I like Andre. No wait, I love Andre. The meal that I had at Andre was nothing short of being spectacular. The reality is true there was only one dish here that did not tickle my taste buds, the rest well, blew me off. It’s not so the bursting of flavours of each dish, rather, the natural progression of Chef Andre Chiang’s Octaphilosphy menu as a whole that truly brings something simple, food, to a whole new level. It’s truly an experience.
There is no menu, per se, at Andre and no choices are available – you do have to inform the staff of any allergies or dislikes if any and the kitchen would gladly replace that particular with an alternative.
Without further ado, let’s welcome the stars of the evening.
The meal started off with freshly baked, crusty bread.
We were seated no less than 5 minutes before our amuse bouche arrived.
Aptly named the Chicken Skin Masala, it was in essence deep fried, paper-thin, spiced chicken skin. It’s definitely not one to indulge in on a daily basis, but it was a treat to have once in a while.
Together with the our the chicken skin masala was our second amuse bouche. This, came in the form of a platter of three very different treats.
My favourite definitely had to be the onion truffle tart (pictured far right), which were was flavourful. You know how one gets addicted to potato chips? I don’t. But I could easily get addicted to these tarts!
Other items on the platter included a popcorn vanilla (pictured middle).
First off on Chef Andre’s Octaphilosphy menu was PURE.
Pure is an apt description for the dish. When you think purity, you think being natural; And that is exactly what the dish is all about. The dish was served without any seasoning whatsoever. It allowed for the natural flavours of each element in the dish to shine through.
Wrapped within a thinly sliced scallop is a Japanese chive served in a light purple cauliflower consommé. The dish came across as really light and refreshing and, really, who can fault the alluring colours of the dish?
Next up in the menu is SALT.
Just as with PURE, no seasoning is used in this dish. Herein begs the question, where where does the salt come from.
Now, this is rather interesting - In this dish, you get a plump fresh oyster with flavours reminding you of the sea, literally so. An oyster is taken from its shell before wrapping it in seaweed, after which it a jelly created from its natural sea water, is placed back over the oyster.
The wait staff described this as, “taking the oyster from and putting it back into the sea.”
In ARTISAN, a piece of “Heritage Artisan Kyoto” aubergine coated with smoked eggplant crème anglaise and topped with free farmed caviar. Let’s just say, aubergine never tasted better.
P.s. I took note of the description as described by the wait staff. For your information, the menu only states the 8 elements of Chef Andre’s Octaphilosphy and mentions no details of the individual dishes.
On a side note, the plates that are used here for this dish were hand-sculpted by Chef Andre himself – No two plates are alike.
Next in line is SOUTH.
Why South, we wondered. South here, refers to the influence of the South of France had on Chef Andre where he once worked. Think, fresh seafood, light flavours, colours and acidity.
Pictured above is the first dish in SOUTH, a persimmon and tomato salad that is garnished with Japanese seaweed and the second, a chilled langoustine risotto (pictured below).
I really liked the chilled langoustine risotto. Whether or not this dish proved to be the best selection on Chef Andre’s part as an ode to the South of France, I was not sure. But one thing was, I love the harmony of flavours that were presented on this plate. Perfect, al dente risotto, with generous servings of the langoustine.
We have next a play on TEXTURE. This time, the focus is on Arborio rice and Japanese Surume squid.
I took a look at the dish and the wait staff asked, “Do you know which element on the plate is the rice, and which is the squid?” That had me thinking. A play on textures indeed! The arborio rice, commonly used for risotto, was in fact used in the making of the crackers with squid ink mixed in, while the risotto-looking dish is in fact, squid chopped up!
Recall that I mentioned that only one dish was, perhaps, less inspirational to me? Well, that dish had to be UNIQUE.
Unique here refers to the combination of 3 very unique ingredients to create one harmonious dish. Well, the concept is great, the execution was excellent, but I’m not sure if I would want to have a second serving of this, it’s perhaps, somewhat less of a memory to have.
Layered on sautéed girolles and confit of silver onions were a black bone chicken egg and iberico jabugo.
Before you go, but there’s nothing unique about the egg. But there is! The egg not only comes from that of a black chicken, the egg was baked at exactly 56 degrees surrounded by rock salt. (Again, as described by the wait staff.)
Now MEMORY. this is not only an all time favourite of the chef, it is my favourite of the meal too!
Looks can be deceptive, no? What looked so simple was in fact, a burst of flavours. Foie gras jelly topped with black truffle coulis.
I liked how the wait staff described this dish. “We started you in the sea and now to finish on land with a dish comprising of different terroirs of the world.”
In TERRIOR, an excellent piece of OMI Beef, from Japan, served with purees of taraggon and of petit pois with garlic soil on the side.
The beef was oh-my-god, melt-in-your-mouth tender and it could easily have been the favourite course in this menu, if not for the excellent combination of foie gras and truffle coulis in MEMORY.
Unfortunately, dessert was a bit of a let down. CHOCOLATE was good, but again, not memorable.
Elements of the dessert include a coffee and chocolate sponge (they both go so well together, don’t they?), spiced chocolate mousse, warm vintage chocolate sphere, tonka bean ice cream and chocolate soil.
If Singapore had a Michelin Guide for Restaurants, Chef Andre would easily live up to being a 3 Michelin star restaurant. And it’s not just for the excellent food, the warm dinner service proves to be a winner too.
Dinner is not cheap at S$288++ per person but oh-so-worth-it. I’m pretty sure lunch is a little more affordable, so if I am going back to Andre again, lunch may well be my choice.
Resturant Andre by Andre Chiang
41 Bukit Pasoh Road