When I first heard that Chef André Chiang is leaving Jaan Par André to set up his own restaurant, Retaurant Andre, I told myself I need to go and try the food there.
Having led Jaan to 39th placing in the world culinary map in 2010, André Chiang is currently one of the hottest chefs on our shores. Since opening for less than a year, the restaurant had garnered many accolades including ‘Best New Restaurant of The Year.’
Having work as a stagiaire at Jaan previously during my off day, I had a very good impression of his artistry and cuisine, and was keen to see how his menu had evolved since then. His theatrical presentation style, I hoped, is still there.
Restaurant Andre – The Restaurant
Armed with a hungry stomach and with two of my fellow food enthusiasts, we made our way down. Restaurant Andre is located along a stretch of shop houses at the now-defunct Majestic Bar just on the outskirts of Chinatown. We arrived eagerly with high expectations. The menu which also served as a table mat was artfully done with drawings depicting the olive tree at the entrance of the restaurant.
Restaurant Andre – The Food
Soon, three little moulds perched atop a tree branch were brought to the table. Snacks had arrived. I knew from my time at Jaan that André’s snacks are creative and fun, and I was not disappointed.
The Mushroom and Onion Tart is probably my favorite snack. A dollop of mushroom mousse was piped on the underside of the thin crisp tart so that it’s hidden from view. One bite into it, and sweet savoury flavours exploded in the mouth. An absolutely awesome snack.
The Aji Fish Tartare is also good. Sweet raw fish is enclosed in crispy toast and topped with shaved parmesan cheese. Flavours go well together with nice textural contrast.
The Masala Chicken Skin is just as expected; crispy. However, it’s the service ware that had me excited. It’s unconventional, unlike your usual plates and spoons. It reminds me a little bit of Alinea.
The Popcorn snack was okay, nothing truly special. However, the four snacks on the whole had served as a great amuse. We were ready for more to come…
First were the Salmon, Cauliflower, Basil Sorbet, and Persimmon appetiser. That dish was totally spot-on. The presentation was beautiful and the flavours rounded up nicely.
Next to come was the Black Truffle Pasta. Very flavourful pasta, but nothing really special about it.
The chef’s favourite dish: Foie Gras Custard with Truffle Coulis arrived subsequently. Although the dish was rich in flavour, the custard was split. I could see of layers of foie gras oil beginning to separate. Such things should not be happening in a top restaurant. I was slightly disappointed with that dish.
I’m not a big fan of capers, but I must say this King Fish and Capers dish hit the mark. The capers, together with the wild mushrooms and tonburi (mountain caviar) complement the fish very well.
Our main course was the 36 hours Slow Roast Short Rib, Mushroom Polenta, and Potato. The short rib was meltingly tender. The minus point is my short rib was over seasoned; it was a tad too salty. The mushroom polenta was good; very creamy with an intense mushroom taste.
Dessert was the Chocolate Tart with Milk Pudding Ice Cream. I would describe it as a very normal dessert. The individual components are good, but there’s nothing outstanding.
Restaurant Andre – My Reviews
Chef André came to meet us after the meal. We made some small talks and he said we should come for dinner next time; it’s more exciting. On the whole, we had a good experience, and I would love to dine at Restaurant Andre again. We left quickly as it was time for us to work; dinner service is due in a few hours time.
Restaurant Andre shows great promise and may just earn a star or two when the Michelin guide comes to Singapore.