For chefs, Michelin stars are the ultimate recognition of one’s life work. It’s the most renown and most highly respected restaurant rating system in the world, and it’s trusted by diners everywhere (more or less).
Last night, 29 establishments in Singapore (see the full list below, if you haven’t already) received the first Michelin stars in the country, including two hawkers – Hill Street Tai Hwa Pork Noodle and Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice & Noodle – so you can actually have Michelin-quality food in Singapore for just $2.
There were some shoo-ins right from the start (think Restaurant ANDRE, Les Amis, and its ilk), and yet, there were more than a few that we imagined were front-runners that bagged none of these coveted stars.
For instance, the only other restaurant to make The World’s Best Restaurants, Burnt Ends is surprisingly not on the list. Neither are Asia’s 50 Best Restaurant old-timers Tippling Club and Iggy’s.
Perhaps we shouldn’t compare lists (call me kiasu, but it’s nice to be doubly assured when I fork out a few hundred dollars for a meal) since the judging criteria are different, but is it not a little strange that there aren’t more mod-Sin representatives on the list, save Peranakan-focused Candlenut? We had thought that Wilin Low’s Wild Rocket or even Violet Oon’s National Kitchen would surely make an appearance.
Trend spotters would also notice a dearth of Italian restaurants on the list – I would have liked to see Gunther’s or Garibaldi receive a star – and while Japanese cuisine is well represented, we’re a tad shocked that Hashida Sushi didn’t make the cut.
Also, given that Putien and Crystal Jade Golden Palace managed to score a star apiece, we’re slightly upset that the latter’s neighbour at Paragon Shopping Centre, Imperial Treasure Super Peking Duck Restaurant, did not.
As with any other kind of rating system, the list is a controversial one (though seemingly less so than their Bib Gourmand awards), but the organization never divulges why a particular restaurant doesn’t receive a star. So I guess we’ll never know why some of our favourite restaurants didn’t make it – but Michelin star or not, we’d keep going back for more, and that’s what matters.
The Michelin Guide uses the following definitions for restaurants in the guide – one star means very good cooking in its category, two stars means excellent cooking and worth a detour, and three-starred restaurant serves exceptional cuisine that’s worthy of a special journey.
Three Michelin Stars
Joël Robuchon Restaurant, Resorts World Sentosa
Two Michelin Stars
Restaurant ANDRE, Bukit Pasoh Road
L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon, Resorts World Sentosa
Les Amis, Shaw Centre
Odette, National Gallery Singapore
Shisen Hanten by Chen Kentaro, Mandarin Orchard Singapore
Shoukouwa, One Fullerton
One Michelin Star
Alma by Juan Amador, Goodwood Park Hotel
Bacchanalia, Hong Kong Street
Beni, Mandarin Gallery
Candlenut, New Bridge Road
Corner House, Singapore Botanic Gardens
Crystal Jade Golden Palace, Paragon Shopping Centre
CUT by Wolfgang Puck, Marina Bay Sands
Forest, Resorts World Sentosa
Hill Street Tai Hwa Pork Noodle, Crawford Lane
Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice & Noodle, Chinatown Food Complex
JAAN, Swissôtel The Stamford
Lei Garden, CHIJMES
Osia, Resorts World Sentosa
Putien, Kitchener Road
Rhubarb Le Restaurant, Duxton Hill
Shinji by Kanesaka, Raffles Hotel
Shinji by Kanesaka, The St. Regis Singapore
Summer Pavilion, The Ritz-Carlton Millenia
Sushi Ichi, Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel
Terra Tokyo-Italian, Tras Street
Song of India, Scotts Road
Waku Ghin, Marina Bay Sands
Top Image: Joel Robuchon Restaurant