It's that time of the year again and the votes are in; these top local restaurants officially serve the best food in Singapore... no, make that Asia
Singapore’s no doubt a great food nation, but we are also a tiny fish in a highly competitive pond; all swimming towards the same goal of culinary perfection. Run once again by The Diner Club Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants Academy, the prestigious award surveys the whole region, and selects the cream of the crop following an arduous voting process that encompasses six voting regions. And after garnering the enlightening insights of over 300 industry experts in Asia, the results are now in. Although Singapore didn’t make the top of the list, Bukit Pasoh’s Restaurant André did take #3, with 9 other local fine dining restaurants trailing close behind. Still on the quest for the best food in Singapore? These are the 10 restaurants that you should consider. (p.s. scroll down to find out which local talent won Asia’s Best Pastry Chef)
#3: Restaurant Andre (up 2 places)
Helmed by Taiwan-born Chef Andre Chiang, the eponymous restaurant serves up the chef’s unique take on Southern French cuisine. While his menu is constantly evolving, the one constant is his ‘Octaphilosophy’, which ensures every dish contains each of these elements: Unique, Pure, Texture, Memory, Salt, South, Artisan and Terroir. Even we’re not entirely sure what these all entail, but we’re certain they’ll be nothing short of magnifique.
Restaurant ANDRE, 41 Bukit Pasoh Road, Singapore 089855. p. 6534 8880. Open for dinner Tue-Sun 7pm-11pm. Open for lunch Fri & Wed 12pm-3pm. Closed on Mon.
#6: Waku Ghin (up 3 places)
Taking a cue from its name that loosely translates to “surging with silver”, you’d best be prepared for the dent this fancy 25-seater will do to your wallet. One thing’s for certain – for a flummoxing $400 per person for its 10-course degustation menu, you’re gonna be taken to gastronomical Utopia by renowned chef, Tetsuya Wakuda. Under this sensei of the culinary arts, you’ll be pampered with specialties like marinated botan shrimp with sea urchin and caviar, and wagyu with wasabi and citrus soy. The splurge is absolutely worth it.
Waku Ghin; 10 Bayfront Avenue; #02-02 Marina Bay Sands; Singapore 018956; 6688 8507; Open daily for two seatings: 5.30pm and 8pm
#12: Les Amis (up 1 place)
Experience classical French cuisine with a touch of Asian aesthetics at Les Amis. Executive Chef Sebastien Lepinoy marries French techniques with Japanese produce to create unique dishes that appeal to local palates. The express menu features specials ($65) like charcoal grilled carpathian pork loin, as well as foie gras and French river eel served with a citrus fruit compote and dashi. Fall in love with his signature starter, Caviar Kristal: cold angel hair pasta with kombu, caviar and black truffle from Provence.
Les Amis, 1 Scotts Road, #01-16 Shaw Centre, Singapore 228208. p. 6733 2225. Open daily for lunch at 12pm (Last seating 2pm) and dinner at 7pm (last seating 9.30pm).
#14: Burnt Ends (up 16 places, highest climber)
For all you carnivores, Burnt Ends is an unpretentious treat for the senses. Expect a mouth-watering barrage of delightful meats cooked in scorching ovens (that can go up to a fiery temp of 700+ degrees). The resto boasts an 18-seater exposed counter top, so you can watch the chef in action just before you tuck in. On top of their meats, try specials like oven-roasted fennel ($12), the pulled pork burger on brioche ($18), and ice-cream and ginger ($10) for dessert. For pork-loving people, the suckling pig, with crisp skin ($55 – enough to feed two!) is a must-have.
Burnt Ends, 20 Teck Lim Road, Singapore 088931, p. 6224 3933. Open for lunch Wed-Sat 11.45am-2pm, for dinner Tue-Sat 6pm-late.
#17 Corner House (debut)
Taking over the now defunct Au Jardin by the Les Amis Group, Corner House is set amongst the lush greenery of the Botanic Gardens and pays tribute to EJH Corner, the man largely responsible for Singapore’s “Green City” status. Serving up mostly French-inspired dishes by local chef Jason Tan – the originator of Gastro-Botanica cuisine – Corner House features a menu with dishes such as carabinero prawns and wagyu-stuffed turnip.
Corner House, EJH Corner House, Singapore Botanic Gardens, 1 Cluny Road, Nassim Gate 259569. Open Tue-Sat, 12pm-3pm and 6.30pm-11pm.
#21: Shinji by Kanesaka (up 11 places)
When it comes to decadent Japanese cuisine, there aren’t many that come quite as elegant as Raffles Hotel’s Shinji by Kanesaka. Formed by Chef Shinji Kanesaka who holds two Michelin stars, this much-revered establishment – there’s even a sushi counter carved from the trunk of a 220-year-old hinoki tree – serves fuss-free yet formidable menus that boast fresh sushi and sashimi in 9-, 12-, or 15-piece sets. Not to mention, exquisite omakase sets that can whip out all sorts of gastronomical curveballs!
Shinji by Kanesaka, #02-20 Raffles Hotel, 1 Beach Road, Singapore 189673, p. 6338 6131. Open Mon-Sat 12pm-3pm, 6pm-10.30pm.
#29: Jaan (down 18 places)
Revered as one of the best restaurants in the world, this high-flying restaurant pairs modern French cuisine with a breathtaking view of the Singapore skyline (hope you ain’t afraid of heights). Its Menu Prestige boasts a seven-course selection, where you can sophisticatedly munch on confit rainbow trout with organic chicken, quinoa and lemon, langoustine canneloni with Oscletra caviar and Hokkaido uni, and ‘forest’ pigeon served with white polenta and cromesquis. All dishes are also meant to be shared, so don’t go hogging a hors-d’oeuvre for yourself!
Swissôtel The Stamford, 2 Stamford Road, Level 70, Equinox Complex, Singapore 178882, p. 6837 3322. Open Mon-Sat 12pm-2pm, 7pm-10pm. Closed on Sun & PH.
#31: Tippling Club (up 5 places)
If you’re craving a dose of NYC, the ambience in the restaurant will cater superbly – the interior is chic, crisp and totally Tribeca, downtown Manhattan. This is modern dining at its best and Ryan Clift is quite clearly in his element, capitalising on the Tippling Club’s formidable cache while inventing an entirely fresh concept that is welcoming and accessible. Delight your senses with the quail egg on kombusu, Tippling Club’s interpretation of a Singaporean chicken curry, a translucent basil infused gazpacho, a Styrofoam truffle (yes, Styrofoam), and an astonishingly flavoursome Wagyu beef with sea flowers, to name a few.
Tippling Club, 38 Tanjong Pagar Road, Singapore 088461, p. 6475 2217. Open for lunch Mon-Fri 12pm-3pm, for dinner Mon-Sat 6pm-late.
#36: Iggy’s (down 18 places)
Founded and named after award-winning Sommelier and restaurateur, Ignatius Chan, this long-standing fixture of the fine dining milieu earned the prestige of Best New Restaurant at The 2006 World Gourmet Summit. It’s no wonder regulars keep coming back for its Gastronomic Menu – that parades foie gras royale (with egg, beef consomme and black truffles), black throat sea perch (with eggplant, ginger flower and yuzu) and Toriyama striploin and Blackmore flank (with endive, burnt egg and mushrooms).
Iggy’s; 581 Orchard Road; Lvl 3 The Hilton Hotel; Singapore 238883; 6732 2234; Open daily except Wednesdays and Sundays, 12pm-1.30pm and 7pm-9.30pm
#38: Wild Rocket (debut)
There’s no better place to try Mod Sin (short for Modern Singaporean cuisine, a fusion of Western and local flavours) fare than Wild Rocket, where creator-chef Willin Low helms the kitchen. We like the laksa (coconut milk-based curry broth) pesto risotto and the salted egg crab ball, but the menu changes every month so you’re always in for a surprise here.
Wild Rocket, Hangout Hotel, 10A Upper Wilkie Road, Singapore 228119, p. 6339 9448.
Asia’s Best Pastry Chef: Cheryl Koh
Known as the ‘Queen of Tarts’ behind institutions like Tarte and Les Amis, this 36-year-old very much deserves this honourable award in our books. The fruity ingredients in her tarts range from French gariguette strawberries to Indian Alphonso mangoes, and her must-try desserts include whole candied mikan with panna cotta with Earl Grey jelly, and chocolate mille-feuille made with cocoa puff pastry and Alunga milk chocolate ganache. Koh brings this award back to Singapore, last held by Janice Wong (of 2am:Dessert Bar) in 2013 and 2014.