***This is part 9 of my “Big Fat Indian Wedding” trip report detailing a recent trip to Singapore and India***
2. United Global First Lounge at SFO
3. Singapore Airlines Krisflyer Lounge at SFO
4. Singapore Airlines First Class San Francisco to Seoul
5. Singapore Airlines First Class Seoul to Singapore
6. Conrad Singapore
7. Eating Singapore Part 1 – Flowers, Supertrees, and a River Safari
8. Eating Singapore Part 2 – Hawker Stands, Chili Crab, and Kouign Amanns
9. Dinner At Singapore’s Best Restaurant, Restaurant Andre
10. Premier Lounge at SIN, SilkAir Economy Class to Hyderabad
11. Part Hyatt Hyderabad
12. Exploring Hyderabad
13. Etihad Airways Business Class Hyderabad to Abu Dhabi
14. Etihad Premium Lounge at AUH
15. Etihad Airways (Jet Airways Config “Jetihad”) First Class Abu Dhabi to San Francisco
This was far and way the most inventive meal we’ve ever had.
As I’ve mentioned before, we’re fans of the annual World’s 50 Best Restaurants list, even though we’re fully aware that you need to take these types of lists with a grain of salt. We try to fit in a fine dining experience into each one of our trips, and often times it will come from that list. Most recently, we enjoyed a spectacular 23-course lunch at the current #1 restaurant, El Celler De Can Roca.
Restaurant Andre currently sits at #46 and I think it’s going to continually ascend in the coming years. Unlike many restaurants on the list, it was surprisingly easy to get reservations to, considering that it’s a relatively small 30-seat place. They do require a small deposit, so perhaps that keeps people from making reservations speculatively, only to cancel later on.
The restaurant is tucked away on a quiet side street and our taxi dropped us off right outside.
From start to finish, the dining experience here was impeccable. It was like a perfectly choreographed Cirque du Soleil show, just without the acrobats flying around.
The dining room was actually similar to The Restaurant At Meadowood which I guess I’d describe as chic-woodsy? There were even little sheep side tables that could be used to hold bags.
Chef Andre Chiang has actually invented a few type of culinary principle which he’s named Octaphilosophy. Essentially, it’s in recognition of the fact that our interpretation of food is based on our library of personal experiences. His menu is based on 8 characteristics: pure, salt, artisan, south, texture, unique, memory, and terroir and the style of food was primarily French, with a focus on local Singaporean ingredients.
And that’s exactly how the menu was structured, with no indication of what the actual dishes or ingredients would be. It definitely created a sense of mystery and suspense that I’m sure was deliberate.
But before you jump into the main meal, there were a series of small bites, or snacks as they called them.
The final snack was a preview of the creativity and uniqueness to come. The “edible garden” was created with fried prawns head and potatoes serving as the plants, and chocolate and garlic dust as the soil. The soil was so good and addicting that we almost finished the entire dish, which I’m pretty sure nobody has ever done.
Another unique feature of this meal was the kombucha pairing option which my wife decided to try, and absolutely loved. After the meal we even got a tour of the restaurant’s attic where they brew all of their kombucha.
Time for the main event, starting with Pure. The thought behind this dish is to highlight the ingredients by not using any seasoning or heat to cook.
Salt was a tribute to the flavors of the sea, and in fact had no additional salt added.
As expected, Artisan was one of the most beautiful dishes I’ve ever seen. This dish was a tribute to the farmers and fisherman who take pride in producing the absolute best product possible. This dish featured smoked eel imported from Japan underneath the crisp, which was topped with caviar.
South was inspired by Chef Andre’s time living in the south of France.
Texture was the first of the dishes that are designed to trick you. What’s presented as a risotto was actually a gnocchi dish.
Unique was probably my least favorite which was horseradish-based, but that may just be due to my palate.
This was Chef Andre’s signature dish, and the only one that rarely comes off the menu. Memory was a foie gras jelly that is based on his childhood memories as a kid in France. I’m pretty sure only French children eat foie gras, since I can only imagine the reaction that kids in the US would have when presented with a plate of goose liver.
And finally, Terroir, which was a presentation of pigeon cooked three different ways.
At this point we were already blown away by the food, but the desserts really took things to a new level. Starting with a grapefruit jelly with sliced grapes on top that almost made this look like an octopus dish.
The first dessert was a green pea dessert.
And another small cake before the main dessert.
Here’s the one that we thought was so cool, the “bake our own cake”. While the staff explained in detail the ingredients contained in all of the other dishes, this was the only one where they simply wouldn’t tell us what the dish was made of. And no, the eggs weren’t real eggs, but rather sacs that were injected with a yellow cream and then placed in an eggshell.
And a huge goodie basket to finish.
Including these interesting Dr. Pepper-flavored popsicles.
As I mentioned above, this was by far the most inventive and fun meal we’ve ever had. As soon as you step through those doors, the service was truly perfect and the food was so imaginative and tasty. It was a nice break from eating at the hawker centers, and I’d highly recommend making a stop here when in Singapore.