The Michelin Guide is an annual guide book by the French company Michelin that heralds excellent restaurant and hotel establishments. With a century-worth of history, the Michelin Guide is undeniably iconic. Finally, the long-anticipated Michelin Guide has landed in our sunny island of Singapore.
As the gastronomic capital that we are, Singapore is the first country in Southeast Asia to publish our own Michelin Guide, tagging behind 3 other Asian countries: Japan, Macau and Hong Kong.
The revered guidebook is highly selective and discerning, with a slew of anonymous inspectors in 24 countries across three continents. The star ratings are awarded based on five publicly acknowledge assessment criteria: quality of the products, mastery of flavour and cooking techniques, personality of the chef in his cuisine, value for money as well as consistency between visits.
On 21 July evening, we had the opportunity to attend the inaugural Michelin Guide Award Ceremony and Gala Dinner. It is thus with great pride that I present the list of Michelin-star awarded establishments for the year of 2016.
1. Alma by Juan Amador (Goodwood Park Hotel)
2. The Kitchen at Bacchanalia (Hong Kong Street)
3. Béni (Mandarin Gallery)
4. Candlenut (New Bridge Road)
5. Corner House (Botanic Gardens)
6. Crystal Jade Golden Palace (Paragon)
7. Cut by Wolfgang Puck (Marina Bay Sands)
8. Forest (Resorts World Sentosa)
9. Hill Street Tai Hwa Pork Noodle (Crawford Lane) <- Hawker Food!
10 .Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice & Noodles (Chinatown) <- Hawker Food!
11. Jaan (Swissotel the Stamford)
12. Lei Garden (Chijmes)
13. Osia (Resorts World Sentosa)
14. Putien (Kitchener Road)
15. Rhubarb Le Restaurant (Duxton Hill)
16. Shinji by Kanesaka (Raffles Hotel)
17. Shinji by Kanesaka (The St Regis Singapore)
18. Summer Pavilion (The Ritz-Carlton Millenia)
19. Sushi Ichi (Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel)
20. Terra (Tras Street)
21. The Song of India (Scotts Road)
22. Waku Ghin (Marina Bay Sands)
Of the 22 establishments, the humble Hill Street Tai Hwa Pork Noodle and Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice & Noodles were the only two hawkers bestowed Michelin stars for the quality of their food. Where one would normally expect only lavish and unaffordable cuisine to receive Michelin recognition, I was very glad to see that two hawkers made it onto the list of one star Michelin star establishments.
Some other notable names on the list include Chef Cheung Siu Kiong of Ritz-Carlton’s Summer Pavilion who possesses 25 years of culinary experience.
Chef Jason Tan of Corner House was also awarded his first Michelin Star for his unique Gastro-Botanica cuisine that we tried and can attest for.
Of the two-star awardees, we were most definitely rooting for Chef Andre Chiang of Restaurant Andre. The French-trained Taiwanese Chef has an impressive culinary background, having worked at JAAN previously before setting up his own intimate restaurant.
It was no surprise to us too that L’Atelier de Jöel Robuchon clinched a two-star rating, with its exquisite degustation menu, which famed food critics have described as “pure magic”.
Chef Jöel Robuchon indeed lives up to his title of ‘Chef of the Century’ with these new additions to his already Michelin-star-spangled belt.
With his two restaurants in Singapore, Jöel Robuchon and L’Atelier de Jöel Robuchon garnering him 5 additional stars, he has now accumulated 33 Michelin stars, the most of any chef in the world.