Thursday, December 3, 2015

Singapore Michelin Guide: Which will be deemed Singapore's Best Restaurants?

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.

Restaurant Andre

Andre Chiang and his wife in the background
There's no question. Andre's is pretty much a shoe-in. It's just a matter of how many stars.

Waku Ghin

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

Beef fillet in Rossini interpretation with vintage Taylors port and bitter salad sprouts
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

Joël Robuchon welcoming the media - we are the first people to have seen his restaurants here
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.


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.

Shinji by Kanesaka

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.


Robatayaki Room at Mikuni
I really want to see Mikuni get a star. Chef Moon knows his stuff and has consistently been delighting his regulars here.


It's a joy to watch the chef in action
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

Jiang-Nan Chun at Four Seasons Hotel Singapore

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

Li Bai

Yan Ting

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...

Wild Rocket 

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... :)



  1. I'm having so much fun reading everyone's predictions! It seems like Andre and Waku Ghin are on everyone's list. Personally, I don't like the food at the two acclaimed restaurants but I suppose their style--not taste--is what Michelin inspectors are looking for.

    Joel Robucheon always gets stars... so I think your predictions will come true again here. Michelin is a French guide, right?

    Wild Rocket should get a star as a nod to Singaporean food. It's a toss up between Labyrinth, Wild Rocket, and Candlenut--and I haven't been to Wild Rocket in years--but Willin's popularity, fame, and connections will put him in good stead.

    Been to Corner House. I like it but... I think it will at most get 1 star because the seafood isn't the freshest.

    Been to Shinji once... and the sous chef did our sushi, which gave me a terrible experience. I don't know if paying $400 is worth getting served by the sous chef.

    My experience at Mikuni is so-so. So I think this one on your list will miss the star.

    For Chinese restaurant, it's Tong Le Fine Dining!!

    Nobody puts Binomio on their list yet, but I think it's a sure-win for them. Their service is amazing, their chef is previously from Santi, and even their toilet uses towel napkins.

    Got a reservation for Odette on Sat! YAY. and putting Ki-sho on my next to-go list!

    1. Wow, I love your take on the places! It's true, sometimes style > taste at the most fancy restaurants.

      Oh Binomio...good pick. I wonder how many restaurants the inspectors will get to test. Wild Rocket has become better and better, so I think he deserves a star. Haven't been to Labyrinth yet; heard mixed reviews.

      Haha you're the first person I know to be lukewarm about Cornerhouse and Shinji. That's incredible that $400 gets you only a sous chef.

      I'm reading your Tong Le review - I have to go soon! And lucky you - Odette on Sat!

  2. Hashida at Mandarin Gallery. Hua Ting at Orchard Hotel.


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