The Place When the Rantee told me he made a reservation at Restaurant Andre, it dawned on me that the last time I was really excited to try a restaurant was relatively long ago. After all, a visit to try one of Singapore’s most famous and highly raved restaurant is arguably every foodie’s mecca, at least for us. Located in a narrow and conserved shophouse building along Bukit Pasoh, the Two-Michelin starred restaurant helmed by celebrated Chef Owner André Chiang is also on 2017 Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants (#2) and 2017 World’s 50 Best Restaurants (#14).
Our early arrival for lunch had us ushered into a comfy waiting area at level one, by one of the well-trained staff who was already all out to impress with her polished service. The mood was all set.
The restaurant is split into three levels – level one is mainly for big dining groups though I find that the lighting is fairly dim; level two is the traditional French fine dining setting where it is more formal; while level three is aptly coined the library where there is nice natural light, plenty of cook books to peruse and also where you get a sneak peek of Chef André’s attic work space.
The Food The lunch menu (S$198++/5 courses) is only available every Wednesday and Friday, while the dinner menu is only the 8-courses Octaphilosophy Set (S$350++/8 courses). The staff explained to us that there is a different theme on the menu every month, and this month’s focus are on ingredients less used in the restaurant.
We started with the amuse bouche before our first course arrived shortly. The Crushed Black Pepper Tart we had was a good starter – light yet spot on in terms of texture. The tart was prepared with milk from a local farm in Singapore, which is a relatively less known fact to many.
Next up was the Baguette, which looks like ordinary but with very unique flavours. The crispy and thin baguette has elements of century egg and spice cured lardo, which is really interesting in terms of taste profile.
The last appetiser of the trio was the Baked Onion Petal with venison tartar and caramelised onion.
On to mains, I love the diverse selection of the ingredients. We were first treated to the Burnt Baby Zucchini with Wild Flower with Lobster Tartine, a beautiful combination with an exceedingly fresh lobster flavour.
The Pan-Roast Kohlrabi with Herring, Potato and Horseradish Emulsion sounds like a random combination which turned out well. I enjoyed the pan-roasted vegetable, which is a stark contrast to the slightly raw and fresh flavour of the herring.
The next course, the Wellington 1888 is chef’s take on turkey meat. I can’t say I enjoyed this very much as I am no big fan of turkey, but it was definitely one of the more delicious turkey meat I have had.
Our favourite dish in this whole beautiful gastronomic journey is this dish – Degustation of Corn with 20 days Dry Aged Challans Duck. Challans Duck is a breed of French duck, often regarded as one of the most tender duck breed. Chef wanted to create a dish high in protein here, and who would have thought that the tender duck meat would go so well with corn? The overall flavour of this dish is amazing, with a subtle hint of smokiness as we savoured the duck meat bit by bit.
Expect nothing less for desserts, which came in a trio for us. The Jewish Plum Pickles with Feijoa Sorbet and Nata De Coco and Verbena Marshmallow resembles a huge mushroom ingeniously disguised with the interesting ingredients. Feijoa is a type of plant which I have never encountered before, yet its sorbet was strangely refreshing.
The Fresh and Cured Apricot with Wood Sorrel Fromage Blanc and Wheatgrass Granite is not my favourite combination to say the least.
Finally, it was with a heavy heart that we arrived at the last part of our meal. The Petits Four presented has a very interesting locally inspired flavours. Think Root beer lollipop dipped in vanillaice cream, Financier with roasted barley and Macaron with kaya toast cream. Every flavour was delicious yet so familiar to us at the same time, which is probably the best way a Chef could pay homage to our local food heritage.
As we were exiting the restaurant, we got on to the elevator at Level 3 with Chef Andre. He wished we had an enjoyable lunch, but seriously though, the pleasure was ours.
Rants Not your everyday restaurant at the price tag.
Will I Return Again? We left Restaurant André feeling impressed. The food was well executed with strong and unique presentation to each course. Service was polished yet attentive, the latter being a trait not present in most restaurants, even the Michelin-starred. The price is expensive even by Singapore’s standards, and so were our expectations; which were happily met at the end of it all. Is this the best restaurant in Singapore? It is definitely amongst the top, that’s for sure. And perhaps, even better than the various other best restaurants Restaurant Andre shared accolades with. And despite the price, I am sure to say, I will return again; without a doubt.
Taste bud: 4.5/5
Hole in the pocket: 5/5
Overall Experience: 4.5/5
41 Bukit Pasoh Road
Tel: +65 6534 8880
Lunch: Wednesday & Friday only (12pm to 3pm)
Dinner: Tuesday – Saturday (7pm to 11pm)
Closed on Mondays and alternate Sundays
Ranted by The Ranter