Last Updated: May 2, 2019
Tucked away along the vibrant Duxton Road area is Restaurant JAG, helmed by Michelin Star Chef Jérémy Gillon and highly-respected dining industry leader Anant Tyagi.
With years of experience under their belts, these gentlemen wish to pursue their dream of delivering unpretentious, warm and bespoke dining with Restaurant JAG.
Chef Jérémy 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 Savoy, dictate his menu.
We were ushered into the intimate and exquisite dining room. Chic raw concrete walls, heavy curtains and soft, warm lighting helped to create an elegant and simple space where I could focus on the food presented to me.
Furthermore, the dining space has only seven tables, each seating a maximum of four diners, which intensified the intimacy of the space. Perhaps this could be a great date night spot.
For lunch, the kitchen offered either Three Expressions (S$58++) or Five Expressions (S$108++) of the Chef’s Tasting Menu, where dishes are served up omakase-style.
Dinner service is done in a similar fashion, where guests can select Five Expressions (S$108++), Seven Expressions (S$168++) or Ten Expressions (S$218++).
We went for the Seven Expressions (S168++) tasting menu that allowed us to try out most of what Restaurant JAG could offer.
To kick things off, we had the canapes. Ortie herbs, puréed cauliflower and seaweed were crafted into a delightful package that I could simply pop into my mouth.
The seaweed had a strong umami flavour reminiscent of the sea, highlighted by the sea salt that topped off the canapes. This briny, almost fishy taste quickly dissolved into an earthy cauliflower profile.
This dish was like a little bubble that burst into my mouth, releasing a sea of flavour. Don’t be deceived by its small size as it punches well above its weight.
The amuse-bouche featured foamed pumpkin, pumpkin seeds and a dash of coriander oil. It was creamy, buttery and airy, due to the foaming technique used. There was a slight smokiness to it too which added some dimension to this mostly sweet dish.
The first course was paired with thyme citron, which smelt very zesty and tangy. Fresh fava beans were reconstructed to form a crispy wafer, which was surprisingly sweet and light. This contrasted with the slightly salty cured mullet roe, with earthy fava beans added to complete the dish.
I really enjoyed the play on textures here, even though the wafer and the beans were both made from the same ingredient.
Next, we had a mushroom dish which featured enoki, button and oyster mushrooms, with a base of foie gras. I really enjoyed the slightly different flavours each mushroom brought to the table. Though all of them were full-bodied and earthy, they each had a different sweetness to them.
The foie gras was smooth and buttery with a slightly earthy and smoky flavour to it, which complemented the profiles of the mushrooms used.
Furthermore, there was a play on temperatures in this dish which was pleasantly surprising. It helped to make my palate more sensitive to the different flavour profiles present in the dish, which added greatly to my dining experience.
The next dish we had consisted of morels and veal sweetbread. I expected some strong gaminess from the sweetbread, however, it was very light.
I liked how its honeycomb structure added a wonderful texture and a substantial mouthfeel when I ate it.
The morel mushrooms actually added to the meatiness and fleshy texture of the sweetbread. In fact, without being told by the maître d’hôtel, I could have very easily mistaken it for chicken!
Definitely check this one out if you’re riding on the Impossible Meats hype train.
The fourth course featured Icelandic langoustine, a type of lobster. After the initial crunch, I could see white meat that tore apart easily.
The peas had a mushy consistency which I didn’t particularly enjoy, but it added some earthy sweetness that varied from the taste of the sauce.
The next course is one of the speciality dishes here at Restaurant JAG. A special variant of trout exclusive to France is flown in daily, which had extremely tender and flaky meat that fell apart easily. It had a delicate, light flavour which I really enjoyed.
The trout was paired with St Vincent green asparagus and a sprig of hyssop, which was not bitter at all. Both added some earthiness and aromaticity to the trout.
The roast pigeon paired with chickpeas, in my opinion, was executed really well. I expected strong and intense flavours given that small poultry like pigeon is really hard to perfect.
Luckily, the flavours were pared down without compromising on the acidity and meatiness of the pigeon meat.
Pigeon meat isn’t commonly found in Singapore, but here it tasted like a gamier and sweeter version of duck. It was paired with chicken jus which added salty, umami notes, and the chickpeas added some buttery nuttiness which was a nice touch.
The dish came with a serving of polenta (boiled cornmeal). While its mellow flavours paired nicely with the stronger gamey flavour of the pigeon and chicken jus, the consistency was rather off-putting — it was reminiscent of lumpy boiled oats.
I understand that polenta is generally of this consistency, but I personally felt that it took away from the dish more than it enhanced its flavours.
I really enjoyed the dessert. Cucumber ice cream might sound off-putting, especially when paired with a bell pepper sauce.
However, the cucumber was extremely refreshing, and the bell peppers added a savoury spiciness that paired nicely with the sweet strawberries in the dessert.
This resulted in a sweet and savoury dessert that isn’t too cloying — the perfect end to a hearty meal.
Overall, I enjoyed how the chefs at Restaurant JAG played very close attention to every detail of each dish. I noticed how each dish featured a play on textures, flavours, aromas or temperature.
The maître d’hôtel also allowed us to smell the accompanying herb for each course in a little jar before we tucked in, which helped to sensitize us to the herb used.
Restaurant JAG also accommodates vegetarian and vegan diners extremely well. The vegan and vegetarian options are similarly thoughtfully crafted to showcase the beauty of natural flavours, textures and smells of seasonal vegetables.
Little touches like these make Restaurant JAG, in my opinion, one of the best fine dining experiences I have had so far. Every dish was amazing, however, I just feel that there wasn’t a specific dish that particularly blew my mind.
Definitely drop by the next time you want to splurge on a fancy date night or celebratory meal!
Expected Damage: S$150 – S$250 per pax
Price: $ $ $
Our Rating: 4 / 5
76 Duxton Road, Singapore 089535
76 Duxton Road, Singapore 089535