I had a wonderful lunch at company’s expense yesterday, but unfortunately, due to the circumstance, I did not take pictures for my review of Jaan, part of the Equinox Complex.
Located at the 70th storey of the Swissotel, Jaan, serving French cuisine, is one of the restaurants that make up the entire Equinox Complex. I have long heard about the good food but the price simply cannot justify a casual visit, until a couple of months ago, when Jaan decided to compete for the lunch crowd by offering a reasonably priced set lunch at S$30+++.
On the way to the restaurant, ushers greeted us on the ground floor. As we came out of the elevator, we had to take a darken passage, pass by the restrooms, up along a flight of short carpeted steps, to the restaurant. That “dark” journey to Jaan did nothing to prepare me for what greeted me inside the restaurant, a bright and spectacular view of the entire Marina Bay and beyond! The restaurant was in a cosy corner of the complex, with slightly crowded tables, but still roomy enough to move about without disturbing your neighbours. We were again greeted by the head waiter, who showed us to the table and served us our beverages right after. The set lunch menu consisted of 3 different appetizers and main courses, choice from 6 different desserts from the ala carte menu and coffee or tea of your choice.
To start, a waiter served us bread from a platter. There were at least 6 different options – corn bread (which was a yellowish soft bread roll with bits of whole corn kernels, topped off with a generous sprinkling of sesame seeds), ciabatta, sesame horns, walnut whole wheat bread (which I chose cuz I just love walnut bread!), white bread roll and foccacia. Each table had a knob of butter to share. The bread was surprisingly warm, not as dense as I normally associate walnut bread with but it was not bad, albeit slightly lacking in flavour.
For the appetizer, I ordered a salad, because none was a seafood option (and I don’t take meat) but my colleagues had snails with sautéed funghi in a cream sauce, which looked and smelled really good. Judging from what both my boss and our business client did, it must have tasted pretty good too, because both of them mopped up the sauce with their bread! My salad was a mesclun mix, dressed simply with a lemon-olive oil vinaigrette which I personally found to be a bit too sourish.
For mains, there was the 1) open prawn ravioli served on top of a bed of truffled mashed potato, with marinated chopped tomatos (sort of salsa-like), chosen by my boss; 2) roasted chicken served with potato gratin; and 3) the pan-fried salmon with creamed leeks atop a bed of baby-sized lentils in a buttery-cream sauce, which both my client and myself opted for. This, was simply divine! For a start, the portion size was unexpected of a typical French dish. The outside of the salmon was nicely seared, with browned crispy bits. Yet the inside remained slightly raw, resulting in a very soft, melty-sort of mouthfeel to each biteful. It helped that the salmon was fresh of course. The lentils, on the other hand, was just cooked through and was still in shape, so it added the “harder” type of mouthfeel to complement the softness of the fish. While the salmon was barely seasoned, the cream sauce had enough seasoning so combining each element (salmon, lentils and sauce) created a simply wonderful result. The creamed leeks, though nothing spectacular, was also seasoned well and not overcooked, added a welcome bit of greens to the entire dish.
Finally for dessert, to make a choice from 5 out of 6 (I eliminated the one with both bananas and coconut, not my faves), it was tough but finally I decided on the fromage blanc soufflé with a passionfruit icecream. This was my first soufflé ever! When dessert was served, I though the waiter had made a mistake on my order because he served me 2 dishes. It turned out that one contained the soufflé, which was rather huge at about 5 inches across, and another smaller plate held a little jug (think creamer jug) of yellowish icecream, served with a long stick of white chocolate on the side. The soufflé I was expecting would be light and airy and tall. But this soufflé was rather spongy and wet, short at about 1.5 inches, with a slightly pudding/jello-like top. It was served atop passionfruit sauce. I ate the soufflé with a bit of sauce. Still slightly warm, the soufflé on its own was a bit bland, but it highlighted the flavour of the passionfruit from the sauce. The sauce was rather tart but it cuts the sweetness of the soufflé, not that it was overly sweet in the first place. I tried the icecream next. It was still rather icy, and not as creamy as I would like. It came across more as a sherbet and also quite tart on its own. Not the best choice, as I am a “dessert=sweet, sweet, sweet” but I still polished it off, after deciding the dessert was meant to be tart. I thought my first soufflé experience should be better, but was still happy to be able to try a different version, for experience. It’s a good thing I also like sour things, so I could still polish the entire thing off, chocolate stick and all, but personally, I would not recommend this to most people.
Overall, I still had a very wonderful lunch with good food and a good view. For that price, I cannot ask for more. I would very much like to return with my sweetie soon.
Ok, I just found out that fromage blanc is a type of French cheese, which explains the dense texture and low height of the souffle, with cheese being heavy and all and also the slightly bland flavour of the cheese. Interesting...