Central Singapore Food Review

Octaphilosophy lunch at RESTAURANT ANDRE, Michelin 2 Star worthy restaurant?

The second time I met Chef Andre was when his restaurant, RESTAURANT ANDRE, located at Bukit Pasoh Road was awarded with a 2 Michelin Star at the Michelin Star Award night at Resort World Sentosa. He was a well mannered soft spoken guy who gave credits of winning the award to the joint efforts of every staff in RESTAURANT ANDRE instead of himself. Rumours have it that he should be awarded with more than just 2 stars. My curiosity got better of me and I booked the next available lunch slot as soon as I can.

I admit that sometimes I packed my schedule too much that time was not on my side. On the day of the luncheon at RESTAURANT ANDRE, I did something that was so unforgivable. I booked a hair appointment earlier in the morning and ended up very late for my lunch reservation. Yes, I know, it was so impolite. But when I arrived, the staff was so hospitable and I felt so bad for being late. Not only did they made me feel right at home immediately at this beautiful 3 storeys restaurant which is located just beside Majestic Hotel, they shown me around level one before we were ushered to our table.
Walking into RESTAURANT ANDRE is like walking into a tastefully decorated home. While level one is where the Chef table is and the chefs dine there together after the dining service.
The friendly door host shared at any one time only 2 levels of the restaurant will be used for dining service. On the day I was there, the service floors were the second and the third  levels. Hence, we gotta walk past level 1 space to get to the lift which is near to where the kitchen is.
Our table was located near to the window at level 3 where Chef Andre’s office is located on the mezzanine level. Cosy little space with service crew that were smiley and warm. As compared to my experience at another Michelin awarded restaurant, this is welcoming as I hate to recapitulate how cold and unwelcome I felt at that other particular restaurant.
Octaphilosophy is the culinary concept behind Chef Andre’s menu. The menu reflects Chef Andre’s eight elements of gastronomy (salt, texture, memory, pure, terroir, south, artisan and unique) and changes according to the freshest ingredients available on the day itself.
Our first course, SALT, was presented with Chef Andre’s version of Fish & Chip, Abalone with Liver and Crispy Kombu Chip and Seafood Tamara with Gluten Bun. Abalone with Liver and Crispy Kombu Chip and Fish & Chip were presented together like a drawing of the sea where you see corals (Abalone with Liver and Crispy Kombu Chip) and shells.
Fish & Chip was potato wrapped wagasagi fish and topped with some vinegar. Simple yet making you want to savour it slowly.
Seafood Tamara with Gluten Bun was another brilliant play on the mind. Seeing is definitely not believing in RESTAURANT ANDRE. The orange slice was actually dehydrated carrot slice with orange zest on top of the creamy and rich Seafood Tamara made of scallop, prawn, fish roe and crab meat. I like how the gluten bun gave the dish that touch of different texture.
I always feel that the highest realm of culinary is to make someone like the food that they usually hate. This is very much the case for this dish, Dry aged scallop (her favourite) with torched enoki mushroom and grated dehydated tofu was served with kombucha granita and vegetables demi-glace. J was never a fan of mushroom of any kind, enjoyed and wipe the plate clean.
As for me, I like how the kombucha granita cleansed my palate and let me enjoyed the flavour of the entire dish.
We were then served with homemade butter and sourdough bread from Burnt Ends. Yes, RESTAURANT ANDRE is with Unlisted Collection and the collective effort to support each other is admirable, isn’t it? Being a huge bread lover, can I tell you that Burnt Ends really has very good sourdough bread? Simply love that crusty exterior with that slight chewy and dense innards.
While many chefs would use the finest ingredients to make an outstanding dish, I admire how Chef Andre can use the simplest ingredients to blow your mind. “Terre Et Mer” which means ‘surf and turf’ was presented with Gillardeau Oyster Tartare, cured Lardo, Shima-aji and pork trotter broth. I love lard but only when they are deep fried till crispy and not pork fats in any other form. The cured pork fats somehow altered my perception of how pork fats could taste good. The marriage with Gillardeau Oyster Tartare was simply harmonious. Can’t remember the last time I enjoyed so much lard in this form. Shima-aji melted in the mouth so what else could I ask for, right?
Bringing homeage to his chinese roots, Chef Andre made comforting pork trotter broth to go with the Shima-aji and Gillardeau Oyster Tartare.
Burnt beef tongue salad with butternut squash and warm truffle foie gras soup was both comforting and mindblowing. I enjoyed the layers of different tastes coming together. Sweetness, Saltiness, buttery and savoury. Complex, robust and magical.
Salt Baked Poulet De Bresse was quite an elaborated dish. The chicken breast was wrapped with seaweed and lotus leaf before being baked in a salted sourdough bread. By cooking the chicken breast this way, it resulted with a moist, juicy and flavourful meat. The dish was further elevated with shaved Tasmanian truffles by the side together with grilled leef flower and egg noodle (made using egg yolk, hence explained the yellow colour).
A very interesting dessert where it consisted of both the sweet and savory part of the dessert. For savoury part, we have the porcini mushroom ice cream topped with toasted rice on the spoon. To enjoy the dessert, have some of the savoury ice cream followed by half of the milk skin and buttermilk curb on the left.
The white peach parfait was one of my favourite dessert. What you get beyond the raspberry ice was honey ice cream with fizzy carbonated red grapes and pieces of white peaches. I like the acidity in this dessert and the different textures from each components.
We ended the luncheon with the Petits Fours -Cola lollypop with popping candy, cherry madeleine and kaya macaron. Amongst them, the kaya macaron was the one that left an impression. Easily the best macaron that I have ever tasted. I really like how it can translate a simple kaya toast into a macaron. I could still taste that hints of toasted bread on the macaron shell with the smooth kaya filling in the middle.

I think it is easy to create a feast to impress any guest with the finest ingredients available. However, at RESTAURANT ANDRE, ordinary ingredients were turned extraordinary with the play of different cooking skills and techniques. I like how Chef Andre embraces the whole concept of seeing is not believing and also gives an experience of having the different textures in almost every dish. Was I impressed? Yes, I am and $198++ per pax is definitely worth every of my dollar. This restaurant is without doubt one of the finest in town! 2 Michelin Star? You must be kidding me!

41 Bukit Pasoh Road Singapore 089855
Tel: +65 6534 8880
Operating Hours: Lunch (Wed & Fri)
Dinner (Tue ~ Sat)
Closed on Mon & Alternate Sun

Related Posts

No Comments

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: