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Quick Bites: Singapore hits the spot

Jed Doble

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Sat, January 27, 2018  /  09:02 am
Quick Bites: Singapore hits the spot

Hokkaido Uni at Odette (Courtesy of Restaurants/File)

The announcement of the 2017 Michelin Guide for Singapore again placed the city’s cuisine in the spotlight as the stars were announced. Thirty-eight establishments made it onto the prestigious list this year, 11 for the first time.

Compared to the guide’s tyro bow in 2016, there were not too many surprises. While the two hawker stalls on last year’s debut list, Liao Fan Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice & Noodle and Hill Street Tai Hwa Pork Noodle, held on to their stars; conspicuously, there were no new hawkers added for 2017. In any event, Singapore has retained its reputation for having the world’s cheapest Michelin-starred eateries.

Chili Crab at LabyrinthChili Crab at Labyrinth (Courtesy of Restaurants/File)

Highlights of this year’s list include Labyrinth, helmed by chef-owner LG Han, which serves Mod-Sin cuisine–a nod to the city-state’s flavor profiles–with a clearly focus on creativity that blurs the East-West divide.

Also noteworthy is Candlenut, the world’s first peranakan restaurant to receive a Michelin star. Chef Malcolm Lee has maintained Candelnut’s essence and traditional integrity, elevating peranakan cuisine with modern technique and by using the freshest produce.

Lemon T'art at OdetteLemon T'art at Odette (Courtesy of Restaurants/File)

Meanwhile, Julien Royer’s Odette retained its two stars. The ingredient-driven modern French food served by Royer is always honest and welcomed, coming with impeccable service, and Corner House, with the Singapore Botanic Gardens as a backdrop, sees chef Jason Tan serving French cuisine with twists extracted from his salad.

Read also: Singapore’s Michelin-starred street food vendor opens in Jakarta

As the stars shine, one might have missed how Singapore has also established itself as beverage destination. Six Singaporean joints have made it to the World’s 50 Best Bars list, ranking the nation just behind the US and the UK when it comes to superior watering holes.

A Manhattan Stiletto at the RegentA Manhattan Stiletto at the Regent (Courtesy of Restaurants/File)

Consider, for example, The Regent Hotel’s Manhattan Bar, ranked No. 7 Globally and No. 1 in Asia. Under resident mixologist Philip Bischoff, everything is done extraordinarily well, from the classics to exciting riffs. The menu reads like a history lesson evoking the golden age of cocktails and drinking.

ATLAS bar, under head bartender Roman Foltán, was this year’s highest new entry. The middle of this Art Deco space features an immense gin tower–a nod to the thousand varieties of the spirit on the menu.

Native is an overnight sensation that’s become an essential stop when in Singapore. Head bartender Vijay Mudaliar has simple edict of using locally foraged ingredients and spirits from the region, making Native’s offerings unique. The bar’s signature drink, Antz, contains a creamy mix of coconut yogurt, Thai rum, sugar cane, freeze-dried basil leaf and a legion of crunchy ants.

Singapore remains the premiere food and drink destination in Southeast Asia, so don’t overindulge on only laksa during your next visit. Save space for fine dining and a tasty tipple. Singapore is definitely the place to visit.