Home > Food & Drink > Review: Restaurant Jag and Flow Bar transform the humble vegetable into a sophisticated star
Review: Restaurant Jag and Flow Bar transform the humble vegetable into a sophisticated star

When I was young, my father would take us to a Chinese restaurant where he would choose a fish from the tank. We would sit down, and a server appears at our table with a bag. She opens it, my father would peer in, and there was the fish he chose, still flopping for dear life. The fish shows up later again, this time lifeless, steamed, lying in soy sauce.

It’s a similar (and more humane) situation at Restaurant Jag, which trots out their vegetables for your approval. Once you’re seated at the one Michelin-starred French restaurant, a server arrives with a wooden box brimming with an assortment of autumnal plants: pumpkin, mushrooms, cabbage, artichoke, pears. Most of them are from France, some are from Japan and a few from Malaysia, all destined for your plate.

restaurant jag flow bar vegetables
(Image credit: Restaurant Jag)

For an eight-course dinner menu that costs S$298+, it’s quite bold of Jag to put plants on the pedestal. Other fine dining restaurants would try to impress with caviar or full blood wagyu, but chef Jeremy Gillon would rather brag about his greens.

He has good reason to. An amuse bouche of verbena and chayote, neatly wrapped in a leaf and served with a shot of juiced spinach, is delicately crunchy and herbaceous. Galangal, leek, and hyssop soup tastes like an otherworldly French onion broth. A stock of three kinds of radishes is fortified with meadowsweet essential oil and drizzled ceremoniously over braised turnip. It’s done with such grace and delivers a deeply umami, dashi-like experience.

(Image credit: Restaurant Jag)

When meat does show up, they’re used as accents. Red Argentinian prawn, cooked so gently that it’s virtually raw, offers a sweet, briny nudge against pickled kohlrabi and lemon balm. Foie gras, smeared between biscuits, brings a crunchy funk to a luscious pumpkin sorbet with elderberry.

A dish of sweetbread with mushrooms, birch, and petals of black truffles looks deceptively simple, but is incredibly complex and earthy. Pigeon, glazed with a sauce that recalls hoisin, is paired with hawthorn and salsify, a flowering plant with edible roots. The bird is juicy if slightly tough, but the accompanying polenta makes it delightfully smooth and creamy.

Thyme cocktail: Smokey Monkey Shoulder, lemon thyme, lime, and seltzer (Image credit: Flow Bar)

Flexing their green thumbs as well are the bartenders upstairs at the new Flow Bar. Run by Ricky Paiva, the former Manhattan bartender aims to create a “synergy between Jag and Flow” by incorporating fruits, herbs, and spices in his drinks.

His vision is obvious in the Thyme cocktail, an aromatic and peaty number reminiscent of a smoked lemon tart. Pimm(p’d) Up is an English garden during summer, if the Brits planted yellow watermelon. Cinnamon Girl takes on another season, this time Christmas, with dark spice, apple, and caramel. The highlight, however, was the sloe gin-based Strawberry: a tart, gently sweet and bitter refresher that’s drinkable any time of the day.

Chef Jeremy Gillon (Image credit: Restaurant Jag)

Another Chinese cuisine analogy: many of the herbs that appears on the menu are used in France for therapeutic purposes, much like traditional Chinese medicine. They’re typically ingested through tinctures, so when the sommelier at Jag offers you herbal spirits to end the evening, it feels fitting.

A digestif infused with hyssop exhibits a floral woodiness that’s very much like sandalwood, while sapinette offers notes of fresh pine. They both conjure images of an evergreen forest, lush after an autumnal rain, very much like the meal at Jag.

Restaurant Jag and Flow Bar is located at 76 Duxton Road, Singapore 089535.
Lunch: 12pm to 2pm, Fridays and Saturdays

Dinner: 6pm to 10.30pm, Tuesdays to Saturdays
Reservations, takeaways, and delivery inquiries can be made at +65 3138 8477.

Jethro Kang
Jethro enjoys wine, biking, and climbing, and he's terrible at all three. In between them, he drinks commercial lagers and eats dumplings.
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