Chachic's Book Nook


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Restaurant André

So I know it’s not really book-related to post about a meal that I had at Restaurant André, but I first found out about two and three-starred Michelin restaurant from books that I read. Specifically, in Laura Florand’s The Chocolate Heart, The Chocolate Temptation and The Chocolate Rose from her Amour et Chocolat series. The heroes in these books are pastry chefs in two and three-starred Michelin restaurants.

I never thought I’d be able to try out super fancy restaurants like these until I went to Les Amis for my birthday last March. I figured that I might as well eat at these places while I’m still in Singapore, at least I don’t have to travel and pay for flights and lodgings just to try them out. Apparently some die-hard foodies do that. So far, I’ve gone to Les Amis and Restaurant André. If I manage to go to Odette, I would have experienced the three French restaurants in Singapore that have two Michelin stars. The two other restaurants at that level are Japanese, and I’m not sure my palate is refined enough to try that.

I actually wanted to book a slot for Restaurant André on my birthday but it was fully booked by the time I started making plans. Apparently, reservations had to be made weeks in advance. Restaurant André has been award two Michelin stars, is placed number two in Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants, and is the only restaurant in Singapore to be included in the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list. I was pretty sure a meal at this restaurant would be the best meal that I’ve had in Singapore, so I was curious to try it out. And was also delighted when my friend agreed to join me.

Restaurant André is rated no. 2 in Asia's Best 50 Restaurants, and the only restaurant in Singapore included in the World's Best 50 list. It also has two Michelin stars, and has to be booked weeks in advance to get a slot. @nj_reyes and I were understandably excited to experience the best meal that we've had in Singapore.🙌🙌 Culmination of our foodie explorations together in this country. This was the lunch menu for today: - black cherry, red coral capsule - Hokkaido bird cockles brined in seawater onion slaw in clam velouté - broccoli eclair preserved lemon confit, kailan flower - spring sugar pea and wasabi sauce, goat cheese ice cream, charred white asparagus (the prettiest course in this menu!) - all about crab: crab fat emulsion (in Filipino, sosyal na aligue), crab canneloni with granny smith, crab custard with fresh sorrel - steamed marble goby, textures of leek, broth of bouillabaise - pigeon dry-aged in hay and salt koji, bitter chocolate oatmeal (in Filipino, sosyal na champorado) - pear melba, burnt marshmallow, pink finger lime caviar - pickled plums, purple shiso granite, creme fraiche - petit fours and coffee . . . #RestaurantAndre #ChefAndreChiang #AsiasBestRestaurant #Asias50Best #WorldsBestRestaurant #Worlds50Best #MichelinStar #Michelin #SGfood #SGfoodie #SGdesserts #foodstagram #IGeats #finedining #ExploreSingapore

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Swipe right to see all of the dishes, or hover over the image and click the right arrow. This was the lunch menu for that we had:
– black cherry, red coral capsule
– Hokkaido bird cockles brined in seawater onion slaw in clam velouté
– broccoli eclair preserved lemon confit, kailan flower
– spring sugar pea and wasabi sauce, goat cheese ice cream, charred white asparagus (the prettiest course in this menu!)
– all about crab: crab fat emulsion, crab canneloni with granny smith, crab custard with fresh sorrel
– steamed marble goby, textures of leek, broth of bouillabaise
– pigeon dry-aged in hay and salt koji, bitter chocolate oatmeal
– pear melba, burnt marshmallow, pink finger lime caviar
– pickled plums, purple shiso granite, creme fraiche
– petit fours and coffee

Taste-wise, my favorite parts of the meal were the appetizers and the desserts! The pea and white asparagus dish was both pretty and delicious too. I noticed that this menu kind of had a seafood theme going on. Aside from the food, I also loved the cozy and warm vibe that the restaurant had. It’s inside a renovated house and we were seated on the third floor, which only had a few tables in it. On the way up, we got to glimpse the kitchens where the chefs happily waved hello from the stations. Chef André himself left the kitchen after the meal was finished to say hello to the patrons. I thought that was very thoughtful of him.

I thought that was pretty cute. As a book nerd, I noticed the bookish details inside the restaurant:

Dining at restaurants like these, I discovered that what they do is basically story-telling using food as their medium. I loved how beautifully presented the dishes were, how each dish was served with an explanation, kind of like the server telling you a story about the dish. They keep changing their menus based on what ingredients are the best during that season. It just felt like there was a lot of care put into each dish served. It was a feast not just for a diner’s taste buds but also for the eyes.

So, so, so. This goes to show how I can relate everything to books. 🙂 Also that I could have gone into food blogging if book blogging wasn’t difficult enough to maintain. Have you tried any Michelin starred restaurants? If yes, what was your experience like? Have you read books that have characters who are chefs in this kind of environment?


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Belated Birthday Post

My birthday was last March 29 so this is a really belated birthday post. But I haven’t had a time to sit down and do a write up of the day before now. While not exactly book-related, I think I’ve updated my blog about how I celebrated my birthday in previous years so I wanted to do the same thing this year. Good thing I kept posting pics on Instagram, so linking to them makes it easier for me to share how my day was spent. I took the day off but the night before my birthday, I had dinner at an Italian restaurant called No Menu, with two of my co-workers:

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It was a lovely meal and on top of that, they gave me gifts that I loved: a fancy teacup from a store called T2 and a small purse (wallet?) from Coach. It was really a pleasant surprise to receive these gifts because I wasn’t expecting anything!

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The actual day of my birthday fell on a Wednesday and everyone I knew in Singapore was at work on that day so I spent it by myself. I decided to give the foodie in me an indulgence of a meal in the form of a two-star Michelin restaurant, Les Amis. I had previously only read about Michelin star meals in books but I’m happy to report that I’ve experienced it in real life. Scroll to the right to see all of the courses:

Yesterday's indulgence was a 6-course meal at Les Amis, a French restaurant with two Michelin stars and ranked 16th in Asia's 50 Best Restaurants. I think this must be the fanciest meal I've had and it was a great experience. I liked how each dish was served with an explanation, kind of like the server telling you a story about the food. It's art in food form! I hope I get to try other Singapore restaurants from the list (e.g. Andre, Odette, Burnt Ends)! . . . Here's the menu for this meal: . . - amuse bouche: smoked river salmon and eel with baby leek - (signature) cold angel hair pasta balanced with kombu, caviar and truffle - (signature) langoustine with courgette and an emulsion of extra virgin olive oil - seasonal white asparagus - turbot fish - lamb cooked in a veil of spinach served with green asparagus and stuffed morel mushroom - sugar sphere with seasonal strawberries, sorbet and a hint of lime . . . #LesAmis #LesAmisRestaurant #MichelinStar #Michelin #SGfood #SGfoodie #SGdesserts #foodstagram #IGeats #finedining #ExploreSingapore

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After the fancy meal, I watched the live action version of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast and loved it. More thoughts shared below:

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And last but not the least, I was planning to splurge by buying a Jo Malone cologne that I’ve been eyeing for the longest time (they smell so good but they’re also super expensive) but decided to go for all natural and organic skincare instead once a friend recommended Vanderohe:

@vanderohe no. 1 face serum is a blend of pure essential oils that are sourced from their countries of origin. I'm such a sucker for organic/natural skincare so I knew I had to try this once @munsq started raving about it. I use it as a moisturizer day and night. I love how it smells and feels, and also that it has multiple positive benefits, making it a one stop skincare solution. Still waiting to see if it will help me achieve smoother and clearer skin! . . . #Vanderohe #faceserum #faceoil #naturalskincare #organicskincare #foodgradeskincare #holisticskincare #botanicalskincare #skincare #skinfood #organicbeauty #crueltyfree #botanics #SGbeauty #beautygram #cleanbeauty #essentialoils #kakikayan #ChachicsBeautyHaul #PaperMarket #PrimaFlowers #scrapbooking

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I did drop by the bookstore after watching the movie but SURPRISE! I walked out of the bookstore without buying anything. Also no books received as gifts because my family and real life friends never know what titles to get for me. So that’s a quick update from me about how my birthday went. 🙂 Back to regular programming and book-related posts after this.