Header: outside Restaurant André and André Chiang's 'Capsules' dish
As Restaurant André closes its doors forever and Chef André Chiang moves on to his next project, we gather some of our favourite memories from eight years of the restaurant in Singapore that climbed to No.2 in Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants and No.14 in The World's 50 Best Restaurants.
Will Guidara, co-owner of Eleven Madison Park, New York
Guidara recalls the experience of a collaborative dinner between Eleven Madison Park chef-owner Daniel Humm and Chef Chiang at Restaurant André in Singapore in 2015.
Daniel Humm, Will Guidara and André Chiang outside Restaurant André in 2015
“Early on in our trip, we went to a restaurant serving delicious traditional Chinese – and it being the New Year, dishes were flying out of the kitchen at a rapid pace all around us. We found inspiration in a dish by the name of Lo Hei, and that led to a collaborative course, a Waldorf Lo Hei, celebrating New York, the New Year and Chinese cuisine. Adding that dish to a menu that had been planned for months could have thrown off any seasoned chef, but André took it in his stride, embracing the change and having a lot of fun along the way.
“Even though we were working in the kitchen during much of our time there, André made sure we experienced Singapore fully. He went to the trouble of delivering the traditional hawker stand dish of chicken rice to us so we could get a taste – only to have us fall in love with it and return to the same stand the next day (and possibly even again before we departed). But that brought him so much joy – to show us something new and experience it with us. It's memories like those and the hospitality we received that will stay with us forever.”
Cheryl Tiu, journalist and 50 Best TasteHunter
“It’s rare for a chef to create his own philosophy and have it translate so clearly (and palatably) to diners. André has done that with his Octaphilosophy, where everything from the beauty of an ingredient to looking back to a memory was so clearly and dexterously executed. His signature 'Memory' dish of warm foie gras jelly with black truffle coulis will always remain fondly in my, of course, memory.”
William Drew, Group Editor of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants
“My best memory at Restaurant André was actually when Will and Daniel from Eleven Madison Park came to Singapore for Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants a few years ago and did a collaboration dinner at Restaurant André. It was around the time of Chinese New Year celebrations, where traditionally the ‘Lo Hei’ noodle dish is shared among the whole table. André, Will and Daniel created a New York version of the dish for this occasion, marrying EMP’s culture with this Chinese tradition. My abiding memory is of the whole dining room coming alive, with guests interacting and having fun – which is a direct result and reflection of the spirit of such collaborations.”
André Chiang's DIY cake and Daniel Humm's signature duck at the EMP-André collaboration dinner
Litti Kewkacha, 50 Best TasteHunter
“One of my favourite memories will be André’s most recent Ice Cream Sandwich creation, inspired by the 85-year old ice cream street vendor Uncle Ng who dreams of selling ice cream till he is 106 years old. Andre’s $5 donation pledge from every guest who is served this ice cream will contribute over $10,000 for the uncle, ensuring his livelihood for the rest of his life.”
Ice cream sandwich (image: Litti Kewkacha)
Evelyn Chen, 50 Best Academy Chair, South East Asia (South)
"My best memory of Restaurant André is the 'Memory' dish of foie gras with black truffle coulis. While the other courses changed seasonally, this foie gras dish always made an appearance at Restaurant André. I will miss the convenience of having an excellent restaurant in my backyard. André Chiang has been a towering figure in Asia's food and beverage scene and his refined cuisine will be greatly missed."
Foie gras jelly at Restaurant André (image: Restaurant André)
Amelie Vincent, The Foodalist, 50 Best TasteHunter
“I have a mind-blowing memory of André's corn, horseradish and vanilla oil creation. I will also miss his unique French cuisine in South East Asia – and his wonderful wine selection.”
Corn, horseradish and vanilla oil (image: The Foodalist)
“Looking back, what I’ll miss most is the ingenuity of the presentation of the food.”
Snacks at Restaurant André (image: Ms I-Hua)
Ruxandra and Gabriel Gavrilescu, Amuse Bouche, 50 Best TasteHunters
“Restaurant André gained a special place in our memory and onto our palates as a consistent, elegant whole. Instead of talking about techniques and ingredients, the Octaphilosophy concept created by André Chiang moved the focus to ideas and emotions. It’s a dinner we experienced emotionally and that is something impossible to forget.”
Rice ice cream, amasake, rice puffs (image: Amuse Bouche)
Find out what Chef Chiang will miss about the restaurant:
Now take our private tour of Restaurant André with Chef Chiang:
Wondering what to do next in Singapore? Our "50 Hours in Singapore" guide, presented by Diners Club International, will be out in early March. Until then, check out these eat-drink-sleep guides to Bangkok, London, Rome, New York and Miami.
Asia's 50 Best Restaurants 2018 will be announced at an awards ceremony at Wynn Palace Cotai, Macao, on Tuesday 27th March. Follow Asia's 50 Best Restaurants on Facebook and The World's 50 Best Restaurants on Twitter and Instagram for all the latest news, photos and videos.