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Singapore's best new restaurant
In a year of celebrity restaurants setting up shop, it's the outposts that focus on fresh ingredients and value for money that take the biggest plaudits
Singapore's best new restaurant -- Recommended: Restaurant André
Housed at the former Majestic bar, the 30-seater Restaurant André garnered much buzz well before its official opening.
And fans were not disappointed when former Jaan par Andre chef Andre Chiang debuted his "octa-philosophy" cuisine, based on eight primary characteristics: Unique, Texture, Memory, Pure, Terroir, Salt, South and Artisan.
“People will be offered a definitive holistic gourmet experience," says Chiang, a chef known for his intricate presentation.
"Diners will gain a better understanding of my thoughts and the philosophy behind my cuisine.”
In translation, fresh Hokkaido scallops are sliced carpaccio-style and served as a ravioli in a savory consommé of purple basil flower, blue shiso flower and purple cauliflower, while a baked foie gras mousse is crowned with pureed black truffles coulis.
And showing that he hasn't forgotten his roots, Chiang has brought back old Jaan par Andre favorites such as “Forgotten Vegetables” and his interpretation of the “Snickers Bar.”
Two menus are available at S$198 and S$288 (add S$150 per person for wine pairing)
41 Bukit Pasoh Rd., +65 6534 8880. Open Tuesday- Friday noon-2 p.m., Tuesday-Sunday 7-11 p.m.
Singapore's best new restaurant -- Recommended: Shinji By Kanesaka
Singapore may not have made its way into the Michelin guide, but that has not stopped Michelin-star restaurants setting up and adding sparkle to the island’s gastronomic scene.
Two-Michelin star chef Shinji Kanesaka, who helms Sushi Kanesaka in Tokyo, set up his first overseas outpost here in July at the former Doc Cheng’s in the Raffles Hotel.
His Edomae-style sushi has already drawn a legion of Singaporean fans to his Ginza outlet in Tokyo. A proponent of "sushi-do" (preserving the tradition and spirit of sushi), diners can expect to find only sushi and sashimi on the menu.
“This is the most purist of Japanese high-end sushi in town at the moment," says Best Eats judge Shermay Lee. "The best seat is in front of the Japanese sushi chefs where you can watch them masterfully handle the rice and fish.”
While Shinji is not present all the time, he does ensure the freshest ingredients are used, as he visits Tsukiji Market daily (except when it is closed) to personally select ingredients for the Singapore outlet.
An omakase -- chef’s special -- style menu, prices are steep. Lunch starts at S$75, S$125 and S$180; while dinner will set you back by S$220, S$300 and S$400.
Then again, as compared to flying to Japan for a Michelin-star meal, this could just be a more worthwhile investment.
Shinji By Kanesaka, #02-20 Raffles Hotel (above Seah Street entrance), tel +65 6338 6131. Open daily noon-3 p.m., 6-10:30 p.m.
Singapore's best new restaurant -- Recommended: Waku Ghin
When Sydney-based chef Tetsuya Wakuda announced he was going to open his restaurant in Singapore at the Marina Bay Sands Singapore, it was a dream come true for his many fans here.
The 25-seater Waku Ghin is Wakuda's only outlet outside of Tetsuya's in Sydney, and is set to showcase his European-based, Japanese influenced cuisine in a simple yet sophisticated style.
At Waku Ghin, Wakuda who will be based here for half the year, is reverting to his Japanese origins.
Fresh bamboo clams are simply blanched and given a twist of garlic cream, the signature marinated botan shrimp with sweet sea urchin and caviar is an indescribable pleasure, while the Australian Wagyu with wasabi and citrus soy is a prime example of how fresh ingredients should be shown off.
Degustation menus start at S$400 but for the ultimate indulgence, gun for the 10-course degustation menu, available only for dinner.
#02-02 Marina Bay Sands, 10 Bayfront Ave., tel +65 6688 8507. Open daily 6-10:30 p.m.
Singapore's best new restaurant -- Winner: Osia
The truth about Australian cuisine in Singapore is that few could define its identity beyond "fresh ingredients."
So when Scott Webster, an Australian chef-consultant, set up Osia at the Crockfords Tower in Resorts World Singapore, he went one step further to include distinctively Australian ingredients: wattle seed, a type of seed from the acacia tree; quandongs, a tangy and refreshing desert peach; and lemon myrtle, a flowering plant commonly used for its healing properties.
Less than six months from its opening, the restaurant is packed with diners who flock there for more than just these Australian ingredients.
"The dishes are trendy and very well executed," says Best Eats judge Dominc Khoo about dishes such as the Iced Brick, an espuma of cauliflower and the flavor-filled Mulwarra lamb rack and shank.
Beyond the food, the layout of the restaurant has also gotten approving nods.
"I love the view of the well-designed open kitchen and how they've turned the kitchen into entertainment,” says expert panel member Eric Teo.
While Webster is consultant, it’s a local culinary team, helmed by chef Douglas Tay (who has represented Singapore in many international competitions) that keeps the kitchen buzzing with ideas.
And though Osia faces stiff competition, have a taste of any of the following: the burnt potato broth, line-caught sea bass, kurobuta pork chop and Valrhona hot chocolate soup; and you'll understand what the fuss is all about.
Signature set menus from S$38 per person.
02-140/141 Crockfords Tower (FestiveWalk), 8 Sentosa Gateway, tel +65 6577 8899. Open Sunday-Wednesday noon-2:30 p.m., 6-10 p.m., Thursday-Saturday noon-3 p.m., 6-10:30 p.m.