Restaurant ANDRE – Exquisite Taste

AN ODE TO ART
A DEDICATION TO CRAFTMANSHIP

Philosophy and art may not be the first things that spring to mind when you think of an award-winning fine dining restaurant. But for chef and owner, André Chiang, it is these that have built the foundations for his prized French nouvelle cuisine at the prestigious, Restaurant ANDRE.


Philosophy and art may not be the first things that spring to mind when you think of an award-winning, fine dining restaurant. But for chef and owner, André Chiang, it is these that have built the foundations for his prized French nouvelle cuisine at the prestigious, Restaurant ANDRE. As the brainchild of the admired Chef André Chiang – famed for his world-class experience in a handful of Michelin-starred restaurants – it is no surprise that Restaurant ANDRE charms the palates of Singapore’s most discerning of epicures. But what you might not expect, is that the restaurant is also home to Chef André’s unique food concept – “Octaphilosophy” – a philosophy that has inspired and shaped his fantastically crafted, innovative dishes.

Food for Thought

Chef André believes that our capacity to taste food is influenced by our memory banks, through the personal experiences we acquire over time. With this in mind, Chef André developed eight different elements as part of his Octaphilosophy concept, which he deems to be the characteristics of his own gastronomy: Unique, Texture, Memory, Pure, Terroir, Salt, South and Artisan. Each element reflects the thought processes and inspiration behind his brilliant cuisine, and each of his dishes can be attributed to one of these elements.

Take the element “South” for example. Chef André worked in the South of France for a stretch of his career, and so the chef’s “South” dishes are based on the flavours and ingredients he discovered in that region. Other elements, however, are not as simple as that, but the names make way for some fun speculation. Take “Salt” for instance. The chef’s succulent oyster, paired delicately with green sea grapes and the airy foam from a Granny Smith apple, likely captures his love for pure ocean flavours, stemming from a life by the sea. Similarly, a warm and velvety hot foie gras jelly is topped with a stunning black truffle coulis, and aptly named “Memory”. The dish is reminiscent of a recipe Chef André created in a 3-Michelin star restaurant – a memory Chef André wants to share with his diners.

The “Artisan” element is a particular favourite of mine, with dishes using fresh artisan produce to create culinary art. The flavours seem complex, but they are created using simple, natural ingredients. Each recipe reflects Chef André’s roots in Southern French nouvelle cuisine, whilst paying homage to the craftsmanship he has encountered during his soaring career. The dishes are colourful and sculpted to perfection – if it wasn’t for the sumptuously rich and enticing aromas, you’d think they looked too good to eat.

An expert menu calls for an equally first-class wine list, and Restaurant ANDRE certainly knows how to please. The wine cellar features wines from less well-known, small-production boutique wineries in France, with an emphasis on biodynamic wines. Rare wine labels are personally selected by Chef André, directly imported by the restaurant itself, then matched to the exceptional cuisine by the in-house sommelier.

 

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Chef-Artist

The restaurant is also a showcase for Chef André’s non-culinary talents, namely his penchant for pottery. His delicately-crafted plates and art pieces are on display throughout the restaurant, while certain individually-handcrafted plates are used for service. These personal touches make for a warm and amiable atmosphere, and coupled with exquisite cosmetic accents, the fine dining experience has been captured perfectly.

Set within a 19th-century terrace house, the dining room is quaint, seating just thirty. Beige suede seats beckon smartly-dressed guests, while waiters seamlessly and silently glide across the polished hard-wood flooring to the sound of soft jazz music. Intimate and delicate furnishings are punctuated by antler lampshades, adding a chic and stylish edge to the restaurant’s elegance.

Excelling in every possible culinary category, it seems appropriate then, that Restaurant ANDRE has been showered with prestigious awards and accolades since its opening in 2010. This year, the Miele Guide named Restaurant ANDRE as the eleventh finest restaurant in Asia, while the San Pellegrino “World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2013” ranked Restaurant ANDRE as number thirty-eight in the world, up thirty places from the 2012 rankings. These are merely the most recent of honours awarded to Chef André and his work, because the list seems never-ending. This is fine dining, at its very finest.
(www.restaurantandre.com/)

UNIQUE – Barigoule of Purple Artichokes, Charcoaled Baby Barracuda, Red Sorrel and Granny Smith Apple.

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INGREDIENTS:
• 4 pieces baby barracuda
• 4 pieces artichoke
• 8 pieces shallots
• 1 Granny Smith apple
• 200ml white wine
• 1lt fish stock
• Tomato confit
• 200g butter
• Red sorrel
• Silver onion
• Szechuan peppers
• Herbs

METHOD:
1. Filet the barracuda and make a light fumet with the bones.
2. Trim the fish filet to fit a small ring; cut the trimmings into small brunoise.
3. Mix the brunoise with seasoning, fresh herbs and Szechuan peppers; stuff into the centre of the fish rings.
4. Cook the shallot in white wine until dried. Add in the fish fumet and the butter, and reduce for 10 minutes.
5. Charcoal grill the fish “with the ring” until cooked, removing the ring at the last minute.
6. Charcoal grill the peeled artichoke and put into the white wine butternage for 2 minutes.
7. Pour the artichoke barigoule over the barracuda.
8. Finish the plating with red sorrel, the granny smith apple and and silver onion rings.

WINE PAIRING:
• Viré-Clessé 2004 Thevenet
• 100% Chardonnay From Burgundy, France