Sophisticated chef continues to lead Singapore dining scene
Restaurant André celebrates its fifth birthday in 2015, making it a mere youngster in the elite gastronomic sphere, where it can take restaurants a decade just to establish themselves and find their true identity. And yet the leading fine-dining establishment in Singapore, led by chef-owner André Chiang, is already admired and respected around the world for its sophistication, maturity, unusual philosophy and unique character.
Each of the eight exquisite courses (excluding amuse bouches and desserts) on the tasting menu reflects aspects of the chef’s multi-faceted culinary experience. Born in Taiwan, Chiang worked extensively in France under nouvelle cuisine masters including Pierre Gagnaire and the Troisgros brothers, followed by stints in Shanghai and the Seychelles, before landing in Singapore almost a decade ago. Techniques and dishes remain French in essence, though the forms and textures are often unexpected – with each individual creation sitting under the chef’s over-arching and meticulous ‘Octaphilosophy’ approach. Under ‘Artisan’, diners might be served grilled Taiwanese baby corn, while ‘Salt’ can comprise crispy potato gnocchi with smoked oyster cream.
Set in a narrow white 19th-century terraced former shophouse in Singapore’s China Town, the series of intimate dining areas also house unusual contemporary art pieces including Chiang’s own hand-crafted clay figurines. Service is slick and standards exemplary, while the wine list focuses on French biodynamic, largely artisanal wines.
Chiang has recently opened restaurants in Paris and Taipei, but it’s at his Singaporean flagship that diners embark on a fascinating journey around the mind and memory of this cerebral chef.
Images: Edmond Ho Jambu Studio, Nat K, Regent Taipei