French degustation menus along Duxton Road
Restaurant JAG is the brainchild of Michelin Star Chef Jeremy Gillon and restauranteur Anant Tyagi, who met during their stints at ME@OUE Singapore. In a cosy shophouse along Duxton Road, the duo present a charming French fine dining experience that will surely catch the eye of serious foodies soon.
The hype: Two maestros in the fine dining scene come together for an entirely new venture—Restaurant JAG is the brainchild of Michelin Star Chef Jeremy Gillon and restauranteur Anant Tyagi, who met during their stints at ME@OUE Singapore. In a cosy shophouse along Duxton Road, the duo present a charming French fine dining experience that will surely catch the eye of serious foodies.
The vibe: Step through the doors and you’re whisked instantly away from the Duxton environment, into a space that feels genuinely European. Restaurant JAG’s quiet first floor seats 25, with the airy, open kitchen area occupying the rest of the room. Against custom wood and stonework, have an intimate meal with loved ones; or take your conversations upstairs to the casual-chic lounge and bar, which also gives way to a fun top-down view of the kitchen.
The food: While there are a few a la carte options available, the best way to experience the restaurant are the curated menus for lunch and dinner—for lunch, three courses for $58 or five courses for $98; and personalised seven-course and 10-course degustation selections for dinner.
After his time at ME@OUE, the now-closed Audace and most prominently the one-Michelin-starred L’Epicurien in the French Alps, Chef Gillon refocuses back on his French roots with a French herb-driven menu of exquisite eats.
For starters, go for the Cauliflower dish, which features shredded cauliflower beautifully reassembled in the shape of the original vegetable, a milky smoked cream on the side to accent the sweet tartness of the cauliflower. That, or the Brittany Foie Gras ($32 a la carte). Plating aside, there is art in every bite, from the fragrant smoked eel down to the salty crunch of the sprinkled buckwheat. A scoop of sorrel sorbet (the herb itself imported from Fance) helps soften the strong taste of the foie gras.
If you’re tempted to just order a steak, try Chef Gillon’s seafood dishes instead—the tender Spanish Octopus with all its woody flavours is only boldened by the heavy musk of bonito flakes; one of many ways he discreetly inserts a Japanese-inspired touch. The Monkfish too is good, with a tasty slice of ravioli atop variations of beetroot done five ways. For the daring, there’s no better place to try Chef Gillon’s signature: Beef Heart, served with a variation of Daikon, Aubepine and beef jus—an intimidating dish of surprisingly firm textures, and worth it just for the bragging rights.
Non-sweet tooths will appreciate the citrus-centric selection of desserts here, due in part to Chef Gillon’s obsession with collecting foreign herbs and fruits. There’s a refreshing Pine Sorbet with lemon gelee; and a White Chocolate Ganache that comes with a slap of blood orange sorbet. Even the sinfully decadent Dark Chocolate Ganache ($20)—with truffle ice cream, Alba white truffle, cocoa nibs and button mushroom—isn’t too heavy to close the meal; especially after you’ve swallowed beef heart.
The drinks: Though the bar only opens at 3pm, it’s worth a stop by for how aesthetically pleasing the space is. There you can sip on classic cocktails—Negronis, Old Fashioneds, Whiskey Sours and the like—price affordably at $18; or try JAG’s two specialty cocktails The Healer and The Deceiver. As with the restaurant’s food menu, the beverage list too incorporates the 40 indigenous herbs flown in from France. The Deceiver ($18), for example, comprises minty hyssop-infused rum with St. Germain liqueur and peychaud bitters along with lime juice and egg white.
There’s also a formidable selection of whiskeys, gin, liqueurs and wines, as well as some Japanese whiskeys and sakes that cater to the throngs of Japanese businessmen who work in the area.
Why you’ll be back: It’s always great to see a chef step out on his own, and Restaurant JAG is an artfully executed, sophisticated debut for Chef Gillon. Beyond the refined flavours, it’s the team’s warm hospitality (and genuine enthusiasm for something as peripheral as herbs) that will draw you back—something you don’t always find in a fine dining French restaurant.