5 restaurants among world's top 100

5 restaurants among world's top 100

Singapore continues to make its presence felt on the global food scene, with five restaurants in the top 100, on the much-watched World's 50 Best Restaurants list this year.

Last year, there were only four.

This year, Singapore also has two restaurants in the top 50, up from just one last year. Chef Andre Chiang's Restaurant Andre in Bukit Pasoh Road - Singapore's only top 50 entry last year - climbed one spot to No. 37; while Tetsuya Wakuda's Waku Ghin at Marina Bay Sands, which debuted in 39th place in 2012 but slipped to 68th place last year, jumped 18 places this year to come in at No. 50.

Now in its 13th edition, the annual list, compiled by British trade publication Restaurant Magazine, also releases a secondary list that ranks restaurants from 51 to 100.

The rankings were announced at an awards ceremony attended by the world's leading chefs and restaurateurs at the Guildhall in London, Britain, on Monday night.

The newest Singapore restaurant to make the top 100 is Swissotel The Stamford's French restaurant Jaan, which is ranked 100th this year.

Its chef de cuisine Julien Royer, 31, says: "It is a huge source of encouragement for our team and the tireless work we put into creating a unique experience for our guests. It is just the start for us and we hope to continue to excel and place Singapore on the culinary map."

He joined the restaurant in 2011 and while the restaurant had previously been ranked on the list in 2010, it was headed by Chiang, who now runs Restaurant Andre.

Contemporary restaurant Iggy's at Hilton Singapore and French restaurant Les Amis at Shaw Centre also made the top 100 list again this year.

Iggy's is No. 84, down 19 spots from last year, while Les Amis fell five places to come in at No. 86. Their best ranking on the list was two years ago, when Iggy's placed 26th and Les Amis, 53rd.

Since then, both restaurants now have new chefs heading the kitchens. Both chefs took over the reins in the third quarter of last year. Head chef Masahiro Isono took over the running of Iggy's kitchen last December, while Les Amis' new chef de cuisine, Sebastien Lepinoy, started last October.

Chef Isono, an alumnus of famed Italian restaurant Il Ghiottone in Kyoto, joined Iggy's in 2012. Chef Lepinoy, whose credentials include having worked at L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon in Hong Kong, had previously run Les Amis' now-defunct sister restaurant Cepage in Hong Kong, which debuted on the list in 96th place in 2010.

Spokesmen for both restaurants seem confident about keeping abreast of the world's competitive epicurean scene.

Mr Ignatius Chan, 51, co-owner of Iggy's, says: "The cuisine at Iggy's is unique - we are contemporary and fun, and this gives us a good platform to innovate. Chef Isono's style of cooking has moved away from scientific methods such as thermo-regulated hot water baths, to a bigger emphasis on direct heat cooking such as grilling. For instance, we have a new charcoal grill in the kitchen. His approach goes back to the fundamentals to bring out the best in the produce and it takes a lot of skill to do it right."

Mr Chan adds that equipment, which includes everything from a Thermomix to a sous vide machine, is there to enhance the dishes, "to create surprises and not dominate cooking".

He believes the chef's cuisine, together with his direction and philosophy, will only improve with time.

Les Amis spokesman Raymond Lim, 36, says: "I am cautiously optimistic that we will be able to improve our ranking next year. It is a good thing to still be on this list, considering that there are so many new entrants.

"Response to chef Lepinoy's food has been good. He is steady and consistent in the kitchen. He is produce- and not trend-driven, which is important when a restaurant wants to maintain its presence on the list."

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