Can’t wait for the Michelin Guide Singapore’s launch later this year? Here are some local restaurants Singapore with links to Michelin-starred establishments abroad. And no, this does not make them a Michelin-starred restaurant.
Which ones will earn stars when the Michelin Guide Singapore 2016 is released? Save this post and check back with your own predictions then.
1) Jöel Robuchon Restaurant
French haute cuisine puts its best face forward at this swish dining spot on Sentosa Island. Enthusiastic gourmets flock here to sample the 16-course degustation menu, which showcases Joël Robuchon's love for fresh, humble ingredients.
The Star Connection: The French chef and restaurateur's two dining concepts on Sentosa Island – Joël Robuchon Restaurant and L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon – are part of his massive restaurant empire, which spans across Hong Kong, Bangkok, Las Vegas, Paris, London, Bordeaux, Monaco, Tokyo, Taipei and Macau. All in all, the celebrity chef’s restaurants have been awarded a total of 28 Michelin stars at the peak of his career (his current count is 25 stars), which is the highest number for any chef in the culinary world.
2) L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon
A lot more informal compared to the neighbouring Joël Robuchon Restaurant, this vibrant restaurant is all about pushing the envelope on modern French plates. Experimental new dishes are constantly being created, and diners get to watch the talented chefs in action from counter-seats by the open kitchen during this theatrical experience of gastronomic proportions.
3) Bread Street Kitchen
Popular television chef Gordon Ramsay’s highly anticipated Bread Street Kitchen at Marina Bay Sands offers classic British comfort food such as Shepherd's Pie with Braised Lamb, and Fish and Chips with Crushed Peas. Some dishes bear Singapore inflections too, such as the Spicy Tuna Tartare with chilli, sesame oil, garlic, and wonton crisps.
The Star Connection: An offshoot of the £5 million London original, Bread Street Kitchen is Gordon Ramsay's first foray into Singapore. The famous Scottish-born chef and TV personality gained three Michelin stars in 2001 for his first solo venture, 24-year-old Restaurant Gordon Ramsay in London, which it has kept ever since. He now has several restaurants under his name spanning from Qatar to the US and Hong Kong, and they have once held a total of 16 Michelin stars (though the current count stands at seven).
4) CUT by Wolfgang Puck
Swanky steakhouse CUT by Wolfgang Puck is renowned for serving classy cocktails and highly prized meats such as Snake River Farms wagyu and Hokkaido snow beef in an elegant, dimly lit dining room.
The Star Connection: The Marina Bay Sands venue is the third offshoot of celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck's global CUT chain, whose Beverly Hills maiden outlet earned one Michelin star in 2007, just a year out of the gate. German-born Puck trained in France but made his name when he moved to Los Angeles in 1975 and quickly became the go-to chef for Hollywood elites. Today, his global culinary empire spans a cluster of over 100 restaurants, including Spago in Las Vegas, which had two Michelin stars until the guide stopped publishing a Las Vegas edition.
5) Spago by Wolfgang Puck
Featuring a main dining hall and a terrace lounge, the sophisticated Singapore sister restaurant of the American original doesn't just showcase iconic Californian dishes, but also intriguing Singapore-inspired creations. Think: pan-seared foie gras served with kaya and a slow cooked egg yolk.
6) Osteria Mozza
Italian staples inspired by chef Mario Batali's culinary sojourns in New York and Bologna in Italy can be found on the menu at this posh restaurant at Marina Bay Sands, which has a freestanding mozzarella bar as its centrepiece.
The Star Connection: Co-owned by three culinary heavyweights, Mario Batali, Joe Bastianich (who both run B&BHG, short for the Batali & Bastianich Hospitality Group), and Nancy Silverton, the first Osteria Mozza was launched in 2007 in Los Angeles. It garnered one Michelin star when the Michelin Guide published a short-lived Los Angeles edition, and is a lot more upscale next to its laid-back sibling, Pizzeria Mozza.
7) Pizzeria Mozza
Pizza lovers can indulge in the glorious Italian classic here at Pizzeria Mozza. Situated right next to Osteria Mozza, this eating spot puts out doughy creations topped with exquisite ingredients like burrata and white anchovies.
8) db Bistro & Oyster Bar
Drawing inspiration from the illustrious db Bistro Moderne in New York, db Bistro & Oyster Bar at the Marina Bay Sands is famed for its hearty gourmet burgers. The relatively new oyster bar is also a hit with its incredible seafood offerings, from Atlantic and Pacific oysters to Alaskan king crab legs.
The Star Connection: db Bistro & Oyster Bar is owned by chef Daniel Boulud. Born in France, Boulud is known for incorporating both French and American flavours in his cooking. He moved to New York in 1982 and rose to fame with his group of Michelin-starred restaurants, including his flagship Daniel, which opened in 1993 and maintains two Michelin stars, and one-starred Café Boulud.
9) La Ventana
Managed by chef Carles Gaig's daughter, Nuria Gibert, this establishment in Dempsey highlights Catalan tapas; some – like the canelón – are recipes that have been passed down from generation to generation within the Gaig family.
The Star Connection: Spanish chef Gaig earned his family restaurant its first Michelin star in 1993. Established in 1869, Restaurant Gaig relocated from its original spot into the heart of Barcelona, where diners can enjoy Gaig's traditional-meets-contemporary Catalan plates inspired by both his grandmother and mother.
10) Alma by Juan Amador
Spanish–European small plates with Asian accents take centre stage at this serene spot situated within Goodwood Park Hotel. The menu – divided into two sections – features a combination of traditional dishes and intriguing, experimental creations.
The Star Connection: Born in Germany to Spanish parents, Juan Amador trained in Michelin-starred restaurants across Germany before opening Amador in 2005. Though the restaurant received a total of three Michelin stars within its first three years, Amador shuttered it last year to relocate to Vienna, where he now runs restaurant cum wine cellar Amador’s Wirsthaus, which is not rated in the guide.
11) FOC by Nandu Jubany
A collaboration between celebrated chef Nandy Jubany, Spanish chef Jordi Noguera, and mixologist Dario Knox, FOC is a modern, hip tapas bar that puts out Catalan-inspired small plates like Galician-style Grilled Octopus, and Squid Ink Paella.
The Star Connection: Nandu Jubany was made head chef at the tender age of 18, when he helmed the kitchen of his family restaurant, Urbisol. Born in Barcelona, Spain, Jubany's parents were restaurateurs and he was raised to love and be passionate about culinary art. In 1995, he launched Can Jubany with his spouse, and the quaint, humble farmhouse received its first Michelin star three years later in 1998.
12) Shinji by Kanesaka
Exquisite sashimi, nigiri and maki sushi are fashioned from premium ingredients imported thrice weekly from Tokyo’s Tsukiji market and served at this Japanese sushi stalwart. Originally from Japan, the brand has spun off two minimalist, wood-and-paper kappo-style restaurants in Raffles Hotel and The St. Regis Hotel.
The Star Connection: Chef Shinji Kanesaka's name is synonymous with fine sushi. As a master of his trade, Kanesaka dedicated half his life to perfecting his skills, which led him to achieve two Michelin stars for his Tokyo restaurant, Sushi Kanesaka, the flagship of Singapore's two Shinji outlets. A fourth outlet in Macau’s City of Dreams complex has one Michelin star.
13) Ginza Sushi Ichi
At this zen 23-seater in the Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel (it relocated last year from Scotts Square, where it has been operating since 2012), executive head chef Masakazu Ishibashi crafts Japanese classics such as sushi, which feature ingredients imported from Tsukiji market in Tokyo.
The Star Connection: This is the first overseas outpost of the celebrated one-Michelin-starred restaurant in Ginza, Tokyo, which is run by sushi master Yuji Yabe and Hiroki Sodou – the latter renowned for his kaiseki art. The brand also has a Bangkok outlet, which opened in 2014.
14) Din Tai Fung
This longstanding Taiwanese chain is famed for its signature steamed pork dumplings and wholesome Chinese staples such as steamed chicken soup.
The Star Connection: Founded by a man named Bingyi Yang, this award-winning Taiwanese chain comes from humble beginnings. With nothing but steamed dumplings on the menu in the 1980s, what was once a small business has turned into a full-fledged chain of restaurants with a presence in more than 10 countries around the Asia-Pacific and right up to the United States. Din Tai Fung's two Hong Kong outlets were awarded one Michelin star each back in 2010.
15) Mak’s Noodle
Wonton noodle specialist Mak's Noodle has brought the classic Chinese signature dish from Hong Kong to Singapore with two outlets, one at Centrepoint on Orchard Road, and the other at Westgate in Jurong East.
The Star Connection: Mak's Noodle dates back to the 1960s and is now helmed by Mak Chi-ming, a third-generation descendant of its original founder, Mak Woon-chi, a noodle seller pounding the streets of Guangzhou in the 1920s. This Hong Kong-based chain is unarguably one of the most affordable Michelin-starred restaurants out there.
16) Tim Ho Wan
Wildly popular dim sum restaurant chain Tim Ho Wan is known for their pocket-friendly bite-sized morsels, particularly the signature barbecued pork bun – a creation handcrafted by founder chef Mak Kwai Pui.
The Star Connection: Oft cited as the flagbearer for Michelin’s early departure from fine dining when its now-defunct hole-in-the-wall Mongkok outlet earned its first star in 2010, this popular Hong Kong dim sum chain was set up by chef Mak Kwai Pui, the former head chef of three-Michelin-starred Lung King Heen. In 2015, its Sham Shui Po, North Point and Tai Kok Tsui outlets were also awarded stars.
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