A hot favorite among our secret panel, the ultra crispy, traditionally roasted Peking Duck prepared by Beijing chefs is second to none in this town. This elegantly decorated, fancy Chinese restaurant is also a sure bet for dim sum, as well as other delicately prepared mains like the steamed fish in black bean sauce. They’re particularly proud of their Yangzhou-style cold appetizers. Order a few of these to start what will surely be a memorable meal.
The island is awash with elevated Peranakan food, but it’s Candlenut that our panel is gaga for. The space just moved to a befittingly pretty spot at Dempsey’s new Como development and made the bold move to do communal degustation dinner menus. We’re glad to see Peranakan food getting the fine dining format. Chef Malcolm Lee fuses innovation with the complex flavors of Nyonya cuisine passed through his family, to create dishes like the tiger prawn lemak nanas and the snapper with black mangga sambal.
We couldn’t possibly leave out the amazing Hashida Sushi, the first overseas offshoot of the famed Tokyo establishment, which has moved upstairs to a bigger space. Chef Hatch Hashida, who apprenticed under his master chef father Tokio, brings an artistic touch to all his seasonal sushi, such as the sea bream, sea eel and botan shrimp, as well as bowls like the ikura and uni version. Don’t miss their premium otoro, involving maestro-levels of cutting skills. There are also fine sakes, including Chef Hatch’s private label, to sip.
Singapore is no stranger to outposts of international celebrity restaurants, but this one by Wolfgang Puck is an enduring classic, appearing in our Top 10 year after year. It serves a really impressive menu of beef, including 300-day grain fed Australian Angus from Rangers Valley and Japanese Wagyu, along with a range of unique and delicious sauces like their signature Argentinean chimichurri. Cocktails are also amazing. If you’re looking for an classic meat extravaganza, this is the ultimate.
6. Burnt Ends
It’s been a great year for casual barbecue places in Singapore, but no one does the down-home pleasures of grilled meat with the upscale ambience of a classic date night quite like Burnt Ends. Helmed by Australian chef David Pynt, the oft-changing menu here has enduring signatures like the Burnt Ends sanger (stuffed with pulled pork) and onglet with burnt onions, cooked on three metal grills with adjustable heights and a custom-made brick and ceramic wood-burning oven.
5. Les Amis
This homegrown establishment has been our pride and joy for years. From the impeccable service to the wonderful French ingredients and homemade breads to the fireworks-causing dishes like the Parmesan souffle on Brittany artichoke and of course the sublime desserts by the award-winning Cheryl Koh, this is easily one of our favorite French restaurants in town. In the good hands of executive chef Sebastien Lepinoy, hunker down for a seasonal or signature set menu fully worth the price tag.
4. Waku Ghin
It may have dropped off the World’s 100 Best list this year, but we don’t care. Top‑notch, personalized service makes the hefty $450 price tag for this 10‑course degustation menu worth the splurge. Expect a sublime European/Japanese feast with exquisite creations using premium ingredients, such as grade nine wagyu and Hokkaido uni, in an understated, elegant space. Hold your breath for signatures like the botan shrimp with sea urchin and caviar, and the wagyu with wasabi and citrus soy. There are over 100 options for premium sake, including two developed specifically for the restaurant
We held our breaths when Julien Royer left and Kirk Westaway took up the mantle. But not only does Jaan remain one of the best blowout French meals in town, the Westaway touch has made the seasonal menu here more exciting than ever, thanks to dishes like the scallop with cabbage and pine dashi and the Mangalica pork collar with coco de paimpol beans and Pommery mustard. Even the humble dishes on the degustation menus, like the Farmer’s Harvest, will have you curling your toes.
2. Corner House
The most exciting opening of 2015 (and 2016, thus far), this bright modern French restaurant at the stately National Gallery has caused a stir, with foodies waiting for weeks to snag a table for one of its lunch or dinner degustations. Chef Julien Royer, who found fame whilst at Jaan, brings bucolic sentimentality and gastronomic touches to his dishes, most of which undergo constant changes, depending on the season. There’s a dizzying wine list, too, but don’t forget to flag down the fancy Champagne cart and try a few glasses.
If you’re already salivating, here is a digital copy of SG Top Tables 2017, where we and our panel rounded up over 100 of the finest dining experiences in Singapore, from the old and reliable to the new and trendy. Go on, it’s free!