When we are not overseas chasing Michelin-stars and seeking out celebrity chefs’ restaurants to dine at, we get by on the occasional indulgence in Singapore’s fine-dining scene. Singapore has its fair share of good local establishments that we are certain will fair well in the upcoming Michelin Guide.

In March 2015, we headed to Restaurant André for lunch to celebrate one of our birthdays.

Helmed by Chef Andre Chiang, Restaurant André is consistently ranked among the top six best restaurants in Asia and among the top 50 in the world. The restaurant is tucked away in a nice quiet corner of Chinatown that in some ways reminds us of Europe.

Unlike most other places, Restaurant André does not provide a sample menu on its website for diners to peruse before heading there. Perhaps it wishes to free our minds of the baggage of expectation that might weigh down on us, as we step into their premises.

At the restaurant, diners are not given much to choose from, other than the wine list. Everyone is simply prescribed a fixed seven-course menu déjeuner du jour of French-inspired dishes, as if to say “Welcome to Restaurant André, here’s what you’re going to have today. Leave your tastebuds and hunger in our good hands and we’ll take care of everything.”. They do of course, make provisions to substitute ingredients for those with special preferences and dietary requirements, nonetheless. Our birthday girl had lamb in one of her mains substituted to chicken breast instead.

So, we both had the seven-course meal with two glasses of wine, a special cake for the birthday girl and coffee to round everything off.

We began our meal with the pre-starter – a rice crispy with carviar snack.

Next, our starters were a lightly seared swordfish with buckwheat, brussel sprout, pickled onion, apple granite and tomato comme jelly, and a soup of chicory with chicken skin and liver, millefeille of chicory terrine, crispy fried cocksomb and tarragon emulsion.

For mains, we had the charred Spanish mackerel with sea lettuce, iceberg, celery, smoked carrot tartar, and the poached baby lamb saddle/chicken breast with crispy wild grenola, roasted potato jus.

Desserts were a whipped watermelon with red fruit ispahan and an “Apple Tart”.

The birthday girl also got a special birthday cake and a card signed by Chef Andre and his team. Accompanying the cake was a music box that played “Happy Birthday” when wound. In jest, I was made to wind the music box as she ate her cake.

To top the afternoon off, the warm and personable staff gave us a kitchen tour after our meal. Chef Andre himself came out to meet us after the tour. His eyes lit up when he heard about our experiences in travelling around the Provence region in France. He must love and miss France.

We had a lovely time at Restaurant André. The general ambience of the place reminded us of our dining adventures in Europe, which is always good. Food-wise, every dish was faultlessly done with a good combination of flavours and every course was beautifully presented with good portion sizes to boot.

However, we do have a couple of little grouses. Firstly, we wish they had served us some surprises in-between courses to add that something extra to the experience. Secondly, the special birthday cake could have been made complimentary. Sadly, this is the first restaurant we have been to that charges for something like that.

Grouses aside, however, it was a nice lunch at Restaurant André. We fully expect the restaurant to receive two or three Michelin stars in the upcoming Michelin Guide for Singapore.

Compared to Iggy’s, we prefer our experience at Restaurant André.

Update on 21 July 2016: Sure enough, Restaurant André clinches 2 Michelin Stars in the augural Michelin Guide Singapore

Memorable Dish:

Poached baby lamb saddle/chicken breast with crispy wild grenola, roasted potato jus
“Apple Tart”

Restaurant’s Details

41 Bukit Pasoh Road
Singapore 089855
+65 6534 8880

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