Singapore, October 2013 – Taiwanese Chef André Chiang’s philosophy of his gastronomy is defined by the term, “octaphilosophy” – Unique, Texture, Memory, Pure, Terroir, Salt, South, and Artisan. His 30-seat restaurant is situated inside a 19th century terrace house in Singapore. My two friends and I were almost lost, because this place was so discrete. No nameplate, no signage was to be found on its white facade.
Once inside the house, it was bustling with diners and servers. There was no empty table in sight. Restaurant André has been ranked #3 of the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurant 2016 (Restaurant magazine’s annual list which is widely followed by food industry as well as the foodies). Other accolades include: #32 of the World’s 50 Best Restaurant 2016 and Two Michelin stars, July 2016) No wonder, it is so difficult to get a reservation.
We had the degustation menu of 6 courses.
Snacking – Porchini Mushroom Chips with a chocolate flavor “dip,” which resembled dirt, but was tasty.
“Airy” Gnocchi, Saint Jacques Crème Anglaise – each gnocchi was stuffed with Saint Jacques (French scallops) topped with caviar and accompanied by mushroom slices, Holland carrots and “les legumes de moment” (seasonal vegetables). I was already impressed by the presentation alone. It was a piece of art!
Oven Roasted Mediterranean Fish, Lobster Hash and Horseradish Espuma with Caramelized Chestnut “Buerre Noisette” – This dish was topped with a very light and fluffy sea water foam. It looked like Venus was about to be born, but instead I dug in and found the generous portion of monkfish and lobster hiding below the foam.
Perigold Black Truffle Coulis, Warm Foie Gras Jelly, Fleur de Sel & Japanese Chive – Exquisite and very aromatic!
Kurobuta Pork Cheek and Caramelized Onion, Confit New Potatoes, Egg Yolk Marmalade and Spring Onion – Perhaps it is because I am not too fond of pork, so this dish was nice, yet not outstanding.
Dish de jour – or Palate Cleanser was a slice of mango topped with sweetened granny apples & pesto leaves on a skewer. Quite creative and refreshing!
Warabi Mochi with Lemongrass Soup, Japanese Pear “Nashi”, Sorrel Sorbet – Pretty!
Each course was a delight on its own, but my favorite dishes were: Warm Foie Gras Jelly with Perigold Black Truffle Coulis (his signature dish) and Airy Gnocchi with Saint Jacques Crème Anglaise.
After desserts, the very tall Chef André (I heard that he was a model some years back) visited our table for a brief chat.
We asked him on his choice of dishes. His response was that he uses whatever fresh produce or seafood he receives from his suppliers. Then he decides how to prepare them. So the menu could differ from day to day.
Before he departed, he autographed our menus for us, and personalized it with a different message on each menu. Nice touch!
His biography is currently available in Chinese only. The English and French versions will be released in the coming months.
More about Restaurant André or André Chiang, please visit http://restaurantandre.com
All photos were taken by Mrs. King.