    hurray! Finally you are back to post more updates :) Looking forward to more of your food updates and photography!

  8. denise September 27, 2008 at 12:14 am

    a long awaited post indeed! (:
    glad to have you & your entries back.
    jaan looks exciting, esp w Chef Andre!

  9. Chris Widmer September 27, 2008 at 4:14 pm

    Welcome back Aun; and what a great post! Got to sample Andre’s food as soon as I am in Singapore. I am sure it will be an exiting weekend with Formula One in town!

    Cheers, Chris

  10. Pete September 29, 2008 at 3:34 pm

    I didn’t have a good impression of Sens & Bund in Shanghai though. Took a visit to the Pourcels’ other Asian outlet – D’Sens in Bangkok for me to regain my faith in the Pourcels. But I’ve always liked Jaan before, despite its frequent change of chefs – great views & wonderful service.

  11. Annie Nielsen October 1, 2008 at 4:10 am

    CH,

    You had us so worried. The food looks great. Just wish I lived in Singapore to enjoy all the great places that you’ve featured.

  12. beerkaki October 2, 2008 at 11:13 am

    Welcome back!!! I almost wanted to remove your bookmark and was given a pleasant surprise by your new entry!

    Great to see those wonderful photos once again.

  13. beAr October 3, 2008 at 4:19 pm

    glad to see that you’re back!

    did you have to specify a budget for your aforementioned meal? and would the “feed the raffles” card be applicable for such “off-menu” menus?

  14. Sudarampai October 15, 2008 at 10:20 pm

    Just want to give some information about chef that he was originally from Pourcel Brothers from Montpeillier and was a set up team for D’Sens in Bangkok 2004, and Sens n”Bund Shanghai from 2004 – 2006 where he earned the 150 chef of the world Relais Gourmet. Then, he left to Seychelles for Executive chef at Maia Luxury Resort and Spa where he earned ” The best chef in Indian Ocean” from The Times UK. He has just arrived in Singapore in June 2008 at JAAN par Andre, Stamford Swissotel….Please visit the resturant and enjoy culinary arts..at JAAN par Andre any time…

  15. Ng April 19, 2010 at 8:53 pm

    Hi All! Does anyone know if Chef Andre Chiang is married or single? ;)

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