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Sweaty Singapore & A Big Fat Indian Wedding (SQ F, EY F (Jetihad), Park Hyatt HYD)

Sweaty Singapore & A Big Fat Indian Wedding (SQ F, EY F (Jetihad), Park Hyatt HYD)

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Old Nov 1, 15, 12:26 pm
  #46  
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Originally Posted by arlflyer View Post
There must be 15 different types of animal parts!
OK, thatīs another reason "Iīm out"
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Old Nov 2, 15, 10:04 am
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Dinner At Singapore's Best Restaurant, Restaurant Andre

This was far and way the most inventive meal we've ever had.

As I've mentioned before, we're fans of the annual World's 50 Best Restaurants list, even though we're fully aware that you need to take these types of lists with a grain of salt. We try to fit in a fine dining experience into each one of our trips, and often times it will come from that list. Most recently, we enjoyed a spectacular 23-course lunch at the current #1 restaurant, El Celler De Can Roca.

Restaurant Andre currently sits at #46 and I think it's going to continually ascend in the coming years. Unlike many restaurants on the list, it was surprisingly easy to get reservations to, considering that it's a relatively small 30-seat place. They do require a small deposit, so perhaps that keeps people from making reservations speculatively, only to cancel later on.

The restaurant is tucked away on a quiet side street and our taxi dropped us off right outside.





From start to finish, the dining experience here was impeccable. It was like a perfectly choreographed Cirque du Soleil show, just without the acrobats flying around.

The dining room was actually similar to The Restaurant At Meadowood which I guess I'd describe as chic-woodsy? There were even little sheep side tables that could be used to hold bags.



Chef Andre Chiang has actually invented a few type of culinary principle which he's named Octaphilosophy. Essentially, it's in recognition of the fact that our interpretation of food is based on our library of personal experiences. His menu is based on 8 characteristics: pure, salt, artisan, south, texture, unique, memory, and terroir and the style of food was primarily French, with a focus on local Singaporean ingredients.



And that's exactly how the menu was structured, with no indication of what the actual dishes or ingredients would be. It definitely created a sense of mystery and suspense that I'm sure was deliberate.



But before you jump into the main meal, there were a series of small bites, or snacks as they called them.









The final snack was a preview of the creativity and uniqueness to come. The "edible garden" was created with fried prawns head and potatoes serving as the plants, and chocolate and garlic dust as the soil. The soil was so good and addicting that we almost finished the entire dish, which I'm pretty sure nobody has ever done.



Another unique feature of this meal was the kombucha pairing option which my wife decided to try, and absolutely loved. After the meal we even got a tour of the restaurant's attic where they brew all of their kombucha.



Time for the main event, starting with Pure. The thought behind this dish is to highlight the ingredients by not using any seasoning or heat to cook.



Salt was a tribute to the flavors of the sea, and in fact had no additional salt added.



As expected, Artisan was one of the most beautiful dishes I've ever seen. This dish was a tribute to the farmers and fisherman who take pride in producing the absolute best product possible. This dish featured smoked eel imported from Japan underneath the crisp, which was topped with caviar.



South was inspired by Chef Andre's time living in the south of France.



Texture was the first of the dishes that are designed to trick you. What's presented as a risotto was actually a gnocchi dish.



Unique was probably my least favorite which was horseradish-based, but that may just be due to my palate.



This was Chef Andre's signature dish, and the only one that rarely comes off the menu. Memory was a foie gras jelly that is based on his childhood memories as a kid in France. I'm pretty sure only French children eat foie gras, since I can only imagine the reaction that kids in the US would have when presented with a plate of goose liver.



And finally, Terroir, which was a presentation of pigeon cooked three different ways.



At this point we were already blown away by the food, but the desserts really took things to a new level. Starting with a grapefruit jelly with sliced grapes on top that almost made this look like an octopus dish.



The first dessert was a green pea dessert.



And another small cake before the main dessert.



Here's the one that we thought was so cool, the "bake our own cake". While the staff explained in detail the ingredients contained in all of the other dishes, this was the only one where they simply wouldn't tell us what the dish was made of. And no, the eggs weren't real eggs, but rather sacs that were injected with a yellow cream and then placed in an eggshell.



And a huge goodie basket to finish.



Including these interesting Dr. Pepper-flavored popsicles.



As I mentioned above, this was by far the most inventive and fun meal we've ever had. As soon as you step through those doors, the service was truly perfect and the food was so imaginative and tasty. It was a nice break from eating at the hawker centers, and I'd highly recommend making a stop here when in Singapore.
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Old Nov 2, 15, 4:07 pm
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Thank you for sharing. I travel much the same way you do - in search of food, both while in the air and on the ground. I also couldn't agree more that Japan and Singapore are probably the two best destinations for those of a similar disposition. Though I'd possibly have them in reverse order.

Oh, and I love that cake too - I'm a sucker for the "deconstructed" dishes in general.

Andre looks brilliant. Have you tried Waku Ghin? I'm a big fan of Tetsuya's so that's also on my list. But right now I'm busy working my way through the top 50 in the SF Bay Area. 3 down, 4th one to come this week (Lord Stanley)!
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Old Nov 3, 15, 4:15 am
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Andre looks really interesting!
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Old Nov 3, 15, 4:36 am
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I fully agree with your take on the "World's 50 best restaurants". I don't use it as a bible, but if I happen to be in a city with a restaurant on the list, I usually go for it. My most recent experience was Nahm in Bangkok, which I enjoyed. Andre looks fantastic, I'll definitely go there next time I'm in Singapore.
To really discover the culinary soul of a city, I think it's essential to go for the right mix of high-end restaurants, neighbourhood spots and street food, just like you did...
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Old Nov 3, 15, 9:29 am
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Andre looks really good, though I would be scared to eat there because I would probably inadvertently eat a serving utensil or piece of decoration and die.
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Old Nov 3, 15, 11:05 am
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Originally Posted by JohnRain View Post
I don't use it as a bible, but if I happen to be in a city with a restaurant on the list, I usually go for it.
Itīs especially helpful, if no Michelin-guide is available
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Old Nov 3, 15, 2:10 pm
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Amazing photos but I think that looks to take form over function way too far for me!
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Old Nov 3, 15, 3:33 pm
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Originally Posted by cricketer View Post
Thank you for sharing. I travel much the same way you do - in search of food, both while in the air and on the ground. I also couldn't agree more that Japan and Singapore are probably the two best destinations for those of a similar disposition. Though I'd possibly have them in reverse order.

Oh, and I love that cake too - I'm a sucker for the "deconstructed" dishes in general.

Andre looks brilliant. Have you tried Waku Ghin? I'm a big fan of Tetsuya's so that's also on my list. But right now I'm busy working my way through the top 50 in the SF Bay Area. 3 down, 4th one to come this week (Lord Stanley)!
Great minds think alike! Although we will have to agree to disagree about the order of Japan/Singapore

I haven't tried Waku Ghin, but that was the other place we were considering for this trip and was a toss-up between that and Andre. Any Bay Area favorites in particular? I'm always on the look-out for new places to try around here.

Originally Posted by offerendum View Post
Andre looks really interesting!
Originally Posted by arlflyer View Post
Andre looks really good, though I would be scared to eat there because I would probably inadvertently eat a serving utensil or piece of decoration and die.
Originally Posted by mentor of monty View Post
Amazing photos but I think that looks to take form over function way too far for me!
I suppose there was a bit of the form over function component, but I think that's what it takes these days for restaurants to appear on lists like "World's 50 Best". The starting point is incredibly delicious food, which all of them can do. But to really stand out, they need to do something inventive or different, and I think Andre certainly delivered on that.

Originally Posted by JohnRain View Post
I fully agree with your take on the "World's 50 best restaurants". I don't use it as a bible, but if I happen to be in a city with a restaurant on the list, I usually go for it. My most recent experience was Nahm in Bangkok, which I enjoyed. Andre looks fantastic, I'll definitely go there next time I'm in Singapore.
To really discover the culinary soul of a city, I think it's essential to go for the right mix of high-end restaurants, neighbourhood spots and street food, just like you did...
Couldn't agree more about sampling a mix of food from street eats to fine dining
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Old Nov 3, 15, 4:25 pm
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Originally Posted by arlflyer View Post
Andre looks really good, though I would be scared to eat there because I would probably inadvertently eat a serving utensil or piece of decoration and die.
Hahaha, I was thinking that too!
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Old Nov 4, 15, 4:36 am
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Originally Posted by sfoactuary View Post
I suppose there was a bit of the form over function component, but I think that's what it takes these days for restaurants to appear on lists like "World's 50 Best".
Will post a review of Belcanto/ Lisbon soon. Also dished like art....
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Old Nov 4, 15, 9:17 am
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Originally Posted by offerendum View Post
Will post a review of Belcanto/ Lisbon soon. Also dished like art....
Look forward to seeing it
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Old Nov 4, 15, 11:05 am
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Premier Lounge at SIN, SilkAir Economy Class to Hyderabad

Our flight wasn't scheduled until 8PM, so even with a late check-out time of 3PM, it still left several hours to kill. We mulled over the various options, but ultimately decided to just head over to the airport early. Besides, if you had to spend time at an airport, Changi is probably the best one to do that.

We strolled around for a couple hours doing some window shopping and also ate at the food court upstairs. While there's a McDonald's there, this was much better than your typical airport food court and even featured similar food to what we found at the hawker centers. In fact, the same Hill Street Tai Hwa Pork Noodle food stand that we ate at back in town was also there at the airport.

We had about an hour left and had exhausted all of the options in that terminal, so we decided to hop into the Premier Lounge to relax. This lounge was part of the Lounge Club network, and I used my two free passes from the Chase Ink card since they were about to expire.



Upon entering, there was a dedicated First Class section that was roped-off, but nobody was in there. That's probably because the lounge wasn't that crowded to begin with and there weren't any other benefits of sitting there other than a bit more privacy.



Next to the First Class section, there were two booths with massage chairs for use.



The lounge was pretty empty and there were plenty of seats to choose from, which included both lounge chairs and workstations.





There was a buffet with a few hot dishes, including rice and curry, and a fried noodle dish.





There was also a hot noodle bar featuring kway teow soup with fish balls.





And some cold sandwiches, along with bread and dips.



There was a rather paltry booze selection.



Even though I wasn't hungry, I couldn't help myself and grabbed a plate.



About T-45 we strolled over to the gate for our flight to Hyderabad. As I described here, the best overall option in my situation was to buy a cash ticket for this flight, rather than to use miles.

The SilkAir ticket cost about $250 per person, and while there were cheaper options on Tiger Air and Jetstar available for about half the price, I wanted to earn miles for the flight and I'd also had bad experiences on those LCC's with luggage fees, and didn't want to deal with the hassle.

This was my first experience with SilkAir, which is Singapore Airlines' regional airline, and it was pretty much along the lines of what I expected. Our Boeing 737 was in a 3x3 configuration, and the seat color was rather loud.







The flight load was very light, and my wife and I ended up moving to a completely empty row. While the legroom was a bit tight in our original seats, our new exit row seats had plenty of space to stretch out.



The rest of the flight was rather uneventful and the 4-hour flight time went by quickly. About an hour after take-off, there was a light meal served. The chicken curry was actually quite good, and since my wife was asleep, I ended up eating both mine and her's. Shh, don't tell her!


Last edited by sfoactuary; Nov 4, 15 at 2:06 pm
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Old Nov 4, 15, 1:42 pm
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SilkAir is not Singapore Airlines' low cost subsidiary. Tiger Airways is SQ's low cost short haul subsidiary and Scoot is SQ's low cost long haul subsidiary.

SilkAir is Singapore Airlines' regional airline, e.g. the part of SQ than operates the narrow bodies (similar as to what KA is to CX). There's nothing low cost about them. They have a J class and serve a full meal even of very short flights.

Enjoying the report. Looking forward to the rest.
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Old Nov 4, 15, 2:05 pm
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Originally Posted by Singapore_Airlines View Post
SilkAir is not Singapore Airlines' low cost subsidiary. Tiger Airways is SQ's low cost short haul subsidiary and Scoot is SQ's low cost long haul subsidiary.

SilkAir is Singapore Airlines' regional airline, e.g. the part of SQ than operates the narrow bodies (similar as to what KA is to CX). There's nothing low cost about them. They have a J class and serve a full meal even of very short flights.

Enjoying the report. Looking forward to the rest.
Thanks for the clarification, have updated accordingly
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