Brand, Ego or Both – Restaurant Andre Singapore
41 Bukit Pasoh Rd,, Singapore
Chef: Andre Chiang
Awards: #3 (Asia’s Best 50 Restaurants), #32 (Worlds Best 50 Restaurants)
Its been a few years since last Mookie and her crew dined at Restaurant Andre. What stuck in the mind was the cute sheep standing beside the table for Mookie to sit her handbag on and the fact that nearly every sentence uttered by the wait staff included the words “Chef Andre”. Andre himself had wished us a pleasant evening and seemed quite humble. Andre’s wife runs the floor and Pookie postulated that she might well be the head priestess of the cult – championing the repetitive chanting of his name throughout the service. With this in mind our guest is warned in advance that “the cult of Chef Andre can be a little over the top, but the food is really very good” as we approach the address with its signature olive tree at the front.
Chef Andre Chiang worked in france in the kitchens of restaurants such as three Michelin star restaurant Le Jardin des Sens, as well as La Maison Troisgros, L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon and Restaurant Pierre Gagnaire. In 2008 he opened Jaan par André at the Swissôtel The Stamford in Singapore. In 2010 Chiang opened Restaurant André at its current location. He touts his Octaphilosophy which hasnt changed between visits. To be honest we probably didnt need to be hear it the 2nd time around (given its written on a card sitting on the table anyway) given we were asked if we had visited before. Chiang now visits each table – a nice touch – and is open to explaining the techniques used in the preparation of the courses.
The food is impeccable. The Foodie Mookie crew have to admit that Chiang has prodigious talent. The highlight dish was a corn ensemble served in closed rock-like bowl (apparently design by Chiang) with a globule of sweetcorn puree in a vegetable gelatin skin that burst in the mouth upon consumption. Other highlights dishes included the snacks, the squid, seaweed and potato, and the beef roasted in liquorice root and coffee bean.
Definitely a great dining experience the first time. Still great food the second time. Honourable mention must got to Chiang’s lady wife who managed the floor superbly and immediately went into damage control when our rather vociferous guest found it difficult to swallow a dish with raw sea-urchin roe. She then proceeded to personally serve all further items to ensure our guest left with with good memories. Restaurant Andre remains a fantastic recommended visit for friends of the Foodie Mookie crew and we look forward to trying Chiang’s new restaurant “Raw” in Taipei some time soon.