One-Michelin-starred contemporary French restaurant JAG has moved into a roomier space on the second floor of STPI Robertson Quay. The restaurant, well-known for its vegetable-forward cuisine, now comfortably seats 40 in a dining room fittingly filled with greenery, high raftered ceilings and a number of bespoke vegetable-focused artworks.
Swathed in natural light streaming through the arched French-style windows and overlooking the historic river from its perch within a restored 19th-century warehouse, the restaurant seeks to continue dishing out the vegetable-centric gastronomy that earned it a Michelin star within its first year of opening, back when it was a cosier 16-seater along Duxton Road. It opened in 2018.
The prestigious accolade was maintained by Restaurant JAG – initials signifying the partnership between chef Jeremy Gillon and restaurateur Anant Tiyagi – for the four years after that.
Now that they’ve moved into spacious digs, they’ve got a new challenge – figuring out what to do with all that real estate. Folding doors can partition the open-concept dining room to create a private space for 16, with an alternative option to set aside the handmade teak tables and Indonesian rattan chairs for a standing party of 60.
On the culinary front, the restaurant’s previous focus on using herbs from the French Alps, which are foraged by a friend of chef Gillion, have been dialed down. Ethically-sourced produce, especially vegetables, harvested at peak ripeness remains the centre of attention, complemented by matching proteins of the day from hand-picked suppliers. About 90% of the vegetables are sourced from France.
The restaurant’s signature rotating menu, which they dub La Balade du Vegetal – or The Vegetable Journey – begins with fall. The meal opens with a cart-like trolley that displays autumnal produce from France and Italy including rutabaga, parsnip, pumpkin, Jerusalem artichoke, chestnut, kohlrabi and celeriac. The vegetables are presented in 17 different forms, starting from the canapes, bread basket and appetisers, all the way through to the main course, cheese trolley and desserts to finish.
They will be supplemented with meats and seafood from suppliers in Wales, New Zealand and France, selected in equal part for their fine provenance and like-mindedness in Restaurant JAG’s vision of sustainability and ethical animal husbandry.
A returning highlight from the previous autumn menu is the guest-favourite Lentil course, a delicate pearl of lentil puree encased in oregano jelly and served atop a lentil tuile (French wafer biscuit).
There is also a salad of Jerusalem artichoke done five ways – raw, pickled with pine vinegar and oil, blended into a smooth puree with butter, braised and glazed with sapin and muscovado, and finally a light crispy tuile – paired with blue lobster, drops of sapin oil and a dash of Jerusalem powder uplifted with sunflower and linseed.
Both dinner and lunch seatings are available at the newly reopened Restaurant JAG – which is good news, since it’ll probably be easier to get a seat now. Fingers crossed.
#02-02, 41 Robertson Quay. www.restaurantjag.com