Yes, everyone by now has heard that the Michelin guide is coming to Singapore.
Hopefully it will not be a duplicate of the winners on the Asia's 50 Best Restaurants list, although some overlap is inevitable. How many restaurants will be awarded, I wonder?
The bigger question is whether the Michelin inspectors will understand Singapore style cuisine (like Peranakan and zichar). And some are also asking if hawkers could one day be decorated with a star as well. Should they be included? Well, some of them certainly are worth traveling for, which is in line with the spirit of the guide!
Anyway, we are all having fun predicting the winners. These days there are plenty of food guides and online reviews and references, but the Michelin guide remains highly venerable and gives the F&B industry incredible recognition.
Here are my 10 or so guesses (and part wishlist, in no particular order) on who might get stars.
There's no question. Andre's is pretty much a shoe-in. It's just a matter of how many stars.
It's hard to dispute the consistent quality and epicurean thrills you get at Waku Ghin. Tetsuya Wakuda's devotion to excellent produce and deft preparation is legendary.
Joël Robuchon Restaurant
Monsieur Robuchon, one of the most decorated chefs in France, already has at least 26 Michelin stars in his empire, so I won't be surprised if he gets a couple more in Singapore.
L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon
The more casual outlet of Robuchon's - now this one is a little more iffy but I've always liked the food and ambience here, so I'm hoping it scores at least one star. It's either this or the main restaurant.
"Inspired by my favourite childhood dish, Poulet a la crème, a family dinner staple made lovingly by my grandmother, Odette." - JR Presenting the Challans Guinea Fowl served two ways – leg confit and breast grilled over charcoal, accompanied by a celeriac risotto, foie gras coulant and Swiss chard with sauce albufera, a traditional French cream sauce. #odetterestaurant #julienroyer #odetteharvest #onthetable #sgrestaurants
Darn, this place is booked solid til end of the year. I haven't been able to try this hot new favourite helmed by Julien Royer but I have heard nothing but raves. And knowing his former work at JAAN, I have nothing but high hopes.
Gastro-botanica casual fine-dining in a colonial house with food that's always too pretty to eat. I've not been here yet, but I suspect it has a pretty high chance of making the mark.Chef Jason Tan shared his thoughts about plating it pretty with @btlifestyle. Link to article: bit.ly/business-times-art-on-a-plate (Image credit: @daphotographer) #cornerhousesg #gastrobotanica #gastroart #artonaplate #artofplating #chefstalk #onthetable #foodart #chefsofinstagram #sgeats #sgrestaurant #sgfoodies #chefjasontan #foodpornography #foodpornsg #eatbooksg #eatoutsg #press
Shinji by Kanesaka
Sashimi? Yes please! Shinji by Kanesaka in Singapore, No.32 in Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants. #Asias50Best #ShinjiKanesaka @oshinokoichiro #chef #ShinjiByKanesaka #restaurant @raffleshotelsingapore #hotel #Singapore #travel #wanderlust #sashimi #food #foodie #foodpics #foodporn #foodgasm #foodstagram #instafood #seafood
Sushi Kanesaka has two Michelin stars in Tokyo, so I wonder if the two outlets here (Raffles Hotel and St Regis) by Shinji will win something too. It's also on the Asia's 50 Best.
I really want to see Mikuni get a star. Chef Moon knows his stuff and has consistently been delighting his regulars here.
Ki-Sho is really good too for traditional Kyoto kaiseki style cuisine, but might be a little under the radar to be noticed. It's helmed by Chef Kazuhiro Hamamoto, an alumnus of Waku Ghin.
If Goto was still a high-end kaiseki restaurant, I'd wager they could win a star too, but I haven't tried them or heard much about them since they went casual as G-one.
Jiang Nan Chun at Four Seasons Hotel
The Chinese restaurants are a little harder to pick as there are so many decent ones but which will be stellar enough? My favourites from the hotels are:
Jiang Nan Chun
Outside of the hotels, it looks like the flagship outlets of Imperial Treasure, Crystal Jade and Tung Lok will definitely be investigated. [add: looks like Tong Le Fine Dining is another top pick]
But will places like Hua Yu Wee, Beng Hiang and Moi Lum stand a chance? What about Violet Oon's Kitchen and Malcolm Lee's Candlenut? Which brings me to...
Chef Willin Low is probably our foremost homegrown chef. His ModSin cuisine has evolved and mellowed into something seriously sophisticated. It totally deserves international recognition.
Now let's see if hawker and zichar stalwarts could win Michelin stars. Maybe they will create a "Street Food" section for Singapore like they did for Hong Kong. It's only fair, and this makes it incredibly exciting for the hawker trade.
Does this warrant a separate hawker prediction list? Hmm... :)