When I first step into JAAN, I am greeted by a whiff of incense, and even though I’ve just entered a Michelin star restaurant, I’m suddenly reminded of home. Every evening for as long as I can remember, my mother has lit sticks of incense in the apartment, filling the entire area with a woody scent. It’s become a very comforting aroma for me. You’re probably wondering where I’m going with this, but incidentally, Chef de Cuisine Kirk Westaway’s new Spring menu is inspired by his own hometown of Devon, England. He’s paid close attention to sourcing for the best possible ingredients for his creations, and it’s certainly paid off.
Every dish is elevated thanks to the distinct flavours that each ingredient offers. I’ve been to numerous restaurants that tout “sky-dining” and “skyline views”, but many a time, the food served pales in comparison to the views. Sitting at the pinnacle of Swissôtel The Stamford, however, I was so focused on the food I barely looked up from my plate. Here are a few dishes that I think deserve some special mention.
Devon Cheddar Cheese Buckwheat Pancake Ball
The meal begins with an exquisite looking set of canapés, and the one I want to highlight is the Devon Cheddar Cheese Buckwheat Pancake Ball (pictured top right). Now, I’m not a big fan of cheese, or for that matter, dairy. I’m not lactose intolerant or anything, I just don’t enjoy the taste of it very much. These pancake balls however, are absolutely delightful. The mild sweetness of the buckwheat pancake goes perfectly with the sharpness of the Devon cheddar cheese. Chef Westaway gives us a little glimpse of his home with these tasty treats that feature cute little Devon flags.
Iberico Pork Loin with Mustard Sauce
Another dish that I particularly enjoyed was the Iberico Pork with Mustard Sauce. The dish looks deceivingly simple, but we’re told many hours went into perfecting it. The pork loin is seasoned, trimmed and marinated for an hour, and then is cooked at 60 degrees Celsius for 45 mins. Chef Westaway also tops the loin with a crispy deep-fried ball of pork shoulder mixed with pickled mushrooms and cured pork belly, as well as dehydrated pork skin and butter shallots, giving the dish a smorgasbord of flavors and textures. The pork loin I had was so tender my knife cut through it like butter. The dish is accompanied by a warm dashi and pork broth served in a whisky glass. It was surprisingly comforting, and I ended up finishing the entire serving.
These are only highlights of the meal I had. Other dishes you can look forward to at your dining experience with JAAN include the Scallop with Chestnut Mushroom Cannelloni, and the Vegetarian Pasta with Peppercorn Infused Soft Cow Cheese and Manuka Honey.