When you spend $1k on a meal, you kind of hope that it’s going to be life-changing. Trust me. I wanted to rave about Andre here. I wanted to say it was worth every penny and that you should hurry up and go check it out. Unfortunately, I can’t.
The food at Andre was mediocre. The price tag was not worth it. For all the hype, all it came across was trying too hard. The whole octaphilosophy thing felt gimmicky and no, I don’t buy the whole “we only serve bio-dynamic wines” crap either.
The only redeeming factor that night was the service. And the excellent company I had, of course – B, the birthday (hardly) boy.
Ok let’s talk about the food. It’s a set dinner at $288++ per pax, comprising 8 courses (9 including dessert). From the website, each course is supposed to
“ attempt to discover through cuisine; the nature and significance of ordinary and scientific beliefs while investigating the simplicity of concepts by means of rational argument concerning their presumptions, implications, and interrelationships. The pure and unique hues of nature’s gifts from the land together with scientific research are juxtaposed alongside with the intuitions of the South, where primal aromas and texture evoke the endless trail of memories”
Anyway, a quick run-down and some OMHO (only my humble opinion – new abbreviation I learnt!) comments
1. Pure - Gaspacho of Zucchini. This tasted like grass, very raw and no, I didn’t like it.
2. Salt - Oyster with Granny Smith Apple Foam. I liked how the apple gave a fresh sweetness to the oyster but the overall dish was not very exciting. Cute plating of tiny (2mm?) chopped apple cubes all over the plate – pity the poor kitchen hand tasked with plating.
3. Artisan - Charcoal Grilled Baby Sweet Corn. The corn was very fresh, sweet and nicely grilled. But no wow factor. Really? Grilled corn?
4. South - Salad of Fruit Tomato, Persimon, Cured Hirame, Chilled Risotto with Palamos Prawn, Mackerel, Red Snapper, Sea Bass. I am a big fan of seafood so this dish, I liked.
5. Texture - Squid Risotto with Cauliflower Puree(right). The wait staff put up a big show here, asking us to guess which component was the squid and which was the rice. The answer – no rice, the risotto was made of squid. Ok... that’s clever. But the dish just tastes normal, OMHO.
6. Unique - French Artichoke, Japanese Baby Barracuda Fish. Again, I love fish.
7. Memory - Warm Foie Gras Jelly, black Trufle Coulis (left). Now THIS was probably the only dish that impressed me that night. As you may know, I don’t like eating foie gras. Ethical issues aside, I am not too big a fan of liver in general. But this dish rocked. It tasted was foie gras infused custard – texture was lovely, loved the scent of truffle – superb. I wanted more.
8. Terroir - Wild Duck, Tarragon and Onion Puree (right). This last dish wiped out all the goodwill from the foie gras jelly. Eeiks – the duck was a tad dry and tough, come on, this is unacceptable! I didn’t finish this.
Dessert was chocolate degustation. I like chocolate. This was ok.
As mentioned, the bill for 2 came to about $1k, including a bottle off wine - Kastelberg Riesling Grand Cru 2007 Marc Kreydenweiss. We asked the sommelier for something that could go with the entire degustation and indeed, this choice was spot on. The Riesling went well with the predominantly seafood based dishes, whilst having enough structure to cut through the meats. Hmmm the $280++ bottle of wine could well be the most “value for money” item we had.
Most disappointing meal of the year! Liberty Private Works beats Andre hands down. For that matter, Buko Nero, Ember and so many other restaurants too.