Lifestyle

Basilico and Jaan are so in season

These two Singapore restaurants are highlighting seasonal produce in creative and delicious ways
 

Mosaico d'Estate con Balsamico e Tartufo, with grilled Treviso radicchio, wild asparagus, heirloom carrots, rainbow chard and Norcia black truffle. 

 

Basilico

The Regent Singapore’s executive chef, Angelo Ciccone, may have lived in Singapore for 11 years, but his south-eastern Italian roots are enduring. It’s no surprise that Basilico, and even the hotel’s Manhattan Bar – which shares some of the restaurant’s produce – have become known for heralding the Italian seasons in their menus.

For late spring: friarielli salad with red mullet roe, artichoke risotto, radicchio and Gorgonzola salad, and roasted white peppers with mint and almond.  

Says Ciccone: “We embrace the seasonality of the produce to create the most authentic Italian fare, using vegetables grown organically in their natural environment and seasons. Once you have the best and right ingredients of the seasons, minimal cooking is required to bring out the essence of the food.” 

 

Photography Veronica Tay Art Direction Shan

 

He avoids vegetables that are available year-round, noting that these are often the result of “inorganic farming methods” which may compromise on taste and texture.

A whiff of his divine radicchio tardive Treviso, quickly chargrilled and baked with thyme, garlic, shallot, balsamic vinegar and orange zest, is all the proof you need to let his philosophy take root.

 

Jaan 

 

Violin courgette, typically served with Alaskan langoustine (not shown).

At the newly renamed Jaan by Kirk Westaway, it’s no surprise to find ingredients from Devon, Chef Westaway’s home county. His championing of modern British dining has resulted in a menu that draws on the English seasons, featuring vegetables that thrive in England and Europe – violin courgette, English rhubarb and white asparagus among them. 

Westaway says: “We have a strong working relationship with suppliers in Singapore that have direct contact with farmers’ markets, which enables me to have up-to-the-minute updates and new ingredients on the market around the clock.” 

From his menu, which is “flooded with sweet organic vegetables”, Westaway finds it hard to single out any ingredient, but finally sticks to his English roots. “At Jaan, every diner begins with a cup of warm roasted potato soup. Comforting yet delicate, this is a reinvented classic of the loved British leek and potato soup.” 

In the Alaskan Langoustine with Violin Courgette, the langoustine is gently poached in vegetable bouillon with coriander seeds, star anise, orange zest, peppercorns, cumin seeds and dried fruits. A blanched violin courgette from Italy, sweet red pepper chutney and herb salad with locally sourced organic flowers sit atop a puree of Amalfi lemon. 

The slender summer courgette is sweeter than the usual varieties, with a smooth skin and delicate, nutty, artichoke-like flavour.

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This story was first published on Her World's July 2019 issue.

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