The movie “Foodies” traced 5 food bloggers who go on a search for the best fine dining and Michelin star restaurants around the world. What is the reason for their obsession, you may wonder? And I saw a reflection of myself in some of them.
Very simply, I wanted to know the definition of “The Best”; I wanted to taste “The Best Restaurants In Singapore” to possibly the world.
To me, it is more of an avenue to train my taste, train my craft. It gives me more confidence, and a conceivable yardstick for writing reviews. (Like how can I write about best food, if I haven’t really tasted ‘the best’.)
There are many food guides and websites which list the various “best”. Since there are no-Michelin starred restaurants in Singapore, I first depended on The World’s 100 Best Restaurants list. There will be naysayers against this list or any lists for that matter, but at least it is an internationally recognised guide.
The following top restaurants in Singapore guide is based on Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2015. I went down to each and every one of them. There was some space apart, as I needed a break – taste and monetary wise.
With that said, I have to thank my friends who accompanied me for these meals and this crazy journey (I didn’t want to dine alone okay?) because these are not cheap in any sense. (Unlike the movie, I have no super rich parents or a windfall from anywhere sponsoring the meals. Haha) I appreciate each and every one of you.
The 10 Best Restaurants In Singapore 2015
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)
Price Tag: $128++ for lunch (Wed & Fri only), $298++ for dinner (Tues-Sun)
Chef Andre Chiang transformed this small little restaurant near Chinatown to Singapore’s best restaurant under S.Pellegrino’s World’s 50 Best Restaurants, and lauded by The New York Times as a “top 10 restaurant in the world worth a plane ride”.
Chef Andre’s philosophical menu ($298++ per person sans wine) is based on an “Octaphilosophy” theme of eight dishes, representing Pure, Salt, Artisan, South, Texture, Unique, Memory and Terrior. Every single dish represented perfection with the blend of ingredients, the intricacies that go into creation, and the thought process of putting it together.
Personally, my dining experience was subtle and dreamy (in a good way). I can believe this is Singapore’s best restaurant. (Read: Restaurant Andre Bt Pasoh Road)
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)
Price Tag: $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.
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.
Waku Ghin’s signature dish, the Marinated Botan Shrimp with Sea Urchin and Oscietra Caviar, is mind-blowing delicious. Every spoonful of the uni just melts in your mouth sensationally, and you feel transported to a gastronomic dreamland. 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. (Read Waku Ghin at Marina Bay Sands)
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)
Price Tag: 5 Course Menu $198, Wine Pairing $130; 7 Course Menu $238, Wine Pairing $190
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 55’ Rosemary Smoked Organic Egg.
The dining experience, aesthetics and taste of the cuisine can be briefly summarised in one word – beautiful. Easily one of my favourites in Singapore. However, with the departure of Chef Julian Royer, JAAN does have a void and big shoes to fill. (Read: Jaan Swissotel the Stamford)
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
Price Tag: $145 for lunch tasting menu, $280 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 ($280) 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 Epicurean menu ($120) is available for lunch. There were few surprises in terms of the mains, though I must say the desserts were quite impressive.
Level 3, The Hilton Hotel, 581 Orchard Road Singapore 238883 (Orchard MRT),
Tel: +65 6732 2234 or send text message to +65 8188 3200
Reserve at www.iggys.com.sg
Opening Hours: 12pm – 1:30pm (Mon-Fri Lunch), 7pm – 9:30pm (Mon-Sat Dinner), Closed Sun
Price Tag: Lunch Tasting Menu $150++, Dinner Tasting Menu $235++
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.
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.
For lunch, the tasting menu is at $150++, while its usual Dinner Menu is at $235++ and Gastronomic Menu a pricier $275++. Some dishes were impressive, though a good half was not as memorable or mind (taste)-blowing. (Read: Iggy’s at Hilton Hotel)
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
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.
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
Price Tag: $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.
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
Price Tag: Gourmand menu without pairing $265++, with pairing $420++
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, some parts leaving you wondering. Yah, the food can be weird. (Read: Tippling Club Tanjong Pagar)
Galleria Level 42-46, Marina Bay Sands, 2 Bayfront Avenue, Singapore 018972
Tel: +65 6688 8522
Opening Hours: 5:00pm – 11:00pm (Mon-Sat), 12:00pm – 2:00pm, 5:00pm -11:00pm (Sun)
Price Tag: Chef’s Tasting Menu at $128++, with pairing $228++
The food is Italian and the restaurant feels NYC with its uplifting atmosphere and buzz (so not the finest of fine dining). Service staff walk in and fro the mozzarella bar in the middle, with pastries, mozzarella, burrata, stracciatella and burricotta cheese displayed.
Chef David Almany puts up a daily selection of his best Antipasti, Mozzarella, Primi & Secondi, coupled with Pastry Chef Ariana Flores’ impeccable desserts with a tasting menu of $128++ per person . The food is hearty, fresh and of good quality, with choice of unique ingredients well put together. (Osteria Mozza Marina Bay Sands)
Imperial Treasure Super Peking Duck
#05-42/45 Paragon, 290 Orchard Rd. Singapore 238859 (Orchard MRT)
Tel: +65 6732 7838
Opening Hours: Lunch 11:30am-2:45pm (Mon-Fri), 11am-2:45pm (Sat), 10:30am-2:45pm (Sun); Dinner 6-10:30pm Daily
Price Tag: Special menu for 6 at $528++, or $88++ per person
Some jaws dropped when Alfred Leung’s Imperial Treasures made it to the list. After all, there are many other Chinese restaurants in Singapore worthy of mention. While it may not be commonly considered the very top of Singapore’s Chinese restaurant, most dishes stands out from the average.
Imperial Treasure’s Peking Duck can be considered better than many other restaurants from the capital city. To be pre-ordered in advance, the chef will carve the duck ($68) skill-fully in front of your table, into thinly crispy pieces with little meat and fats, lightly scented by the lychee wood used in the oven. (Read Imperial Treasure Super Peking Duck Paragon)
Have you tried any of these restaurants, and what is your take?
* Daniel’s Food Diary pays for food reviewed, unless otherwise stated.