Doesn’t happen often, Chef’s Table on CNY Re-union Evening with Michael Han….*Bless*


We had a friend come visit us over Chinese New Year. The name is ‘Storm’ – a typical otaku but with a surprisingly well developed palate. The guy doesn’t spend much $$ for 10 months a year and then in spurts of special occasion, he spends like a beast. His travel to Singapore was one such special occasion. His ‘premier’ visit to Singapore at that.

Alas, he asked me which is my favourite Singaporean home grown chef and without a shadow of a doubt, I informed him it was Michael Han of Fifty Three.   We had to get a booking there. Fifty Three was actually going to be closed on the day and for the entire duration whilst Storm is town. Luck would have it that I spoke to Michael and he made an exception and was kind enough to host us for dinner on Sunday 22nd Jan. We invited two other fabulous friends (also from Japan) to join us to share the gastronomical evening together.
This is my second visit to Fifty Three. On my first occasion, we were diners like any other and were seated upstairs so I wasn’t sure what is happening downstairs with all the cooking. This time, we had the privilege and pleasure to be seated at the chef’s table so to speak. We saw everything happening before our eyes and surely this heightens any phoodie’s anticipation of what we are about to be served. I shall leave the few pictures of the evening’s meals speak for itself. Overall, a very personable, special and delicious meal for a special occasion

  • Ambience  – understated, modern
  • Wine  – Clos St. Denis, Domaine Dujac, 2000
  • Highlight – Seeing the kitchen quite literally set alight. we are assured this is part of normal process for charing the pork loin to seal the moisture. The waiter had a cheeky grin on his face when he saw us  stop our conversation in shock of the blaze shooting up into the air vent.
  • Favourite Dish – Lobster with duck’s tongue and bone marrow sauce – lobster was cooked perfectly with yummy savoury jus of bone marrow. I also really enjoyed the refreshing and lightness of the whole dish of the Boston Scallops with yuzu and variety of herbs and heirloom orange tomatoes
The main features of the Degustation Menu

The main features of the Degustation Menu at Fifty Three

Below is a selection of the sack of freshly baked bread, the Danish cheese puff , Potatoes and the signature ‘gin and tonic on the rocks’.  Oh… I thought I’d throw in the picture of the spectacular little blaze in the kitchen too.

Nick Nacks and the FIRE

Knick Knacks and the FIRE - part of the experience?

I cannot possibly end this post without a feature of the Chef Michael Han  – one of the most humble, kindest and passionate chefs I’ve met.Chef Michael Han

My advice? Go dine at Fifty Three Armenian Street and you will see what I mean.

Debut, First Step, The Start of… the Phoodie Travelogue…..

Hello World!
Many things to be all happy and wiggly about today (05.10.2011):
1) My wedding anniversary
2) Went for a lovely meal at Restaurant Andre
3) Last but not least, I’ve finally bucked up and kick start my dabbling in wordpress – sharing my yummy PHoodiE Photos with you.

PHoodiE Travelogue – so goes the name, combines simply my love of good food, photography (of food mainly…) and travels (often in search of good food)…..

So let me begin with today’s journey.
This evening we dined at a Restaurant Andre. Chef Michael Han of Fifty Three recommended me to pay a visit to Andre. The restaurant exterior is discreet and thoughtful – tucked into a little corner of Outram Park area with a distinct olive tree outside it’s front doors.

Restaurant Andre

Restaurant Andre - the signature Olive Tree

The service was prompt and attentive throughout the meal. Sweep all that aside – what of the food?
I’ll not spoil the whole course by show casing every single dish – that’s is an experience I’d like you to try for yourself if you are in Singapore or will pop over soon.

The evening of degustation is organised into 8 segments – Octophilosophy – designed by Andre. I enjoyed ‘Pure’,  ‘Unique’ and ‘Terroir’ the most.
‘Pure’ is a beautiful and delicate lilac dish of purple cauliflower juice, scallop cappacio and Japanese chives and vintage olive oil dotted around to add a little interesting spots into the dish.



‘Unique’ is about taking a basic or common ingredient and making it different somehow. Andre creates this dish with barramundi – slices quite thinly, chargrilled and then layered with archichokes infused in a wonderful delicate zesty sauce.



‘Terroir’ is supposedly the masculine dish (read, red meat) and I loved it. the whole dish was like a work of art with greens and reds and a beautifully cooked duck and the jus… to die for. See for yourself.



And since I’m sure a dessert lover – I must of course feature the chocolate dessert (amoung 3 other palate cleansers, pre desserts and petit fours he indulged us with)…. It was basically chocolate in as many % you can image in the form of ice cream, spong, brittle, soil, wafer. The result was a delish yummy happy PHoodiE ending…


Six Chocolates

We were lucky enough to speak to Chef Andre this evening though it well past midnight….We are very impressed by his passion, genuine love of the craft, art and his customers and staff.
A little fact for you – early adopters and subscribers to my ramblings….. Andre is rather good with his hands (outside of the kitchen too!) – he handmade many of the serving dishes, cups even your bread plate – make sure you take a second look at the things closest to you at the dining table – he is THAT thoughtful when it comes to dining experiences with him.

He loves trees – hence the olive tree in front of his restaurant and…. He’ll be in Melbourne for the Melbourne Food Festival next March 2012! So … you lucky Melbournians – buy your tickets and go to his sessions/demos!!!

Till next time, ciao,
A very full and sleepying PHoodiE……