food

Restaurant JAG, Duxton: “The food is a demonstration of unrestrained fervour and elegance.” 

Last Updated: October 12, 2020

Written by Felicia Koh

These days, meals are more often than not being cut short and I have never stayed past my welcome. Truth to be told, it has been more than four months since I last indulged in a full six-course meal. Thus, when a lunch invitation from Restaurant JAG came around, the little girl in me squealed with joy; finally an opportunity to experience Chef Jeremy Gillion’s unrestrained works of art.

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I arrive early at Restaurant JAG. Nestled in the quaint neighbourhood of Duxton, there is no visible signage indicating its presence except for a long rectangular metal plate hanging discreetly by the side of the door.

It is engraved with the words ‘Restaurant By Jeremy and Anant’ along with a twig of herb boldly drawn across the centre—a glimpse of what the one Michelin-star restaurant has to offer.

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As with all successful artists who are crowned for their distinct styles, every renowned chef holds on to a culinary philosophy that guides their cooking. Here at Restaurant JAG, Normandy-born Chef-owner Jeremy Gillion bases his creations on over 40 herbs foraged in the wild from the Savoie region of the French Alps. 

Together with specially selected seasonal vegetables, Restaurant JAG’s everchanging menu aims to take diners on a season-driven culinary journey; a trip to France where food and nature come together as one.

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Credit – Restaurant JAG

My partner and I ensconced ourselves in a dimly-lit corner. With only five tables in the entire restaurant, my socially distanced neighbours were comfortably seated away from me. In times like this, I am glad we all have enough space to enjoy our tranquillity in this intimate setting. 

What I tried

Currently, Restaurant JAG opens for lunch only on Fridays and Saturdays from 12pm to 3pm. With my afternoon cleared to welcome the well-deserved weekend, I opted for their Measured Indulgence (S$175++)—a French omakase experience which allows Chef Jeremy the freedom to orchestrate my entire lunch menu without any restraint. 

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Two canapes mark the start of my gastronomic journey. While the tartelette of pea is a rich sweet morsel filled with pea-infused white chocolate, the radish with cashew nut butter is a bite of earthy freshness.

Although slightly raw in taste, the radish made for a great start, giving my palate a good cleanse before I embark further into the world of herbs Restaurant JAG will be introducing me to. 

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The amuse-bouche successfully elevates a cup of corn soup to greatness by showcasing a brilliant play on a creamy sweet corn velouté. Topped with toasted corn kernels, the earthy stock perfumed with an intoxicating smoky aroma, that paired amazingly well with the citrusy notes from the use of sage.

Towards the end, I was practically scraping through the entire cup. If I could stuff my face into it, I would definitely lick this golden liquid dirt clean. 

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In my notebook, I scribbled ‘tomato salad’ when the next dish was presented to us. But there is so much more going on right here than this humble word suggests. On the pure white China sits an array of heirloom tomatoes bursting with life in brilliant reds, yellows, and greens. 

Dressed with honey vinaigrette foam, the profoundly sweet tomatoes were finished with a touch of brightness and acidity. If I were to choose a dish that encapsulated the spirit of Restaurant JAG, this would be it. Seasonal heirloom tomatoes elevated with bright pickled-coloured Coucou flowers—the epitome of Summer in a plate.

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Roasted fingerling potato wrapped in smoked foie gras arrives shortly. Served in a rustic looking piece of customised ceramic, this dish mimics the wilderness of the French Alps with long pine-like leaves of fennel crowning the top.

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To complete the dish, Chef Jeremy micro-planed a mountain of fresh truffle, burying the potato deep beneath. When it comes to fingerling potatoes, size is of no significance. This little parcel was fluffy and scrumptious; I would say ten times more flavourful than its NTUC-bought counterparts.

It had a natural nutty finish that was intensified by the aromatic truffle shavings. I wished there were more fingerling potatoes as one alone is certainly not enough to satisfy. 

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Lightly kissed with char, the pan-seared turbot fillet was served perched on a grilled cucumber finished with a drizzle of brown sauce. To further emphasise the usage of different varieties of cucumber, thin slices of Japanese cucumber were also rolled up and placed around the dish. 

The fish on its own was incredibly immaculate in taste. Here, the sauce plays a good supporting role with its deep briny notes reminiscent of the ocean. The stroke of peach confit by the side added a touch of sweet-tanginess to the entire dish, briefly cutting through the richness with its subtle acidity. 

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A disk of cold nicola mint sorbet encased in white chocolate cleansed my palate of all lingering flavours of the fish, resetting it for the next protein awaiting on the pass.

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Our final savoury plate at Restaurant JAG was a slice of duck; skin seared to a crisp with an oily pink flesh sitting on a brown herb crumble. This was probably my least favourite combination for the mere fact that I’m just not a duck lover. Thankfully, the dish was propelled from “meh” to “oo, not bad!” by that pot of polenta that accompanied.

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Creamy and rich in flavour, the cornmeal was boiled to perfection with a slab of butter thrown in during the process to exude a strong buttery fragrance. Instead of savouring the gamey, fully-flavoured slice of duck, I found myself scavenging through my pot of polenta, secretly hoping that my time with this lovely cornmeal would never come to an end.

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Concluding my time at Restaurant JAG was a stellar dessert showcasing Chef Jeremy’s play on the textures of mango. It was a refreshing mix of sweet, sour and tart in a bowl completed by pinches of pistachio sponge, a quenelle of coconut sorbet and a yolk filled with a melisse (lemon balm), mango and passion fruit infusion. 

Never have I known that melisse could pair so well with the fruity notes of mangoes. But here, not only do both ingredients shine in their respective roles, but they also work great together in enhancing the overall balance of this magnificently crafted dessert. 

Final thoughts 

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Chef Jeremy’s unreserved cooking at Restaurant JAG is a demonstration of fervour and elegance. 

From the canape, amuse bouche right to their mains and dessert, every element on each dish was prepared with surgical precision and plated with utmost beauty. I might have overstayed my welcome at Restaurant JAG but it only comes to show how much I enjoyed my dining experience there.

With their use of top-notch ingredients, incredible cooking techniques and their attention to details during service, Restaurant JAG certainly holds its place in the sea of Michelin-starred restaurants in our sunny island of Singapore.

Expected Damage: S$98++ – S$175++ per pax (Lunch), S$198++ – S$223++ per pax (dinner)

Chope Reservations

Price: $ $ $

Our Rating: 5 / 5

Restaurant JAG

76 Duxton Road, Singapore 089535

Price
Our Rating 5/5

Restaurant JAG

76 Duxton Road, Singapore 089535

Telephone: +65 3138 8477
Operating Hours: 6pm - 10.30pm (Tue to Thu), 12pm - 3pm & 6pm - 10.30pm (Fri & Sat), Closed on Sun & Mon
Telephone: +65 3138 8477

Operating Hours: 6pm - 10.30pm (Tue to Thu), 12pm - 3pm & 6pm - 10.30pm (Fri & Sat), Closed on Sun & Mon
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