Restaurant Andre – Singapore

I realize that this blog is called Let’s Eat Tokyo and just three posts in I am devoting an entry to a restaurant in Singapore.  Still, there’s only so much haute cuisine I can afford, and Restaurant Andre is spectacular and deserves its own post.

August in Japan means O-Bon Yasumi, a holiday when most families return to their parents’ house and pay respects to their ancestors.  Since I don’t have extended family in Japan, I took advantage of my time off work to visit a good buddy in Singapore before he returns to America.  After a quick search of Asia’s Top 50, I made a reservation at Andre- #5 in Asia and #1 in Singapore.

At around $200 Singapore dollars (~$142 USD) with only one drink and one cappuccino (which I was surprised to find is not included in the course price), this is not exactly a cheap lunch.  Still, it’s comparable to some of the finer restaurants in Tokyo (Narisawa comes to mind) in both quality and sheer number of dishes.  The staff is extremely attentive, friendly to talk to, and the restaurant itself, set inside a colonial house and reminiscent of a compact version of Gaggan in Bangkok, all work together to create a very pleasurable experience.  I’d love to try it for dinner if I’m back in Singapore with a fat wallet.

Let’s eat Restaurant Andre!

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First is the restaurant itself- an old, colonial mansion in the middle of Singapore’s Chinatown district.  A very nice setting just down the street from a $2 chicken rice food stand.

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The menu was placed in an envelope.  I had no idea how to read this until much later in the meal, when I realized that each course is listed top-to-bottom with its featured ingredients written left-to-right.

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The first (of three) amuse bouche which is not described in the menu above.  Great presentation here, as you only eat the three leaves.  From L to R, Jerusalem artichoke, spinach, and onion.  The onion was the most flavorful. A fun start to the meal.

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The next appetizer reminded me a little bit of Takazawa’s SEA dish.  On the left is awabi atop a seaweed “cracker,” and on the right was a delicious oyster topped with a “chicken wing” all hidden under a leaf and atop a dab of cream.  The oyster was raw, but the hot chicken gave it a subtle warmth.  This dish left its savory flavor in my mouth all the way until the next dish.

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My one cocktail was, ironically enough, a Tokyo Blonde Ale.  One of my favorite beers, but this ran $28 SGD ($20 USD).  Yikes!  To be expected though, as even beers on the street in Singapore are super pricey.  What can ya do…

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The last of the appetizers.  On the left is a raw amaebi (sweet shrimp) atop “edible coal” and a red pepper puree.  On the right is Andre’s take on fish and chips.  The “soil” is actually chocolate and garlic, which I ate by the spoonful.

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The first course arrived and was influenced by a Filipino style ceviche.  The main protein is scallop with calamansi lemons, edamame, daikon in a cucumber jelly and finished in a sauce containing coconut milk.  The little dollops of caviar add a luxurious touch.

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My artsy bread and butter shot.  This was a sourdough baguette of which I consumed three.

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This was possibly my favorite dish.  It’s a squid “spaghetti” resting in a kelp and seaweed sauce atop really creamy, cheesy potatoes.  The grains on the left are added to the squid for texture.  This dish had no salt added, but I could imagine people thinking this was over-seasoned.  The power of seaweed!  I loved it.

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Next was amberjack fish topped with homemade potato chips and myoga with a celeriac (a kind of turnip) and potato soup.  The fish was charred on the outside, but soft and creamy on the inside.

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The following dish is Andre’s original creation that has appeared on the menu since their opening.  It’s extremely luxurious consisting of a fois gras pudding (like chawan mushi), black truffle jelly, and a champignon mushroom broth.  It was good, but very heavy.  Also, I feel it’s a bit cliche to feature these three “luxury” ingredients together but hey, I ate every last bit of it.

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The same dish shot from above.

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The last savory dish was a perfectly cooked medallion of lamb served with granola (grains seem to be popular in Singapore), brussel sprouts, black garlic, and a mustard oil & lemon sauce.  The thinly sliced potato skins showcase professional technique, and underneath it all was a melt-in-your-mouth sliver of lamb fat.  Delicious!

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The first dessert was creamy and intense, featuring green pea ice cream, matcha green tea chocolate, shiso, and little chunks of avocado.  Quite an interesting combination that was perfectly executed.

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The second dish featured Singaporean fruits with crushed ice, a style of dessert famous all over Asia (like kakigori in Japan).  Lychee, mangosteen, mandarin, and bergamot orange.  A refreshing dessert that perhaps would have made more sense as a first dessert after the savory courses…

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For petit-fours, I received a chestnut pastry and a cherry soda ice pop.  Honestly, these were average in flavor, but the presentation is great.

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A cappuccino to finish a truly memorable meal.

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