We were at CB Phase 2 Heightened Alert – that meant that we cannot dine at the restaurant. Luckily some of the best restaurants in Singapore were delivering to our homes.
Restaurant JAG (Jeremy and Anant Gastronomy) is the brainchild of Chef Jérémy Gillon and highly-respected dining industry leader Anant Tyagi. Chef Gillon owns L’Epicurien, a one Michelin-starred restaurant located in the ski resort region of Val Thorens in Southern France. He translates his experience with the regional cuisine via his creations in Restaurant JAG. Each night, he lets 40 hand-selected herbs, painstaking sourced from Savoie, France, dictate his menu. And this practice has continued with his special delivery degustation menu. I was just not sure if it was air-flown in these days though.
With the announcement of the Heightened Alert, Restaurant JAG pivoted immediately and promptly launched a degustation menu that you can enjoy at home. Anant took our orders via WhatsApp, and he took the initiative to arrange for everything options on the menu for 2 pax.
The 5-course meal is specially prepared and boxed, and could be enjoyed in the comfort of your home without fuss.
But if you really want to enjoy it properly, I would suggest that you pull out your Wedgwood. Eating a Wagyu steak from a paper box is not recommended.
White chocolate & green pea, frêne, bamboo ash macaron
We went straight into the first course, which was one of two tit-bits of the meal. There would be no need for any plating. I would almost mistaken this as a dessert macaron if not for the use of green pea with the white chocolate, which gave the pastry a sweet taste. Frêne (ash tree)
Ham parisienne, serpolet, black pepper butter, brioche
The second small bite is a play on the Jambon-Beurre sandwich, which is nothing more than an amazing baguette topped with slightly salted French butter and spiced Parisian ham (aka jambon de Paris). It is a simple combo and easily available, but a good version of it is harder and harder to find on the streets of Paris.
Jambon de Paris (Paris Ham) is a slow cooked ham. The slow cooking means it retains a large percentage of its moisture and absorbs the flavours of the ingredients with which it is cooked. The classic Jambon-Buerre was reinvented using salted buttered toast instead of a crispy baguette. Spiced using serpolet (wild thyme) and using some really good Jambon (Paris ham) and Gruyere cheese, this was the best “ham and cheese sandwich” I had this year.
The 3rd expression is the starter course. There’s two choices of starters – langoustine and green beans salad or scallop and eel with green asparagus. Both starters featured raw or lightly poached seafood.
Haricots verts & haricots beurre salad, icelandic langoustine, Hokkaido uni créme, raspberry & verveine dressing
Haricots verts or French beans done in a classic manner – tossed in butter (buerre) and a lemony verveine (verbana) dressing. To give the dressing another dimension, raspberry was added. At first bite, I thought it was edamame because the case of the French bean was not presented. And there’s mesclun salad and asparagus with walnut for a different texture. But it was the Hokkaido uni créme that was the highlight of the course.
Icelandic langoustine is a type of lobster. Unlike langoustines in general, they are sweeter and have a firmer bite, and are a delicious eat. However, their stocks have decreased by 80% between 2018-19, according to new data from the Marine And Freshwater Institute (Hafró) of Iceland and the Iceland government may be considering limited fishing of this precious crustacean.
Green asparagus, Hokkaido scallop & eel, hysope crumble, mango sesame dressing
Hysope (Hyssop) is a minty herb from South Europe. It worked beautifullly with seafood. Hokkaido scallop sashimi and smoked eel. Eels are on the menus of the best French restaurants served on or off the bone, sautéed, baked, grilled and smoked. While the scallop and eel were nice, it was the asparagus which I really enjoyed. Sweet and crisp, the asparagus was so much better than the supermarket variety I usually buy for home cooked meals.
For the main course, we were treated to two of Chef Gillon’s favourite ingredient – ocean trout and wagyu beef.
Zucchini, Petuna ocean trout, Oscietra caviar beurre blanc, lemon gelée, melisse cashew nut crumble
The main course came with a generous piece of trout that had been perfected seared with a crispy skin and pinky-red flesh. Petuna ocean trout is known as the wagyu of the sea and used by the best restaurants for its intense colour, beautiful marbling, and crisp and clean taste.
But it was the accompaniments that stole the show. Sliced green and yellow zucchinis had been rolled into a flower and flavoured with the Oscietra buerre blanc (white butter caviar). The zucchini was also featured in the puree. And the asparagus I enjoyed so much made its reappearance in a roasted format.
Purple artichoke, Westholme wagyu (mbs 6-7), morel, sage linseed crumble, beef jus
This was a very busy plate. Princess was too eager to plate everything, but the piece of beef was pretty generous so it tool a lot of real estate. Came with four large pieces of fresh purple artichoke, and decorated with fresh sage, linseed sprinkles and au jus from the wagyu.
Westholme beef is produced by a cooperative of cattle rangers from Mitchell, Queensland. The beef traces back to the mighty Westholme herd that was founded on champion Wagyu bulls and cows. Since its launch in Singapore in 2016, it has been used by many Michelin chef. It was very well-marbled (MBS 6-7) and grilled to a perfect medium rare. We did not reheat the beef as it was still warm when it was served. We should have reheated the au jus to give it that warmth.
Morel mushroom‘s honeycomb structure added a wonderful texture that made it like a very crunchy piece of tripe. The meaty texture with its earthy taste complimented with the fatty beef.
Polenta and Salad
Each main course came with a side – either a polenta or a salad. We had both sides to try.
Polenta is nothing more than coarsely ground cornmeal. Everyone always repeats the same old rules for making it—make sure the liquid is boiling before adding the polenta, then stir nonstop until it’s done. Instead of the really smooth style of polenta, it had the consistency of a good Southern grits. JAG’s polenta had two ingredients that made it stood out – truffle oil and really good butter. I really enjoyed it.
In comparison, the salad with vinaigrette was much more common. It did not match the wonderful main courses that it came with, and looked more like an afterthought that would be more suited to the neighbourhood Western bistro.
Dark chocolate choux, hazelnut praline
Choux pastry, or pâte à choux, is a delicate pastry dough used in many pastries. It contains only butter, water, flour, and eggs. Instead of a raising agent, it employs high moisture content to create steam during cooking to puff the pastry. JAG made a dark chocolate version with a smooth, light hazelnut praline filling.
Chitose strawberry tartlette, almond cream
This tartlett was really pretty, looked like what you would get from Japanese pastry cafe. Chitose Ichigo, a prized Japanese strawberry of the Akihime varietal that agriculture expert Kyosuke Kinoshita cultivated in Cameron Highlands 10 years ago, was used in the tart.
While the strawberry was a bit sour, the almond cream in the tart stole the show.
Coconut meringue, chocolate nougatine & raspberry marshmallow
While we have to make our own coffee, the mignardises were a welcome end to the dinner. I loved the raspberry marshmallow, which has the tartness of raspberry and the puffy sweetness of marshmallow, but Princess loved the chocolate nougatine, biased by her love of any chocolate. The coconut meringue was a hit and miss.
The charcuterie platter nearly did not make it. The first delivery missed this a la carte order. But Anant promptly made sure another delivery run sent them over before the meal was over. The sourdough bread was still warm when it arrived. There were two choices of home churned butter – herb and salted. And it came with another serving of salad and home made pickled vegetables.
Dining at home
The experience was not equivalent to the restaurant experience. There was no amuse bouche. There was not maitre d’ explaining to you the herbs used for each course.
In trying times, a good meal in a nice restaurant can lift the spirits. But under the current circumstances, a good meal like this was to be thankful for.
76 Duxton Road Level 1, Singapore 089535
Tel : +65 3138 8477
Date Tried : May 2021
Michelin Guide Singapore 1 Star (new) 2019