Asia’s 50 Best: Jaan, Singapore (Part 3, Main Courses)

Category: French – Fine Dining

2 Stamford Road, Swissotel The Stamford, Level 70, Equinox Complex, Singapore 178882

Damage: $$$$

The Menu Prestige itself is an ongoing concert that has no specific intervals, but I have taken the liberty to break it up into smaller sections to make for an easier read. This section comprises the first 3 dishes of the Menu Prestige, and for which I most naturally draw parallels to “Main Courses”.


Asia's 50 Best Restaurants 2014 2015 Jaan Singapore Food Review Blog Foie Gras "Poche"To be most honest, I didn’t like the Foie Gras “Poche” with cabbage, yuzu and ‘bouillon’ at all. The foie gras was, undoubtably, unlike any I’d ever tasted – it was very soft, like tofu, and its flavour was very trace. I like the strong intensity and richness of foie, so this didn’t work for me and I wouldn’t have known what I was eating if it hadn’t been mentioned. The refreshing zing of the yuzu was a bit too jarring for my taste, and felt a bit out of place, while the vegetables were crunchy but not very tasty. In my opinion, the bouillon was too oily and its flavour was too thin, and the dish just didn’t feel cohesive.

Asia's 50 Best Restaurants 2014 2015 Jaan Singapore Food Review Blog Crispy Skin Amadai

The Crispy Skin Amadai was a seafood platter featuring coquillages, confit carrot, and rouille. This dish was strong with its reference to Indian cuisine, largely due to the saffron and spices featuring in the rouille. The seafood was fresh and sprightly and the fish came away cleanly in slices, although they were very cleanly prepared and lacked any form of richness if unaccompanied by the rouille, which unfortunately, I felt, overwhelmed the seafood when combined.

They really took to “saving the best for last”. The Hay-Roasted Pigeon with corn, bread, and liquorice was absolutely stellar. The pigeon breast was fully tender and packed full of unique flavours which I’d never tasted in any other meat, and yet, one could tell that these were the natural notes and an unadulterated rendition. The pigeon leg was wonderfully charred with a gentle smoke to brown and lightly torched to perfection. Both of the plated sauces were intense and stood well both alone and together. This was, beyond any doubt, Jaan’s most outstanding dish, and left me thinking about its tastes and flavours long afterward.

Asia's 50 Best Restaurants 2014 2015 Jaan Singapore Food Review Blog Hay-roasted Pigeon Best Dish

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Bedrock Bar & Grill, Singapore

SCRIBBLES

Wanting to have a good steak, a friend asked if we should go to Bistecca Tuscan Steakhouse and Restaurant or Bedrock Bar & Grill. Since I’ve been to Bistecca and not the latter, we decided to give Bedrock a shot and met up for dinner there on a Tuesday night.

96 Somerset Road, #01-05 Pan Pacific Serviced Suites Orchard, Singapore 238163

The entrance to Bedrock Bar & Grill is along the alley right outside the glass doors of Somerset 313, right next to Marché, and will be the first restaurant to your left.

Damage: $$$-$$$$

Steak with prices in the region of Bistecca’s (ex. the Fiorentina steak, $188) and just a tier under Morton’s and Cut by Wolfgang Puck, it is needless to say that I was expecting a really good steak. With a starter and side dish to share, the meal came up to about $120 per head. Prepare for about $160 if you throw in a glass of red and a dessert as well.

To go: For this price, perhaps we should try elsewhere

It was good but for the price, I was not sufficiently wowed. Service was great – attentive and pro-active with the recommendations – and the ambience is cosy and romantic with comfortable booth seating at the periphery, with just the right amount of space to lend a comfortable level of chatter from guests and yet maintain privacy. There are two private dining rooms at the back as well, which can seat about 8 persons each, at which you can host a small private dinner if you so wish. In my opinion, Wooloomooloo Steakhouse is better value, equally cosy, and with equally fantastic service.


A MORE DETAILED REVIEW

I visited Bedrock Bar & Grill on a Tuesday evening after work. From the outside, it doesn’t look like much – the front of the restaurant is modest with a narrow reception and entrance. Following the front of house down a softly lit corridor, I found that it opened up into a comfortable space with a cosy setting of lacquer and dark brown wood, kept slightly more relaxed with the filament lamps suspended over the bar in an intentionally unintentional manner, like a man rolling up the sleeves of his carefully ironed shirt. When we entered at around 7.30pm, it was about 30% full, but by the time we left at around 9.30pm, it was packed to about 75%. Heading back out again, I noticed that the high stools which were unoccupied when we entered now had a few groups of people enjoying a drink or two.

Bedrock Bar & Grill Singapore Steakhouse Steak Food Review BlogIt is a steakhouse, so steak is what we had. I had the Bedrock Pepper Steak (300gm ribeye, $79; featured picture) which our host mentioned was Bedrock’s signature steak and had been very well received by guests on the whole. I asked for it on medium and instead of going with the default black peppercorn sauce, chose the wholegrain whiskey mustard sauce to go with. My dining companion had the same, except on rare and with the classic béarnaise. The steaks all come with a single sauce, and if you’d like, you could swap the default sauce for another or add on any of the available sauces at $4.

To begin, we shared the Caesar Salad ($22) which was one of two recommendations for starters, the other being the Bedrock Smoked Tomato Soup ($16). This, to be honest, I wasn’t at all impressed with. The baby cos was fresh, as was to be expected, but the egg was ordinary and the bacon was too hard and its presence, sparse. I couldn’t find the white anchovies which the dish’s description made mention of, except for the single good-sized one atop.

The steak was served in a typical old-fashion style on a sizzling iron hotplate. My steak was cooked to a good medium, was rather tender and kept its juices. However, for some reason, I was just not quite blown away. It was good steak and cooked well, no doubt, but in terms of flavour, there was nothing very special about it, even when supported by the special sauces – both of which I tasted. In my mind I just couldn’t help but compare it to Bistecca – which I’ll readily admit wasn’t the fairest comparison given that I’d only tried their $188 Fiorentina made from a Wagyu F1 t-bone (serves 2-3 persons), although they also have steak options in the $70 – $90 range of a comparable portion size – which had a finer grain and smoother texture than the one at Bedrock. Bedrock Bar & Grill Singapore Steakhouse Steak Food Review Blog I’ve heard many good things about duck fat, and I once had a friend aspiring to be a chef who’d asked me to hand-carry a jar of it back for her from London, and so when we were looking at the sides, the duck fat potatoes ($16) were really calling out to me. I’m not sure what exactly it’s supposed to taste like, but I knew the duck fat flavour when I tasted it and was trace. We both agreed that the potatoes tasted somewhat ordinary, so I would advise to go with perhaps the creamed spinach ($18) as a side should you visit. Or, if you’re dying to have some potatoes, I’d think the Ash roasted sweet potato with bacon & blue cheese ($16) is going to be a little more special.