If vegetables are your preferred food group, then you’ll enjoy a dining experience at award-winning Restaurant JAG, which celebrates the rich palette of shifting seasonal vegetables with its La Balade du Végétal (the vegetable road) omakase menu which refreshes every three months.
To celebrate the autumn’s golden harvests, co-founder chef Jeremy Gillon (more famously from Wanderlust Hotel’s Audace) has selected 18 vegetables to play with for his beautifully laid-out dishes featuring a luxurious selection of mushrooms and root vegetables from the Latour region of France such as salsify, celeriac, rutabaga, chiogga and yellow beetroot.
“Autumn brings with it an incredible range of colours – orange, brown, fiery red hues — and the produce is quite exceptional with a selection of beautiful root crops in all sizes and colours, giving me the privilege of replicating the natural wonder of our season on the plate,” says the 40-year-old chef who hails from Normandy, France.
Working with a trusted network of suppliers is also important to ensuring the provenance of the ingredients which is why Gillon chooses to import from boutique farms in France, Japan and sustainable farms in neighbouring Malaysia.
See also: Masters of omakase
Chef Gillon has a large collection of dried herbs from the Savoie region and grows fresh herbs in his kitchen
“In order to deliver JAG’s signature tailored omakase dining experience, we have looked to our farmers in Latour en Provence, Bruno Cayron and Chitose Agriculture Initiative for the gorgeous mushrooms, root vegetables, fresh greens, fruit and nuts, harvested with reduced carbon footprint. Christophe Valaz, my friend and a leading French herb specialist, has painstakingly handpicked JAG’s wild herbs from the picturesque alps of Savoie,” he adds.
When dining at Restaurant JAG, it’s worthy to note that when they prepare your degustation menu it’s based on a few things — the seasonality of the vegetables, availability of meats and your dietary inclinations. Apparently it is the only contemporary French dining omakase restaurant in Singapore to do this, and the menu can even be made completely vegetarian upon request.
See also: Little Farms opens a Bar + Grill that serves up hearty, healthy and delicious meals
A taste of the golden season
JAG’s La Balade du Végétal "Journey" Degustation Dinner Experience ($298++ per person) features an eight course menu which includes three cold starters, two hot starters, and three main courses, many of which are served tableside. A gorgeous seasonal cheese trolley, pre-dessert, dessert and mignardises completes the fine dining experience. You can also add on wine pairing at $248++ per guest.
The restaurant’s modus operandi is to start you off with a series of snacks, one of which is a plant-based elixir shot served in a vial infused with herbs from the Savoie region. The one I had contained an infusion of savoury chayote, a type of squash, designed to open up the palate.
Before starting on the appetisers, a warm loaf of freshly-baked sourdough bread is served with creamy butter from Normandy. Very swiftly, we move on to the cold appetisers, the first of which was a flavourful broth of leeks and cream, followed by a chilled bowl of Jerusalem artichoke with cream and caviar, and then a delightful pumpkin puree.
A daikon broth cleanses the palate, and then we move on to warmer appetisers using seafood. They include an umami-filled dish of fresh prawn paired with turnip and radish, and langoustine served with yacon, a type of daikon radish.
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Yacon and langoustine
For the mains, we enjoy a sumptuous array of protein-filled plates which includes a moreish frog dish presented with black truffles and garlic chips; a generous serving of hamachi with soft cabbage; and melt-in-your-mouth venison.
Bouleau, onions and venison
Like a symphony of flavours, aromas, textures and temperatures that really touch on all our senses, each dish was light and delicious showcasing the best that autumn has to offer.
We were truly impressed by the staff’s impeccable service and knowledge, and timeliness in serving the dishes. Somehow the 3-hour dinner felt a lot shorter and we really wished the night would have gone on longer. All these minute details put together are why this boutique restaurant clinched its first Michelin star just months after its opening!
Time for tipple
Founded in 2018 by Gillon and restaurateur Anant Tyagi, Restaurant JAG (which stands for Jeremy Anant Gastronomy), retained its single star status this year, announced during the Michelin awards in September. To celebrate this milestone JAG has partnered with veteran mixologist Ricky Paiva (of Manhattan Bar fame) to open a bar upstairs called Flow Bar.
From left: Anant Tyagi, Ricky Paiva, Jeremy Gillon
A perfect place for pre- or post-dinner cocktails, Flow Bar is a 23-seater dandy-looking space is decked in splashes of green and gold with nostalgic vinyl wallpaper (to reflect Paiva’s Los Angeles roots), teeming with comfy armchairs and roomy Chesterfield couches. To complement the West Coast vibe, Paiva has curated a hybrid of 90s legendary alternative punk, grunge and rock tracks by Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Stone Temple Pilots, and the like.
According to him, the concept of “flow” runs three ways: the flow of alcoholic spirits, going with the flow, and the synergistic flow between restaurant and bar.
Burnt Lemon Whiskey Sour
Manning the bar personally, Paiva has devised a spirited menu of cocktails (at $24++ each) into three pillars: Living Room, featuring classic cocktails; Garden, which includes original fruit and herb libations inspired by chef Gillon’s plant-based menu; and Playground, comprised of heavier concoctions for serious drinkers.
Flow Bar also carries an impressive collection of whiskies from American, Japanese, Irish and Scottish labels, including a cool curation of tequila, mescal, gin, vodka and rums from boutique distillers around the world.
The bar menu is prepared by the team at JAG using its exclusive Savoie herbs. Light bites include Artichoke Hummus with toasted brioche, a seasonal cheese board, charcuterie platter, Croque Monsieur, Façon Savoyard, Blue Crab Laksa, Curry Chicken Pita, Angus Striploin with pickled veg and polenta, and more.
Flow Bar welcomes walk-ins but reservations are preferred at [email protected] or [email protected]. It’s open Tues – Sat from 5pm – 10pm; closed on Sun, Mon and public holidays.
76 Duxton Road
Singapore 089 535
Tel: +65 3138 8477
Lunch: Friday & Saturday | 12pm – 2 pm
Dinner: Tuesday – Saturday | 6 pm – 10:30 pm
Closed on Sundays, Mondays and public holidays