Waku Ghin best fine-dining restaurant

Fine-dining and casual restaurants were honoured at the 10th Epicurean Star Award ceremony on Wednesday night.

The awards for best Western, Asian, Chinese and Japanese restaurants recognised fine-dining and casual restaurants, as well as chain establishments.

Japanese restaurant Waku Ghin at Marina Bay Sands was named Best of the Best in the fine-dining category, while Nara Thai Cuisine - at Ion Orchard and Westgate - topped the one for casual-dining restaurants.

Lauded Best of the Best for restaurant chain categories was Eighteen Chefs, a halal-certified Western restaurant chain which hires ex-law offenders and troubled youth. Its locations include Bugis Junction, AMK Hub and Bedok Mall.

Thirty-two awards were given out at the annual event at Raffles City Convention Centre's Fairmont Ballroom. These were in categories such as Best Asian Restaurant (Fine, Restaurant Labyrinth at Esplanade Mall) and Best Buffet (10 at Claymore in Pan Pacific Orchard Hotel).

The event's gala dinner was attended by more than 1,000 professionals in the food and beverage industry, as well as Mr Chan Chun Sing, Minister in the Prime Minister's Office and secretary-general of the National Trades Union Congress.

The winning restaurants were picked by a panel of 19 judges, who dined anonymously over a month-long judging period.

The panel members include Straits Times food critic Wong Ah Yoke, 2am:dessertbar's chef-owner Janice Wong and Class 95FM deejay Yasminne Cheng.

The Epicurean Star Award is organised by the Restaurant Association of Singapore, which works closely with government bodies and F&B-related associations overseas to develop the local industry.

Acknowledging the challenges faced by the F&B industry to remain sustainable, Mr Andrew Tjioe, president of the association and executive chairman of the TungLok Group, announced the launch of the RAS Mentorship Forum (www.rasmentorshipforum. com) in partnership with Spring Singapore. It is an online platform for veterans and newbies in the industry to learn from one another.

He says: "For the past 35 years, the Restaurant Association of Singapore has acted as a collective voice for the F&B industry and strived to advance the industry through various platforms.

"We are thankful that more in the industry see the value of joining us and coming together as one body, providing different views and opinions with the common goal of propelling the industry forward."


This article was first published on November 20, 2015.
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List of winners

Best Western Restaurant (Fine): Cut

Best Western Restaurant (Casual): Osia

Best Western Restaurant (Chain): Eighteen Chefs, Dancing Crab

Best Asian Restaurant (Fine): Restaurant Labyrinth

Best Asian Restaurant (Casual): Nara Thai Cuisine

Best Asian Restaurant (Chain): Wrap & Roll

Best Chinese Restaurant (Fine): Tong Le Private Dining, Xi Yan Private Dining

Best Chinese Restaurant (Casual): LingZhi

Best Chinese Restaurant (Casual): Din Tai Fung, TungLok Signatures

Best Japanese Restaurant (Fine): Waku Ghin

Best Japanese Restaurant (Casual): Shimbashi Soba

Best New F&B Establishment: Bread Street Kitchen

Best Cafe (Local Traditional): Old Town White Coffee

Best Cafe: Oriole Coffee + Bar

Best Gastro-Pub: Barossa

Best Buffet: 10 at Claymore

Best Buffet Caterer: Kuisine Catering

Best Ice Cream Parlour: Alfero Gelato

Best of the Best*: Waku Ghin, Nara Thai Cuisine, Eighteen Chefs

*Best of the Best is awarded to the judging panel's pick in each collective category of Fine, Casual and Chain winners.