10 Best Restaurants In Singapore 2016 – Andre and Waku Ghin Lead The Way
The selected restaurants are picked by a panel of “an influential group of over 300 leaders in the restaurant industry across Asia” and they must have eaten at their chosen restaurants within a time period. Voting ended the previous year, otherwise we would most likely see bright new stars such as Odette somewhere up there.
On the downside, I wished there was more Asian cuisine represented. This year Imperial Treasure Super Peking Duck dropped out of the ranks for the first time. Not surprising too, think it’s the inconsistency and being off the radar.
The short write-up below contains some key information you would like to know, such as reservation details, signature dish, price of the tasting menus and my one-liner take. Note that those listed here typically require reservations. For Andre, it is recommended to be at least 6-8 weeks in advance.
The 10 Best Restaurants In Singapore 2016
Restaurant Andre (Bt Pasoh Road)
Waku Ghin (Marina Bay Sands)
Les Amis (Shaw Centre)
Burnt Ends (Teck Lim Road)
Corner House (Botanic Gardens)
Shinji by Kanesaka (Raffles Hotel)
Jaan (Swissotel the Stamford)
Tippling Club (Tanjong Pagar)
Wild Rocket (Upper Wilkie Road)
Iggy’s (Hilton Hotel)
41 Bukit Pasoh Road Singapore 089855 (Outram Park MRT)
Tel: +65 6534 8880
Opening Hours: 12:00 – 2:00pm, 7:00 – 11:00pm (Tues – Sun, Closed Mon, PH)
Chef-Owner Andre Chiang, Executive Chef Johnny Jiang, Pastry Chef Mohamed Al-Matin Bin Mohamed Hussain
Style: Southern French nouvelle cuisine reinterpreted
Dish: Octaphilosophy of eight dishes
Price: $198++ for lunch (Wed & Fri only), $350++ for dinner (Tues-Sun)
Chef Andre Chiang is going places, with Restaurant Andre being commonly known as Singapore’s best restaurant. Not excluding the successful Burnt Ends (Singapore), Porte 12 (Paris), RAW (Taipei) which are all under his care.
Restaurant Andre’s philosophical menu ($350++ per person sans wine) is based on an “Octaphilosophy” theme of eight dishes, representing Pure, Salt, Artisan, South, Texture, Unique, Memory and Terrior.
There is no signature dish per se, the only constant is “Memory”. Even if it is on the same day, guests may be offered different dishes for the same theme. Read: Restaurant Andre Bt Pasoh Road)
I say: My dining experience was subtle and dreamy (in a good way). You need to appreciate Restaurant Andre’s food in its entirely, as a symphony of sorts, because some single items may well, throw you off.
My friends say: Quoting RubbishEatRubbishGrow, “…uniqueness monotonous, without variation, without surprises after 8 courses.”
The Shoppes Atrium 2, Marina Bay Sands #02-02 (via escalator opposite Artbox Level 2), 10 Bayfront Avenue Singapore.
Tel: +65 6688 8507
Opening Hours: 6:00pm and 8:30pm (Two seatings)
Chef-Owner Tetsuya Wakuda, Executive Sous Chef Mosahiko Inoue, Pastry Chef Yasushi Ishino
Style: Modern Japanese
Dish: Marinated botan shrimp with sea urchin and oscietra caviar
Price: $400 for 10-course degustation menu
Opened by Celebrity Chef Tetsuya Wakuda, ‘Waku’ is to ‘spring forth’ and ‘ghin’ means silver which happens to be his favourite colour.
Waku Ghin at Marina Bay Sands can be considered Chef Tetsuya’s dream ‘playground’, a 10,000 square feet expensive space, meant to serve maximum of 25 customers at one time. Interesting, Waku Ghin received better reviews during recent times compared to the original Tetsuya’s in Sydney. I ate both – I agree Waku Ghin feels more exciting.
The 10-course degustation menu has very hefty price tag of $400++ per person, noting that most of the ingredients used – trout, lobster, wagyu, caviar, the expensive luxurious types.
My recommendation is to get the later seating of 8pm, it should feel less hurried, and you can slowly have desserts and coffee overlooking the Singapore skyline. (Read: Waku Ghin at Marina Bay Sands)
I say: One of my favourite meals ever, but I am not sure if I am willing to part with that much money for a meal again.
My friends say: It’s freaking $400++. With just a glass of wine, it is over $500!
1 Scotts Road, #02-16 Shaw Centre, Singapore 228208 (Opposite HSBC Bank, Tanglin Branch)
Tel: +65 67332225
Opening Hours: Lunch 12.00pm (Last seating at 2.00pm), Dinner 7.00pm (Last seating at 9.30pm), Opened Daily
Chef Sebastian Lepinoy, Pastry Chef Cheryl Koh
Style: Contemporary French
Dish: Caviar on Potato Salad – Kristal caviar surrounded with petals of Roseval potatoes with capers, smoked salmon and fresh herbs
Price: $155 for lunch tasting menu (Lunch express is also available at $65), $295 for dinner tasting menu
Les Amis filled the void of fine-dining French restaurants in Singapore during the 1990s, and quickly became one of the most recognisable names in the industry. However, the group seemed to have shifted focus to their mid-tier restaurants such as Aoki, La Strada and Bistro Du Vin and casual dining concepts of Nam Nam and Pepperoni Pizza.
Chef de Cuisine Sebastien Lepinoy, who is protégé of Joël Robuchon, joined the restaurant in 2013. The Dinner Degustation Menu ($295) includes Oscietra Caviar from Kaviari with Cold Angel Hair and Sherry Vinegar, and Pan Seared Foie Gras and French River Eel accompanied by Cherry Fruits. A more affordable Lunch Express ($65) which can be served within 45 min is available. (Read: Les Amis Shaw Centre)
I say: I must say the desserts were quite impressive.
My friends say: A must try but forgettable.
20 Teck Lim Road Singapore 088391
Tel: +65 6224 3933
Opening Hours: 11:45am – 2pm(Wed-Sat), 6pm to Late (Tues-Sat), Closed Sun, Mon
Chef Dave Pynt
Dish: Leek, hazelnut and brown butter
Price Tag: Varies, no degustation menu
The most unconventional restaurant in this list. More casual than fine. A modern Australian barbecue restaurant which offers counter seats and open kitchen.
This is no ordinary barbecue. Chef Dave Pynt (backed by Loh Lip Peng and Chef Andre Chiang) customised these machines, ovens and grills where food can be smoked, roasted, or even cooked directly on coals to 700 degree Celsius. The heat is up, and flavours are enhanced.
Do not miss the Burnt Ends’ Sanger ($20) – one of the best brioche burgers ever, and King Crab and Garlic ($65). The taste of that crab was so intense, it is pretty unforgettable. (Read: Burnt Ends Teck Lim Road)
I say: I would recommend Burnt Ends in a heartbeat, for its uniqueness and its take on barbecue that is probably not available anywhere else in the region.
My friends say: Intense. Bu-zhua! (meaning ‘heaty’)
1 Cluny Road, Singapore Botanic Gardens, EJH Corner House, Singapore 259569
(Drive in from Nassim Gate, Park at Carpark A or B)
Opening Hours: 12-2:30pm, 6:30-10:30pm (Tue-Sat), 11:30am-3pm, 6:30-10:30pm (Sun & PH), Closed Mon
Chef Jason Tan
Style: Modern French
Dish: Carabinero prawn: varieties of best season tomato, vintage sherry, Kristal de Chine caviar
Price: Lunch Discovery 5 courses at $98++, Menu Gastronomic $178++, Discovery Menu at $248++
The Gastro-Botanica cuisine created by Chef Jason Tan would a shoo-in for one of the best fine dining meals I had in Singapore. I won’t deny that there is this element of support for a young and talented Singaporean chef.
Located in the black-and-white bungalow EJH Corner House within the Singapore Botanic Gardens, Chef Jason’s cuisine could be described as French with some twists inspired from food from his growing up years and travels. There was also inclusion of strong botanical elements – sustainably-sourced seasonal produce and vegetables, due to its unique location. (Read: Corner House Botanic Gardens)
I say: A beautiful experience.
My friends say: Worth a Michelin star.
Shinji by Kanesaka
Raffles Hotel #02-20 1 Beach Road (via Seah Street lobby) Singapore 189673. Branch at St Regis Singapore
Tel: +65 6338 6131
Opening Hours: 12pm – 3pm (Lunch), 6pm -10.30pm (Dinner), Closed Sundays
Chef Koichiro Oshino
Style: Japanese sushi
Dish: Uni Gohan
Price: $250 for Omakase lunch; $220/$300/$450 for Omakase dinner
Watching the skilled Japanese chefs at work feels like an art, orchestra, and performance at the same time.
Tucked away at the iconic Raffles Hotel, Shinji by Michelin-starred Chef Shinji Kanesaka is an Edo-style sushi restaurant, serving sashimi and sushi at the most superior quality at an intimate setting. Probably one of the best you can get outside Japan at this part of the world.
The Omakase Wa ($300) includes appetiser, assorted sashimi, assorted cooked dishes, sushi, soup and Japanese fruit while the upper tier is at $450. I specially requested for Master Chef Koichiro Oshino, which is both serious at work, and humorous as he does his explanation in the most candid manner. (Read: Shinji by Kanesaka Raffles Hotel)
I say: Less intimidating than Jiro.
My friends say: I will come here for sushi ALL THE TIME if I have the money.
2 Stamford Road, Level 70, Equinox complex, Swissotel the Stamford, Singapore 178882 (City Hall MRT)
Tel: +65 9199 9008
Opening Hours: 12pm – 2pm (Lunch Mon-Sat), 7pm – 10pm (Dinner Daily except PH)
Chef Kirk Westaway
Style: Modern French
Dish: Tomato Collection
Price: Lunch 3 Course $78 (including coffee). 5 Course Menu $198 (Wine Pairing $130); 7 Course Menu $238 (Wine Pairing $190), Krug Dinner Pairing Artisanal Cuisine $498
The word ‘Jaan’ is derived from the ancient Sanskrit word for ‘bowl’. Its 5 course degustation menu is at $198 (wine pairing $130), 7 course artisanal menu at $238 (wine pairing $180). Do not miss the signature Soft Organic Hen’s Egg with purple artichoke, chorizo iberico and buckwheat.
With the departure of Chef Julian Royer, JAAN did have a void and big shoes to fill, but Chef Kirk Westaway managed to helm his own with a modern take on French cuisine. (Read: Jaan Swissotel the Stamford)
I say: Have yet to try the food under the new chef.
My friends say: Chef looks like Tom Cruise (forgive the frivolity).
38 Tanjong Pagar Road, Singapore 08846
Tel: +65 6475 2217
Opening Hours: Lunch 12-3pm (Mon-Fri), Dinner 6pm-11pm (Mon-Sat), Bar 12pm-12am (Mon-Sat), Closed Sun
Reserve Online Now
Chef Ryan Clift
Style: Modern avant garde
Dish: Wild Scottish razor clams
Price: Class menu without pairing $170++, with pairing $275++; Gourmand menu without pairing $270++, with pairing $430++
For those unfamiliar with Tippling Club’s Chef Ryan Clift’s food, it has been described as “modern gastronomy”, “ever-evolving”, “cutting-edge” and “avant-garde”. If I may, in simpler terms – playful and unexpected. But do not ever use the word “molecular” on him, he hates that word.
I thoroughly enjoyed some of the creations, namely the Omelette with Smoked Eel and Caviar which has a perfect blend of the various ingredients. The Tippling Club is some parts dramatic, some parts exceptional, and some parts leaving you wondering. (Read: Tippling Club Tanjong Pagar)
I say: The food can be well, interesting?
My friends say: Gimmicky, but in a good way.
The Hangout Hotel, 10A Upper Wilkie Road, Singapore 228119
Tel: +65 63399448
Opening Hours: 12.30pm – 3.00pm Lunch, 3.00pm – 6.00pm Coffee, Cocktails and Cotta, 6.30pm – 10.30pm Dinner (Mon-Sat, Closed Sun)
Chef Willin Low
Dish: Beef short rib with rendang and kaffir
Price: Set Lunch $35, Omakase Lunch $80-$120, Omakase Dinner between $120 and $160 depending on what is served.
Chef Willin Low is known to be one of the first to introduce “Mod-Sin” (which mean modern Singapore) dishes in Singapore.
The reinvention of Wild Rocket saw the introduction of an omakase menu ($120++ for 8 courses) at the Chef’s table, where Willin would personally introduce the dishes and concept. This guy is an auntie-charmer I tell you, making all the ladies (and some guys) laugh at the 8-seater table.
Each dish in the omakase menu has a captivating story, inspired by Willin’s travels, childhood in Singapore or love for hawker food.
My personal favourite dish was a Laksa Risotto & Pesto with Seared Hokkaido Scallop. The coconutty-laksa base bizarrely reminded me of a long-forgotten taste, a particular laksa gravy tang that I was fond of as a child. (Read: Wild Rocket Upper Wilkie Road)
I say: Lawyer turned chef cum media personality is testimonial to fight-for-your-dreams.
My friends: The restaurant to recommend overseas friends. (Even PM Lee feels the same way.)
Level 3, The Hilton Hotel, 581 Orchard Road Singapore 238883 (Orchard MRT)
Tel: +65 6732 2234 or send text message to +65 8188 3200
Opening Hours: 12pm – 1:30pm (Mon-Fri Lunch), 7pm – 9:30pm (Mon-Sat Dinner), Closed Sun
Culinary Director Ignatious Chan, Chef Julian Tan, Pastry Chef Teresa Tan
Style: Global eclectic
Dish: Capellini with sakura ebi, konbu and shellfish oil
Price: Lunch Tasting Menu $150++, Dinner $195++, Gastronomic Menu $225++, $250++ or $275++
Prior to Restaurant Andre, Iggy’s had been known to be Singapore’ Best Restaurant, named after respected restaurateur Ignatius Chan. It has been is in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants since 2009, the first restaurant in Singapore to be on the coveted list.
Other restaurants have caught up, and Iggy’s has somehow surprisingly stayed off the radar.
It is tough to categorise Iggy’s food. Some call it European, fusion, or east-meets-west. More correctly said, Iggy’s create dishes based on its founder’s favourite food and combinations, incorporating inspirations from the Asian, European and Australian continents. (Read: Iggy’s at Hilton Hotel)
I say: Some dishes were impressive, though a good half was not as memorable or mind (taste)-blowing.
My friends say: Hits and misses.
Have you tried any of these restaurants, and what is your take?
Other Related Entries
A-Z List Of Where To Eat, Where To Go Around Singapore
Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2016
10 Singapore Food Bloggers And Their Fav Hawker Food
10 Singapore Heritage Bakeries and Shops
10 Best Hotel Buffets & Sunday Brunches In Singapore
* Daniel’s Food Diary pays for food reviewed, unless otherwise stated.
January 19, 2017
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