Singapore, December 2015 – Both Mr. King and I were blown away by Restaurant ANDRE (Asia’s Best Restaurants 2016- #3, Singapore’s #1 Restaurant and Two Michelin stars, July 2016) in Singapore, and agreed that it was one of our most memorable culinary experiences. Chef André’s creations taste as good as they look, and each dish is a conversation piece.
Since 2011, Restaurant ANDRE has been a regular (#32 in 2016) on the San Pellegrino’s World’s 50 Best Restaurants list, and often ranked in the top 5 on Asia’s 50 Best Restaurant list.
Chef André Chiang’s philosophy of his gastronomy is defined by the term, “octaphilosophy” that is made up of these 8 elements – Unique, Texture, Memory, Pure, Terroir, Salt, South, and Artisan.
Our gastronomic journey started with a series of Snackings:
Kumamoto oyster & abalone on seaweed chip – the seascape alone was breath-taking. Dive in!
3 chips – the crispy delights were made from potato skin, onion and root vegetables.
Pork floss with enoki mushrooms – situated on a wooden stub, it looked more like a plant growing in a forest.
Potato with tomato purée – the edible soil, made from chocolate and garlic, is one of Chef André’s signature creations.
Fish and chips – unlike the traditional fish and chips, the bite-size fishes came complete with head and tail, and were garnished with an apple vinegar powder.
Shrimp on charcoal churros – this was a perfect balance with the addition of a red bell pepper purée.
Now for the octaphilosophy –
1st : Unique
grilled sweet corn, almond cream with vanilla oil, topped with horseradish shavings – this dish certainly teased our palettes from spicy to savory to sweet.
cucumber, sea urchin garnished with earl grey beads – a surprisingly simple, refreshing and delicious course which had no seasoning.
squid pasta in kale sauce, topped with roasted grains – ironically, contrary to the theme, no salt was used in this dish, which leveraged on the flavors from the sea.
smoked eels from Netherlands, aubergine from Kyoto, sheep curd from France – this dish pays homage to the producers – farmers & fishermen. I loved the artistic aesthetic…Lotus is Chef André’s favorite flower.
Japanese Aji horse mackerel, potatoes, mushroom chips – a salute to Chef André’s experience in the South of France.
Wild mushroom (variety of mushrooms including enoki, king oyster) risotto with white truffle, egg infused with chicken reduction – this was equivalent to a tromph-l’oeil, a trick of the eye! A pungent cheese that resembled and smelled like white truffle was shaved on top of the risotto, and risotto was replaced by the lighter risoni pasta. This visual effect reminded me of Jackson Pollock’s abstract painting at MOMA NY.
Chef André told us, ”Since it was white truffle season….he thought it fitting to add a white truffle shaving but with an André twist!”
Foie gras with brown truffles – Chef André created this at a Michelin 3-star restaurant in 1997. For his patrons, he designed a “memory” spoon to accompany this wonderfully rich concoction.
Grilled lamb, leek and spinach, grilled papaya – the Welsh lamb, an unusual choice was elegant and tender.
Lastly, for the finale, desserts!
We began with two Pre-Desserts – Green tea ice cream with green peas and Chizo leaves followed by a Sorbet with sliced grapes. Both cleansed our palettes and were refreshing.
The star dessert came in the form of a DYI Cake – we were served flour, chocolate, butter, sugar cubes, eggs, small pitcher of milk. One of Chef André’s childhood favorites was raw cookie dough, and this was his way of incorporating his beloved foods into the menu.
There was more than meets the eye! Another tromph-l’oeil! Eggs were in fact, custard. Flour was actually milk powder, and milk was made of rice. Sugar cubes were marshmallows and butter were corn ice cream! Mix them all up et voilà, our very own raw cookie dough!
Finally, the Petits Fours – a medley of crispy light churros, earl grey crystals, grape jelly, hazelnut madeleines, Chef André’s version of Dr. Pepper (with home made soda) and his very own Singapore Toast.
According to Chef André, “the Singapore Toast was made in exactly the same way as traditional kaya toast….but shaped into a macaroon. So if you were to close your eyes and eat one, it should taste like kaya toast!” Kaya toast is Singapore’s national dish –coconut jam & butter prepared on toast, served throughout the day at local kopitiams (cafés).
The grape jelly was made to resemble pine frost.
The evening was very entertaining and filled with surprises, and I must mention their most impressive tea selection. I opted for a floral tea by the name of Blue Butterfly. It was indeed blue! When the tea was poured into a cup with a slice of lemon, it changed into a gorgeous lavender. Another unexpected way that ANDRE amused us!
Lastly, the service was excellent, with a team of servers who were friendly and very much in tune with the chef’s philosophy.
Restaurant ANDRE – 41 Bukit Pasoh Road, Singapore 089855. Tel: +65 6534 8880
For my lunch experience at Restaurant ANDRE, please read Lunch @ Restaurant ANDRE
All photos were taken by Mrs. King.