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By Laura Walkinshaw | August 2 2013
When in Singapore, do as the Singaporeans do: eat great food. From the many hawker restaurants to gourmet venues spearheaded by Michelin star chefs, you’ll soon discover that food is a significant part of Singapore’s culture – and that travelling to the other side of the island in search of the best places to eat in Singapore is nothing out of the ordinary.
The fact that there are at least 20,000 eateries to feed a nation of around five million is testament that food is integral to the Singaporean lifestyle. While breakfast and lunch tends to be rushed in favor of the working day, the evening meal is an entirely different matter and is a time to socialize with friends and, most importantly of all, tuck into the perfect feast.
With its rich multicultural heritage, Singapore has a variety of cuisine to cater for its diverse population – and is often considered to be the food capital of Asia.
Local cuisine includes dishes from different parts of China, along with halal Malay food, southern and northern Indian cuisine, as well as Peranakan and Nonya food – a blend of flavors from China, Malaysia and Indonesia. International cuisine is widely available too, including Thai, Korean, Vietnamese, Mongolian and Japanese.
A rise in gourmet venues run by leading chefs in recent years has given way to a new style of eating out, which has further raised Singapore’s fine dining profile.
Joël Robuchon, who holds an accumulated total of 28 Michelin stars – the most in the world – is among the chefs who have set up restaurants on the island, along with one of America’s most celebrated chefs, Mario Batal, and famous Japanese-born chef Tetsuya Wakuda.
Together, they have created an elite class of fine dining restaurants in Singapore, which combine the best ingredients with world-famous cooking techniques, delivered in some of the most luxurious settings – and are almost certain to leave a dent in your wallet.
With its unique flavors and textures, created using seasonal ingredients from Europe, Japan and Australia, Iggy’s provides a unique dining experience that has earned it a place in many ‘best restaurant’ lists since it opened in 2004.
Chef Aitor Jeronimo Orive serves up expertly balanced, light and fresh modern cuisine with clean Japanese flavors, while a wine list (which is over 25 pages long) will leave you mesmerized by the unusual finds of award-winning sommelier Ignatius Chan, who founded the restaurant.
After relocating to The Hilton in 2010, Iggy’s expanded its 28 seats to include two private dining rooms, a show kitchen and a walk-in cellar. The restaurant now seats 42 diners. This Michelin star restaurant in Singapore is not to be missed.
Image credit: John Heng for Iggy’s
Ever since Waku Ghin opened at Marina Bay Sands in 2010, it has received rave reviews for its European/Japanese menu, which boasts creations sourced from the freshest ingredients from the region and beyond.
The brainchild of Chef Tetsuya Wakuda, whose Sydney restaurant has a global reputation for being one of the best in Australia, Waku Ghin offers a ten-course degustation menu for a maximum of only 25 guests, promising an exclusive experience.
The average price of $380 might seem steep, but once you consider the number of chefs working behind the scenes almost equals the number of diners, and that this is likely to be one of the best meals you can have in Singapore, there’s no doubt that it’s worth it.
Gunther’s brings sophisticated French fare to the fine dining experience, with a reinterpretation of classic dishes and flavors.
Formerly sous chef at Les Amis, Belgian-born Gunther Hubrechsen opened Gunther’s in 2007 and won his first award within two years.
Located on the swanky Purvis Street, Gunther’s is a breath of fresh air from the vast number of fine dining restaurants located in luxury shopping malls.
JAAN is worth going to for the views alone – from the 70th floor of Swissotel The Stamford, Singapore’s skyline and waterways are mesmerizing, making it one of the most romantic restaurants in Singapore. Add to that the artisanal cuisine of young French chef Julien Royer and you have a recipe for an amazing restaurant.
After training under the likes of Michel Bras at Laguiole and Bernard Andrieux, Royer came to Singapore and worked as chef at Brasserie Les Saveurs at the St Regis before his appointment at JAAN.
With a devotion to sourcing the very best produce, he has created an artisanal menu that is imaginative, innovative and focuses on the use of seasonal ingredients to create flavors that do not disappoint.
Famed for its exquisite sushi, Shinji Kanesaka is considered to be the best Japanese meal you can have in Singapore.
The brainchild of well-known Tokyo chef Shinji Kanesaka, who has two Michelin stars, the restaurant offers diners a minimalist menu that serves only fish and seafood.
After being allocated a Japanese chef to prepare their meal from behind a wooden counter, diners can see how much work goes into the creation of the dishes, which is overseen by master chef Koichiro Oshino.
One of the finest French restaurants in Singapore, Les Amis has a charm that sees diners return time and time again.
Founded in 1994 and located in the heart of the city, the restaurant offers contemporary European cuisine and boasts one of the biggest wine cellars in South-East Asia.
Since joining the restaurant in 2008, chef Armin Leitgeb has impressed regulars with his commitment to culinary perfection, coupled with fine wine and excellent service in a luxurious setting.
Created by the chef who holds the most Michelin stars in the world, L’Atelier De Joël Robuchon offers a unique dining experience in a vibrant atmosphere.
Based on the concept of the Atelier – which means ‘workshop’ – Joël Robuchon’s restaurant draws inspiration from the simplicity of Japanese cuisine, combines it with French techniques, and delivers exquisite dishes in an atmosphere much like a Spanish tapas bar.
Using a lavish selection the freshest seasonal ingredients from countries all around the world, including foie gras and lobster, the two Michelin-starred restaurant offers classic and contemporary French dishes, some of which have a touch of Asian spices.
Famed for roasting the peking duck to perfection, Imperial Treasure Super Peking Duck is a traditional Chinese restaurant run by chef Tong Yuk Sing and his team from Beijing.
The authentic restaurant serves the famous dish in line with centuries-old methods taken from the Emperor’s imperial kitchen, in which each duck is roasted to perfection before being sliced on the platter before diners’ eyes.
Image © Instagram @imperialtreasuresg
Considered to be one of the best Italian-American restaurants in Singapore, Osteria Mozza has a vibe that makes you feel like you’ve stepped into an eatery in New York.
Owned by one of America’s most celebrated chefs, Mario Batali, the restaurant has received rave reviews for its deeply Italian-American menu since opening in 2010.
Featuring a freestanding mozzarella bar at the heart of the restaurant, this is Italian cuisine with a twist, and diners can expect to be blown away by the freshness in ingredients used in the wide range of pasta, meat and fish dishes.
Image © Instagram @osteriamozzasg
Based on a culinary logic created by owner and chef André Chiang in which dishes take on eight characteristics – Unique, Texture, Memory, Pure, Terroir, Salt, South, and Artisan – Restaurant Andre features a menu of Mediterranean-influenced dishes that change depending on the season.
Add in excellent service along with wines from artisanal vineyards and you have one of Singapore’s best fine dining restaurants yet.