May 9 2014

Restaurant Andre

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Restaurant Andre is one of the best restaurants in the world (it has been in the St Pellegrino awards top 50 restaurants in the world list for a few years, now at number 37) and is also recognised by St Pellegrino awards as the best restaurant in Singapore. I was going to Singapore on a mini holiday and I naturally wanted tocome here and try their food. Getting a reservation was not easy. I tried to get in touch with Restaurant Andre a month before we were there and it was already full and I could not get a table for lunch or dinner. Luckily my friend Mark helped out and used his connections and got me a table for lunch on the 9th May.

 

I had been to Waku Ghin (another top 50 restaurant in the world) the night before for dinner so I always planned to have lunch in Restaurant Andre as my boyfriend complains if he gets too many tasting menus for dinner, as he feels super full, but I do think it was a bit of a mistake as the waiters were telling us that their dinner is a 20 course extravaganza and dishes flow one after the other and you can really see the full extent of culinary skill there. Our lunch menu was smaller and featured 7 dishes.

 

‘Octaphilosophy’ is the well-considered approach to cooking that is undertaken by Restaurant Andre’s main Taiwan born chef - André Chiang. Octaphilosophy is his way of describing the key characteristics of his gastronomy – namely Unique, Texture, Memory, Pure, Terroir, Salt, South, and Artisan. Through his dishes Chiang explores the role these characteristics play in his food, and in gastronomy as a whole. He tries to make simple dishes, with none containing more than a handful of ingredients in order not to drown each other out. Restaurant Andre serves Southern French nouvelle cuisine using ingredients from small, artisanal producers.  André Chiang is now the Chef-patron and Johnny Jiang is the executive chef and there the whole time.

 

Jet-lagged I got up late on the 9th, got dressed and my boyfriend and I headed to Restaurant Andre. The restaurant is located in a 19th-century terraced-house. It was not too easy to find it, but also not difficult. You could either sit downstairs (where the kitchen was located) or upstairs and we sat upstairs by a nice window table. Also after our meal we got a chance to visit the kitchen which was very modern, but not too big. The décor is in pastel colours and very sophisticated, does feel French. The waiters are professional and maybe not as friendly as in Waku Ghin or Noma, but good at their job. I was also very impressed with their tea cups, I thought they were extremely stylish (I wish I had taken a picture) and as I was told by the waiters it was actually chef Andre that designed them. Impressive.

 

Our first dish from the 7 course menu (which by the way I thought was great value for money, as altogether with a bottle of champagne, tea and water we paid around £180 for 2 people) was called “snacking”. It was like a small little sandwich but both sides where the bread should be were made with the sort of egg white biscuit, I cant remember what exactly but when you looked up close it did not look like bread, was actually quite interesting, but when you ate this “snacking” it did taste like a very delicious sandwich.

 

The next course was “ocean trout confit in citrus oil, quail egg with lava salt and granny Smith, white asparagus, truffle puree and fromage blanc”. Beautiful dish, the trout was so bring in colour and stood out and was a great quality piece of fish. The most notable thing about Restaurant Andre for me was how great the ingredients were and how well they were cooked. “Roasted heirloom purple carrot, white balsamic pickled cevenne onion, goats cheese and toasted hazelnuts” followed and I do have a weakness for unusual coloured vegetables and it was sort of a not too complicated dish, but the vegetables were great and Restaurant Andre made this vegetable dish a great one.

 

Next our first larger course came, “seafood on arrival, ragout of spring vegetables, green pea and mint broth” and here for the seafood they used a pan fried fish. Once again great ingredients and well cooked. The next dish was my favourite though – “pan seared poulet de bresse, textures of barley, spelt and wild rice, nashi pear and sumo miso glaze”. This was one of the best chicken dishes I have had. The waiters were telling us that the chicken comes from a small producer in France and how it has been cooked in the pressure cooker to retain its moisture. So whatever they did to the chicken, it tasted amazing, succulent, moist and full of flavor. I was not too keen on eating the pear with it as I just found it a bit strange to have this with the chicken, but loved the rest of the dish.

 

I enjoyed my palette cleanser so much that I forgot to take a picture of it – you can see the empty plate picture which I did take a picture of and which had the palette cleanser. Our dessert was “charcoal burnt eucalyptus meringue, lemon marshmallow sorbet, freeze dried pomelo pebbles” and it was a good not a great dessert.

 

So why am I givingRestaurant Andre only 4Ms? I thought the food was very good, well cooked, good ingredients, served by experienced waiters, but the thing is – I was in Singapore, Asia, and having French food is the thing that did not excite me. It is my fault at the end of the day – I booked it knowing it would be French food, but I did expect some maybe Asian fusion, and it did have some (nashi pear) but I wish it had more. I can see if you live in Singapore and have Asian food the whole time you will love coming here and having something different, but for me that sees French food everywhere in London, it was just a bit of a let down. I know thought it is silly to criticise a restaurant for the food they serve, but this is just how I fell. Also as I had lunch and not dinner I don't feel like I saw the true skill of Chef Andre, and had I seen the 20 course extravaganza maybe I could give this restaurant a higher rating. I also preferred Waku Ghin in Singapore. Having said this, I had a very enjoyable lunch. 

 

Date: 09/ 05/ 14

Location: Singapore

Price for 2 people with a glass of champagne and including 10% service charge: SGD 380.17 (around £180)

Maija rated: 

4.00

Location: 

Restaurant Andre
41 Bukit Pasoh Road 089855
Singapore
Singapore
SG
Restaurant Andre Reviewed by Hungry Bee Maija on . Rating: 4