Taiwan-born chef Andre Chiang announced that he will be closing his two-Michelin-starred Restaurant Andre in Bukit Pasoh Road on Feb 14 next year.
The untimely e-mail announcement, which was sent to local press in the wee hours of Wednesday morning (Oct 11), came as a food-choking shock to many.
This announcement was especially surprising, given that Restaurant Andre had only just celebrated its seventh anniversary in Singapore on October 10 of this year.
Not only that, Chiang had specifically stated that he will “return” the Michelin stars and requested that he and his other restaurant, Raw, to not be included in next year’s Michelin Guide in Singapore or Taiwan (and Taipei).
In a statement, Chiang expressed hope that, following his retirement from Restaurant Andre, “Raw will be [a] pure place” where he can “focus on educating, developing others, and cooking”.
Currently, both Restaurant Andre and Raw hold impressive positions in the coveted Michelin Guide.
Restaurant Andre is ranked second on the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list while internationally, it holds the 14th position on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list (the only Singapore Michelin restaurant to make the top 50); Raw, on the very same list, too, comes in strong at No. 24.
At the time of the closure, the acclaimed chef called his experiences in the culinary scene the “best moment” of his life (to date his impressive career as a chef spans a total of 30 years).
He added that it was “his duty” to pass on his skill set and knowledge to the next generation of aspiring chefs in Taiwan and China.
He further commented that though he initially wanted to look for “that unrealistic ‘moment of perfection – three Michelin stars, World’s Top 50 Restaurant”, the current status of Restaurant Andre as a two-starred eatery was in itself, a moment that is “perfect as it is”.
There’s enough Michelin to go around
While many have expressed their disappointment at the closing of Restaurant Andre, Singapore has no shortage of Michelin-endorsed restaurants.
In fact in this year alone, 11 new local eateries were awarded one Michelin star at a prestigious gala at Fullerton Hotel.
In addition, some restaurants such as the Waku Ghin, by celebrity chef Tetsuya Wakuda, even saw a significant bump in status (they went from one to two Michelin stars); Joel Robouchon Restaurant, on the other hand, remained the only three-starred establishment in Singapore.
For the full and latest list of Michelin restaurants in Singapore, do visit the official Michelin Guide here.