Tag Archives: Michelin Starred restaurant

Singapore Chef Andre Chiang Returns Michelin Stars and Announces Plans to Close


Chef Andre Chiang of Restaurant Andre in Singapore

It was a surprising one-two punch announcement issued just after Chiang celebrated the restaurant’s seventh anniversary this week, and one that continues to reverberate in Singapore’s dynamic fine dining community.

In a two-page letter to his fans and followers, Chiang explained he wants to retire at the peak of Restaurant Andre, which holds two Michelin stars and is currently ranked No. 2 on Asia’s 50 Best Restaurant list just behind Indian restaurant Gaggan in Bangkok.

From an excerpt, typed in bold font, it read “I wish to kindly return his Michelin stars and also request to not be included in the 2018 edition of the Michelin Guide Singapore.”

“Following Michelin Guide’s expansion in Asia, I understand that Michelin will soon launch new editions in Bangkok and Taiwan (where my other restaurant RAW is located in Taipei).” – Chef Andre Chiang

Chiang is the latest chef to “give back” his Michelin stars and request omission in the next guide. Last month, French chef Sebastian Bras made international headlines for asking Michelin to be stripped of his three-starred status, citing the enormous pressure of having to meeting the rigorous standards every day.

“As my hope is that RAW will be the pure place where I can focus on educating, developing others, and cooking after my retirement from Restaurant ANDRE, I also request that RAW not be included in the Michelin Guide Taiwan (or Taipei).” – Chef Andre Chiang

A few weeks later, owners of the Boath House in Nairn, Scotland likewise walked away from their Michelin star by announcing plans to turn the restaurant into a casual dining destination. It appears that Singapore’s loss will be Taiwan’s gain as the Taiwanese chef also revealed plans to return to his birthplace like a prodigal son.

“After thirty years of a professional culinary career, returning to where I was born forty years ago has always been my dream, passing on everything I have to the next generation in Taiwan and China is my duty, and providing young chefs a better education and culinary culture is an urgent priority for me.” – Chef Andre Chiang

The menu at Restaurant Andre is inspired by Southern French nouvelle cuisine and explores texture, terroir and food memories.

Like Ferran Adria and Rene Redzepi before him, who shocked the food world when they decided to shutter their restaurants (elBulli in Cala Montjoi, Noma in Copenhagen) at the peak of their success, Chiang said there’s nothing left to do at the restaurant, which has attained the summit of perfection.

The last service at Restaurant Andre will be Feb. 14, 2018.

Chiang was short on details, but also noted he’s working on new projects for 2018 and 2019.

Alain Passard’s Arpège named best restaurant in Europe by Opinionated About Dining 2017

French chef Alain Passard © AFP VALERY HACHE

In the 2017 edition of Opinionated About Dining’s  (OAD) Top 100+ European Restaurants list, Chef Alain Passard’s restaurant Arpège was given the top spot for the second year in a row. OAD is an annual  ranking is compiled by influential food blogger Steve Plotnicki and is derived by taking into account the reviews of critics and tallying their scores. Rounding out the top three spots are Schauenstein Schloss in Furstenau, Switzerland and Faviken, in Jarpen, Sweden.

Chef Passard is best known among gastronomes for having upended the world of haute cuisine when he took red meat off his menu in 2001 at the height of the mad cow disease crisis in Europe. The move was all the more surprising given that Passard was known as a maitre rotisseur.

Over the last 16 years, humble vegetables have been given the Michelin-starred treatment: radishes are used to create a creamy risotto or “radishotto” while beetroot is used to create a vegetarian tartare. “Lasagna” is made with sweet potatoes and merguez sausage is made with Argan oil and vegetables from his gardens outside Paris .

“Passard added an intellectual component to cooking that didn’t exist before,” Plotnicki said in an interview before the awards ceremony in Paris Monday.

There’s Passard’s iconic caramelized tomato dessert with 12 spices, circa 1980s, which Plotnicki credits as the “gateway” of trompe l’oeil dishes, including legendary Spanish chef Ferran Adria’s famous spherical olives.

There’s also his broken mustard sauce, which deconstructed the quintessentially French condiment on the dinner plate. “He created an approach to cooking that was a variation on minimalism and deconstruction… cooking methods that were copied by other chefs.”

In fact, Plotnicki points out that the OAD Top 100+ Europe list this year features nine restaurants run by chefs who have trained in Passard’s kitchen. His culinary philosophy would also be adopted by his chef confrere Alain Ducasse and Denmark’s René Redzepi, both of whom recently shifted their gastronomic focus to give more due to vegetables.

Overall, France tops the ranking’s leader board with 34 restaurants, followed by Spain at number 31 and Italy at number 27. Meanwhile, galloping gourmands can be forgiven for being confused about which restaurant reigns supreme given the volume of restaurant rankings that are published.

For his part, Plotnicki claims that the OAD list yields more consistent results compared to its closest rival, The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, because of a single reviewing panel and a judging system that gives more weight to its more experienced diners. Last year’s OAD list was based on 160,000 reviews contributed by 4,500 people registered for the survey.

The World’s 50 Best Restaurants is based on 26 voting panels representing 26 geographical regions. Among some of the top OAD reviewers is Andy Hayler, who boasts bragging rights to having dined at every three Michelin-starred restaurant in the world in 2014, and globetrotting diner Takefumi Hamada in Tokyo. In a previous life, Plotnicki was a music executive whose biggest musical legacy was discovering Run-DMC through his label Profile Records.

Here are the top 10 restaurants in OAD’s Top 100+ European Restaurants:

1. L’Arpege, Paris
2. Schauenstein Schloss, Furstenau, Switzerland
3. Faviken, Jarpen, Sweden
4. Azurmendi, Larrabetzu, Spain
5. De Librije, Zwolle, Netherlands
6. Etxebarri, Axpe, Spain
7. Kadeau Bornholm, Bornholm, Denmark
8. Restaurant Quique, Denia, Spain
9. Le Calandre, Rubano, Italy
10. Osteria Francescana, Modena, Italy

Best New Restaurant: Lume by chef Luigi Taglienti, Milan
Highest New Entry: Aponiente, chef Angel Leon, Spain

For the full list, do check out the OAD website.

Restaurants in Spain: Disfrutar in Barcelona named 2017’s ‘One to Watch’ under World’s 50 Best Restaurants

A Barcelona restaurant — that serves transparent, gelatin macaroni and invites guests to wash their hands in whisky as they eat their deconstructed whisky tart — has been named the 2017 restaurant to watch by a group of gastronomical tastemakers. Disfrutar, helmed by a trio of El Bulli alumni, has been named the recipient of the Miele One to Watch award by the same group that organises The World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards.

Chefs Mateu Casanas, Oriol Castro and Eduard Xatruch at Disfrutar. | © Francesc Guillamet/Disfrutar

Chefs Mateu Casanas, Oriol Castro and Eduard Xatruch at Disfrutar. |
© Francesc Guillamet/Disfrutar

Chef Ferran Adria‘s restaurant El Bulli restaurant in Catalonia, Spain, which shuttered in 2011 at the height of its popularity was, perhaps, one of the most exclusive dining destinations in the world in its time. Since leaving the now legendary restaurant, chefs Mateu Casanas, Oriol Castro and Eduard Xatruch teamed up to open their own ventures.

Disfrutar, which means “to enjoy” in Spanish, is their second restaurant after Compartir (“to share”) which is located in the coastal town of Cadaques. Their sophomore effort earned the chefs their first Michelin star in 2016.

Disfrutar restaurant | © Adri Goula /Disfrutar

Disfrutar follows in the footsteps of El Bulli with modernist cuisine.| © Adri Goula /Disfrutar

True to their El Bulli training, the menu at Disfrutar upholds the principles of modernist cuisine and is described as “avant-garde, theatrical and inventive.” One of their signature dishes includes curiously transparent penne pasta made from gelatin, tossed in truffle foam and Parmesan, served tableside.

A deconstructed whisky tart also invites guests to wash their hands in whisky and inhale the scent as they eat. “Being named this year’s winners of the Miele One To Watch Award is a huge recognition of our collective work,” said chef Xatruch in a statement.

Disfrutar restaurant | © Adri Goula /Disfrutar

Having received the Miele One to Watch award, Disfrutar joins the ranks of past winners Den in Tokyo, Sepia in Sydney and The Tasting Kitchen in Cape Town. | © Adri Goula /Disfrutar

“In addition, this award helps Disfrutar, which is a very young project, to become established and obviously encourages us to continue working and challenging ourselves.”

The One to Watch award shines the spotlight on emerging talent and recognises a restaurant outside the 50 Best list, which has potential to rise through the list’s ranks in the near future.

Previous winners include Den in Tokyo, Sepia in Sydney, Saison in San Francisco and The Tasting Kitchen in Cape Town.

The World’s 50 Best Restaurants Awards takes place in Melbourne, April 5.

Award winning restaurants in Europe: New Two Michelin Star eateries from Athens, Budapest, and more

The Michelin Guide for Main Cities of Europe this year incorporates 12 new two-star restaurants. | © Michelin Guide

For The Michelin Guide for Main Cities of Europe 2017, a dozen restaurants were given two stars, bringing the number of restaurants with two Michelin stars in the guide to 91. The Guide features cities such as Athens, Budapest, Krakow, Prague,  and Warsaw.

One of the restaurants freshly awarded two Michelin stars is Amador in Vienna. Set within an elegant, vaulted stone cellar, Amador serves up dishes such as the “Berlin, Paris, Vienna” plate, which features liver, calf shoulder and Perigord truffles from France. Rebecca Burr, Editor of Michelin Guide 2017 Main Cites of Europe, said: “The young but experienced chef [of Amador] creates sophisticated, intensely flavored, artfully presented dishes crafted from top quality ingredients.”

New In: Michelin Guide Hong Kong Macau 2017

For the 2017 edition of Michelin Hong Kong Macau, four restaurants have nabbed two Michelin stars. Three of the newest additions – Kashiwaya, Ta Vie and Mizumi – serve Japanese cuisine. The fourth restaurant to be awarded those two stars is none other than Feng Wei Ju, which is well-known for its Sichuan and Hunan cuisine. There are now 19 two-starred dining establishments in the region.

“The Hong Kong market has stabilized, gained in quality, and maintained a very rich offering with 49 different cuisines listed in the guide this year,” said international director Michael Ellis in a statement.

“Over the past three years our inspectors have noted a real development in Japanese cuisine, with more and more Japanese chefs deciding to open branches of their existing Japanese gastronomic establishments. This phenomenon is reflected in the 2017 selection of the Michelin Guide.”

Ellis is referring to Osaka-based Kashiwaya, and Sushi Tokami, a one-starred restaurant which hails from Tokyo. All eight restaurants across the region maintained their three-star status.

Seven addresses in Hong Kong and three restaurants in Macau earned their first star this year, bringing the total in the area to 53 (41 in Hong Kong and 12 in Macau). This year’s Street Food category, which highlights the best street food vendors in the region to reflect the local food scene, features 21 addresses in Hong Kong and 12 in Macau.

The Michelin Guide Hong Kong Macau 2017 is available in English and Chinese November 10.

Final Seats At Noma Sold Out

Singapore Michelin-starred Hawker Starts Food Chain

Remember when the inaugural Singapore Michelin guide made culinary stars of a couple of street food stalls? Now, one of those street-food chefs has found a way to serve his now-famous braised chicken rice dish to customers across Asia, through a partnership with a multinational culinary company.

The partnership between Chef Chan Hon Meng and Singapore-based Hersing Culinary (who holds the franchise for another Michelin-approved food chain Tim Ho Wan) will start with a new Singaporean restaurant before expanding across the region,as announced in a joint press conference. If this news sounds vaguely familiar, it is because we previously covered Chan’s desire to find the right partner, where he even cited the Tim Ho Wan example as ideal.

“I’m very happy to find the right partner,” Chan told reporters. “It’s important that they are very enthusiastic about the food and beverage industry and they put their customers first.”

The starting point of their joint project will be a restaurant called Hawker Chan, which will serve the signature chicken rice dishes that won over the Michelin judges. It will be located near Chan’s current Chinatown hawker stall, with a capacity of 80 seats, air-conditioning and sit-down dining for a slightly higher price. The startup cost is estimated to at SG$1 million ($720,000), and Chan will get a 50% stake in the venture.

Chan’s braised chicken rice dish, which you can get for just SG$2.50 (approx. $1.80) is a feat on its own. Today, people will queue for hours to have a taste of Chan’s specialty, reportedly the cheapest Michelin-starred fare in the world.

“I’m very happy that I can bring something small that belongs to Singapore to go across the world,” he said Friday. “If you work hard, you can be recognized and your day will come.” The original stall will stay open, while Chan shall oversee both outlets.

Hersing chairman Harry Chua declined to give a timeline for international expansion, with financial terms for future outlets to be negotiated between the two parties. Currently, the group’s dim sum chain Tim Ho Wan has expanded to the international culinary scene, with 38 outlets spread in nine countries.

The feat is a dream came true for Chan, who in indicated his desire to “be like Tim Ho Wan” in previous interviews.

Michael Tusk Quince Awarded Three Michelin Stars

San Francisco cements its status as one of the leading gastronomic destinations in the US, as the 2017 Michelin edition of the Red Guide bestowed Michael Tusk’s Quince with the coveted three-star rating.

Tusk’s dining establishment incorporates Italian cuisine (Tusk was trained as a chef in Europe) with local Northern California produce. One of its signature offerings is a tortelli dish re-interpreted with a mix of sweetcorn, nasturtium and fava bean. Tusk’s dishes are rich and flavorful without losing sophistication – one example is his risotto with Dungeness crab and dill flowers. Quince is also a member of the Relais & Châteaux network.

“We have closely watched Chef Michael Tusk for several years now. In his cuisine, every dish, even the simplest, is exceptional,” comments Michael Ellis, International Director of the Michelin Guide. “It is his fine, precise techniques, that now makes Quince a unique experience for the customer: an experience that is worth the trip.”

Quince joins the prestigious club of three-star restaurants already in San Francisco: Benu, The French Laundry, Manresa, Saison and The Restaurant at Meadwood.

For its 2017 edition, the Michelin Guide San Francisco awards a new two-star rating to David Barzelay’s restaurant, Lazy Bear.

There are seven new additions to the one-star category.

The Michelin Guide San Francisco 2017 is available from bookstores or via the Michelin Restaurants application.

Fat Duck Awarded Three Michelin Stars

Fat Duck Awarded Three Michelin Stars

The portly duck is back in action in London and reclaims its ranking in the 2017 edition of the Michelin Guide to Great Britain and Ireland. We are of course talking about the famous Fat Duck restaurant by British chef Heston Blumenthal.

Having missed out on the previous year’s rating due to the renovation of his eatery, Blumenthal has now ensured that Fat Duck in Bray, west London, has retained its three-star rating. During its brief hiatus from London, the chef relocated the eatery to Melbourne, Australia; which in turn inspired the six-month pop-up Down Under.

Re-opening to much fanfare in fall 2015, the chef unveiled a new concept that was based on a multi-sensory menu inspired by his childhood. One innovation that seemed to catch the attention of the Michelin’s inspectors was the ticketing system that allowed foodies to reserve a table. This system has now become a trend, thanks to The Fat Duck. “Our inspectors had many meals here during the course of the year and found the restaurant invigorated, rejuvenated and unquestionably worthy of being re-awarded our highest accolade,” said Rebecca Burr, the Michelin Guide’s Great Britain and Ireland editor.

Other restaurants that were awarded three-star ratings include Gordon Ramsay, Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester and The Waterside Inn. Raby Hunt by chef James Close, was awarded a two-star rating while 17 new restaurants were included in the one-star category this year. Alongside the accolades for the restaurants and eateries, the firm also gave out new Michelin awards that honored outstanding personnel in the hotel and restaurant sector. Chef Clare Smyth, who previously helmed the Gordon Ramsay restaurant, won the Michelin Female Chef Award and is set to open her own establishment. The team from Peel’s restaurant at Hampton Manor was awarded the Michelin Welcome and Service Award.

Fat Duck Awarded Three Michelin Stars

Heston Blumenthal was one of the iconic chefs of 2015. © AFP PHOTO/BEN STANSALL

French ski lodge La Bouitte in the French Alps © La Bouitte, Relais & Chateaux

Relais & Chateaux Welcomes 21 Newcomers

Relais & Chateaux touts itself as the standard-bearer for the hotel and restaurant industry, much like the Michelin label. Another 21 properties and restaurants will be able to hang the coveted fleur de lys symbol, designating membership to the group.

The shortlisted properties are all independent and must adhere to distinct criterias characterized as “the soul of the innkeeper,” “celebration of the senses”, and “the art of living”.

The newcomers to the Relais & Chateaux club hail from the US, Colombia, France, Denmark, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Italy, Greece, China, Japan and New Zealand.

Eric Ripert, chef and co-owner of Le Bernardin in New York City at his restaurant in New York May 16, 2016. © TIMOTHY A. CLARY / AFP

Eric Ripert, chef and co-owner of Le Bernardin in New York City at his restaurant in New York May 16, 2016.


The latest New York addition, Chef Eric Ripert’s restaurant Le Bernardin, extended its acclaim beyond the three Michelin star it holds. The upscale restaurant regularly tops New York’s best eats lists for its seafood and is one of the hottest tables in town for both locals and tourists alike.

Bread Crusted Red Snapper Saffron “Fideos” Chorizo in Smoked Sweet Paprika Sauce at Le Bernardin © Shimon & Tammar

Bread Crusted Red Snapper Saffron “Fideos” Chorizo in Smoked Sweet Paprika Sauce at Le Bernardin
© Shimon & Tammar


Over in France, an alpine ski lodge located in the heart of the Trois Vallees, is the latest chalet to gain admittance into the group. Boasting three Michelin stars, the Hotel Restaurant La Bouitte in the French Alps is a luxury ski lodge designed to reflect its surroundings, with luxurious furnishings set off against rustic wood beams and flooring.

Father and son duo Rene and Maxime Meilleur have also made the country inn one of France’s premier dining destinations for dishes like “veal à la Savoyarde” with cheese polenta and creamy sauce.

Wharekauhau Lodge and Country Estate, New Zealand © Courtesy of Wharekauhau

Wharekauhau Lodge and Country Estate, New Zealand
© Courtesy of Wharekauhau


In New Zealand, The Wharekauhau Lodge & Country Estate, a property set on a sheep farm, was given its membership card for offering guests an indulgent stay in a bucolic setting with forests, lakes and rivers.

And over in Japan, travelers looking to stay at an authentic ‘ryokan’ or traditional Japanese inn may want to consider Nishimuraya Honkan in Hyogo which also received Relais & Chateaux’s stamp of approval. With a heritage that stretches back 150 years and seven generations, the inn offers a peaceful retreat amongst bamboo forests and hot springs.

The ryokan also serves traditional kaiseki, a Japanese tasting menu made up of several small plates.

For more Relais & Chateaux properties visit https://www.relaischateaux.com.

Shanghai Diner Closes After Getting Michelin Star

Shanghai Diner Closes After Getting Michelin Star

A Shanghai restaurant has closed down just a day after being awarded a coveted star in the Michelin guide’s first mainland Chinese edition.

Taian Table – one of 26 restaurants in the city to receive Michelin stars – “suspended” business on Thursday “due to internal reorganization”, a notice on its front door said.

The starred establishment, on the ground floor of a five-story residential building in downtown Shanghai, serves Western dishes ranging from grilled endives to smoked beets by chef Stefan Stiller, according to the restaurant’s web site.

The “graceful restaurant” has a menu that “changes monthly and makes good use of excellent ingredients and clever recipes,” according to the Michelin description. It opened for business in April.

The diner was previously ordered to shut down by local officials due to lack of proper licenses, the Xinmin Evening News reported Friday, adding authorities stepped in after neighbors complained.

Residents who live above the restaurant told AFP the kitchen smoke and noise interrupted their normal life, and they petitioned local regulators to have the diner shut down.

“The noise is always there, with the stereo subwoofer vibrating. It’s so hot where we live, but we can’t open our windows,” said Zhang Fuzhen, who lives on the second floor of the building. Michelin launched its inaugural China guide Wednesday to great fanfare.

The guides, first published in France more than a century ago to promote automobile travel, now cover 28 countries and spotlight diverse cuisines including Brazilian, Burmese, Cajun, Peruvian, and Tibetan.

Restaurants recognized by the culinary bible have used the prestigious award to build big businesses, with Hong Kong’s Tim Ho Wan and Taiwan’s Din Tai Fung turning into international franchises.

The original idea for the restaurant was “to build a small place to entertain our friends and to have some foodies and chef friends around to create new and creative dishes,” Taian Table said in a statement, adding “we certainly never intentionally planned to violate any rules.”

The company, it said, plans to reopen the after relocating to a new address, adding “I apologize to all the guests who have booked seats already for the coming weeks.”

Michelin in China did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

6 Michelin Star Singapore Restaurants Tested

It was a monumental moment when Singapore’s first Michelin stars were bestowed. Some were happy that the nation’s food was finally awarded the prestigious recognition they deserved; however, others were not so pleased at the idea of being told what good cuisine is by non-Singaporeans, especially since no local fare made its way above one star. Nevertheless, now that the dust has somewhat settled, there is at least one thing most agree with: that all the restaurants christened with their new shiny stars deserve every bit of their gleam. Enter a few eateries that have caught our eye (and growling stomachs).

The Kitchen at Bacchanalia – 1 Star


Its signboardless front is most certainly not indicative of its lack of renown; this restaurant has a reputation for its homely atmosphere, as well as its penchant for sustainably sourced ingredients. Look forward to delicacies like the Wagyu au Poivre Vert – as long as they have sufficient stock of sustainable beef.


39 HongKong Street, Singapore 059678

Osia – 1 Star


It is opened by Australian celebrity chef Scott Webster and helmed by chef de cuisine Douglas Tay, what more do you expect? Experimental food is the name of the game here, with offerings like foie gras with banana textures, and the Byron Bay Berkshire Pork Rack.


8 Sentosa Gateway, Festive Walk, Singapore 098269

Terra Tokyo-Italian Omakase – 1 Star


Everything – from the bottarga of fresh mullet roe to the acqua pazza of poached fish and seafood – has been handpicked by chef Seita Nakahara at the market just that morning himself. Go for the omakase, a set of three courses; don’t say we didn’t tell you.


54 Tras Street, Singapore 078993

Cut by Wolfgang Puck – 1 Star


Only the very best make the cut, and with this restaurant, the main event comes in the form of the 100 percent Wagyu Beef steak; it just melts in your mouth. Then there’s their constantly updated list of almost 60 original cocktails. Be prepared for a real treat.


The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, Level 2

Waku Ghin – 1 Star


Does Waku Ghin need introduction? It was previously crowned number seven on Asia’s 50 Best Restaurant and Top 50 of the World’s Best Restaurant – and it’s no wonder. Expect only the freshest in its decadent 10-course menu; we recommend the Marinated Botan Shrimp with Sea Urchin and Caviar.


10 Marina Bay Sands, L2-01, Atrium 2, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands 

Odette – 2 Stars


Opened by the head chef of one of the most distinguished French fine dining establishments, it is only natural – albeit admittedly shocking – that Odette received so much press coverage even before it opened. Check out the North Highlands beef tartare, paired only with the finest wines, for this is French dining after all.


1 St. Andrew’s Road #01-04

Read more about the restaurants on Men’s Folio Singapore.

108 at Noma Restaurant Reopens, Copenhagen

108 at Noma will soon have a new home, and a permanent one to boot. The pop-up venture from its older, more avant garde sibling Noma is set to open this week, helmed by Noma’s chef and co-owner René Redzepi and chef Kristian Baumann (pictured below).

108 at Noma_kristian

First opened in January within the compounds of Noma in Copenhagen, the pop-up restaurant was a massive hit under Baumann, who oversaw the business until April, when the pop-up closed to prepare for its permanent reopening. Noma’s team has since been busy hunting down the highest quality Danish ingredients and liaising with local farmers and producers so as to offer diners the contemporary and refined menu they’ve come to be known for.

Like Noma – which shot to culinary fame with two Michelin stars – 108 at Noma will also pay homage to Danish gastronomy, albeit serving up a more casual offering of family-sized portioned meals to share.


Michelin Awards Singapore’s Hawker Stall Stars

When Michelin released the Bib Gourmand just the other day, Singapore’s culinary scene was embroiled in excitement. In an update from the Bib Gourmand, Michelin has awarded actual stars to a select number of Singapore’s eateries. You would be pleased to know that two hawker stalls even found their way into the Michelin star-studded list of fame, the first time this has happened.

Marking themselves as the world’s first stars for street food (Singaporeans rejoice!), meet Hill Street Tai Hwa Pork Noodle in Crawford Lane, as well as Chinatown Food Complex’s Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice & Noodle. Twenty other restaurants, including Paragon Shopping Centre’s Crystal Jade Golden Palace, round out the number of eateries awarded one Michelin star to a grand total of 22.

Similarly, six restaurants now count two Michelin stars under their names, while the sole top laurel of three stars was bestowed upon Restaurant Joel Robuchon, a contemporary French outlet decked with a majestic art deco-inspired dining room. “From the quality of the ingredients – with only the best selected – to the finesse of the cooking, through to the impressive wine list that includes over 1,000 references, the experience offered by the chef Joël Robuchon is quite simple exceptional! ” exclaims Michael Ellis, International Director of Michelin Guides. You go, Glen Coco.

Congruent to Singapore’s queuing culture, we expect long lines at these places now that they bear the Michelin seal of approval. We call dibs.

The full Michelin Guide Singapore 2016 will be available in print from bookstores islandwide, or in digital through Michelin’s upcoming app for both Apple and Android phones, as well as at its website here.

Michelin-Star Restaurant Closed After Food Poisoning

Having Michelin stars not only attracts diners but also raises expectations of a restaurant’s standards and service. So when one such restaurant in Japan was shuttered temporarily after diners are down with food poisoning, naturally it got our attention.

Fourteen diners at Kita Kamakura Saryo Gentoan southwest of Tokyo were reported to have suffered from food poisoning after a meal of sea urchin, squid and other seafoods. The restaurant is famous for serving kaiseki, a form of Japanese haute cuisine and has a single Michelin star to its name. In kaiseki tradition, each delicate dish is prepared with the utmost attention to detail.

When asked about the incident, an official in charge of food safety at the Kanagawa prefectural government said “ None of them were hospitalized and were already recovering when food poisoning was reported.” Authorities are currently trying to determine if the seafood or other factors contributed to the situation.

An investigation into the cause of the food poisoning is being carried out and the restaurant will remain closed during that period.

Arpège Named Best Restaurant in Europe

French Michelin-starred Chef Alain Passard has already been bestowed the Lifetime Achievement award by the organizers of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, and, this time, the vege-centric chef has scored another accolade by being ranked the best restaurant in Europe for the list by Opinionated About Dining (OAD). OAD is the handiwork of food blogger Steve Plotnicki, drawing from an international community of critics and tallying their scores together. France remains the dominant country (as it is on most lists, with the notable exception of 50 Best), with 48 restaurants, while UK and Italy stand close behind at 28 and 27 respectively.

Arpege Interior

Arpège Interior

Passard is notable for switching his focus to vegetables, despite a background as a top-tier roast chef. This was largely because of Mad Cow disease originally but it has continued to current times. He is also known today for sourcing his ingredients from organic gardens, ensuring the highest quality meals reach the table. “Ingredients of a quality so high they make your head feel like exploding are cooked with the greatest care and respect in this restaurant known for fostering the vegetable-oriented, minimalist cuisine movement,” says the review for the restaurant on OAD.


Strawberries and onions at Arpège

Arpège jumps in front of a few other notable restaurants on the list, including the famous Danish restaurant Noma (ranked at 5). Rene Redzepi from Noma was one of the chefs inspired by Passard’s vegetarian stance to create his own vegetarian menu for his restaurant. Ranking in second and third place are Spanish restaurant Azurmendi, known for using technologies such as ultrasound in their cuisine, as well as Belgium restaurant In De Wulf, specializing in organic and natural Flemish cuisine (chef Kobe Desramaults was also inspired by Passard).

If you want to see the full list, you can check it out at OAD’s website over here.


Tour d’Argent’s Duck-Press Fetches $45,000

What in the world is a duck press? We will get to that of course but first, a bit of backstory… Overlooking the river Seine, the Tour d’Argent restaurant has seen many changes over the years. Thanks to this history, the Michelin-starred restaurant had acquired a large number of dishes, furniture, rare spirits and liquors. As part of its efforts to modernize the restaurant and its logo, Tour d’Argent auctioned off over 3,000 items from its private collection. One item that garnered much attention during the auction by Artcurial, was the silver plated duck-press.

Crafted in the 19th century by Christofle, the duck press also bears the Left Bank restaurant’s emblem and was expected to fetch EU4,000 to EU6,000. It was sold however, for EU40,000 ($45,000) — nearly 10 times its estimate. Used to squeeze the blood and bone marrow from ducks, the device is said to have served an impressive 1.15 million dishes of “Canard a la Presse” since 1890. Today, this might well be the most expensive duck press in the world, although statistics on these devices are hard to come by.

Other notable items that were auctioned include the Grande Fine Clos du Griffier Cognac. Estimated to be one of the oldest bottles in the selection that was sold, it si believed to date back to 1788 and was expected to fetch EU20,000 to EU21,000 ($22,00-$23,000).

“The Tour d’Argent is continuingly evolving and the renovations we have undertaken have led to us accumulating a large amount of porcelain, crystal, glass and silverware and also furniture which no longer has a relevant place today” said André Terrail, owner of Tour d’Argent. He added that “Just like our new visual identity, we are establishing the Tour d’Argent in the present, whilst continuing on from the past.”

World’s 50 Best Names Dominique Crenn Top Chef

The honorary prize for Best Female Chef, awarded by the same people behind the World’s 50 Best Restaurants, has a new winner this year – French molecular gastronomist (if we can use such a word) Dominique Crenn. Take the ‘molecular’ part with a caveat, though, because putting a term like that on Crenn may be narrowing down the full scope of her abilities.

While the dishes she runs at her two Michelin-starred Atelier Crenn are viewed as playful works of art or gastronomic poetry, she still professes an influence from her mother’s rural home cooking. Last year, she branched out into a second restaurant called Petit Crenn, which, as the name suggest, aims for a more restrained and homely feeling rather than complex cuisine. Both these restaurant types outline her gastronomic worldview.

To be able to hold fast to both types of cuisine, maintaining the creativity and her own unique vision, as a female in a male-dominated industry, warrants Crenn her entry into the World’s 50 Best list of top female talents. So far it includes names of other female chefs Hélène Darroze and Anne-Sophie Pic from France. She started as a chef in the USA working under Jeremiah Tower and Mark Franz and gained her first Michelin star in 2009 in the kitchens of the Luce restaurant at the San Francisco InterContinental Hotel.

The term used by Crenn for her cuisine is ‘poetic culinaria’, and she does her menu with the same layering as a poet applies precisely chosen words to a poem. Actually, her menu itself is literally a poem. There isn’t any outline of the ingredients or anything hinting at what might actually be served, other than lines like “I touch the salted water, and hold the shell against my ear”. One of her signature dishes includes a Kir cocktail turned into a spherical form, inspired by her roots back home in Brittany.

Crenn will receive her award on June 13 at the Cipriani Wall Street restaurant in New York, which will also be the unveiling date of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2016. For our part, we are not sure why a separate award for best female chef is even necessary, given that gender plays no roles as far as we can tell when it comes to the kitchen.

You can check out more details for her award at The World’s 50 Best site here.

Michelin Chef Undertakes Gluten-Free Challenge

Reine Sammut, the French chef with one Michelin star for her restaurant in Provence, has decided to try gluten-free cuisine to accommodate people taking on the diet. With help and inspiration from her daughter Nadia, a trained chemist with coeliac disease, the chef is offering a special 55 euro ($60) menu, half the usual price, to encourage guests to sample the best of gluten-free dining in L’Auberge de la Feniere

The gluten-free diet has been endorsed by various celebrities such as Miley Cyrus and Gwyneth Paltrow, as well as several athletes. Yet there has been ongoing debate as to whether the diet is actually helpful for people in improving their health. Several have opined that, other than those suffering from coeliac disease, which causes an intolerance to gluten, merely deciding without medical advice to switch to a gluten-free diet may not be the best choice for one’s health. Taking on the diet plan haphazardly may deny one of the necessary nutrients required for the body to function.

Nadia has the other side of the story to offer though. She was hospitalized at age 29, where she spent the next two years bedridden until she was diagnosed with the disease. It is now known to affect about one in 100 people in Europe and the United States. “Thirty-five years ago, doctors didn’t know about coeliac disease,” Nadia says. “The doctors told me that I had destroyed my immune system, I was at the height of the illness.”

She and her mother admit that gluten-free cooking may be faddish in France, but stresses “active awareness”. “We should know what we are eating,” says Nadia, who trains top chefs around the world in gluten-free cuisine. She easily persuaded her mother to drop traditional ingredients in favor of gluten-free alternatives “so that everyone could eat at the same table”.

Other than the Auberge de la Feniere, there aren’t really any Michelin starred restaurants in France who have such a menu, but that doesn’t prevent them from trying. Many top restaurants such as Le Castellaras in the southern resort city of Cannes are prepared for gluten-free requests.

“For Valentine’s Day, one couple never imagined we could offer a gluten-free menu,” said Le Castellaras’s Hermance Joplet, who served up a nutty risotto of locally grown spelt with sauteed baby vegetables for them.

The mother-daughter duo have had quite a few challenges in adapting the restaurant’s house specialties in a gluten-free way though, but they seem to get by. One such dish was truffles in puff pastry. Nadia came up with a blend of chestnut and quinoa flour as an innovative fix. Another signature desert, the Paris-Lourmarin (a reimagination of the traditional Paris-Brest desert) was done up with squash flour and almond extract.

In order to guarantee the absolute absence of gluten, Reine and Nadia have to select the ingredients extremely carefully, ensuring traceability. The restaurant’s pork meat comes from a farmer in the nearby Luberon mountains who feeds his pigs on chickpeas. The fish comes from Martigues, near Marseille. Their rice comes from a farmer in the Camargue who uses weed-loving ducks instead of herbicides. They also grow some of their own ingredients in their own organic garden.

And the bread, also gluten-free of course, is made in clay pots, reviving a baking method used by the ancient Egyptians. “Back then the flour was low in gluten,” Nadia says.

With a wider awareness of symptoms like coeliac disease and other food-intolerance causing illnesses, new ingredients and menus will be created to cater to these kinds of symptoms. Hopefully other higher tier restaurants will learn to follow suit and allow these diners to join the table as well.

Joel Robuchon

Joel Robuchon Gets Tribute Dinner

We can think of no better way to pay tribute to a chef who has made powerful and important contributions to the culinary world than with a tribute dinner in his honor. The dinner named “A Cuatro Manos” dinner series (which means “Four Hands”), already in its third year, saw fellow Michelin star chefs recreate iconic dishes by Ferran Adria in 2015. This year they will be honoring one of French gastronomy’s emperors.

To be held next month in Spain, 18 chefs with a total of 71 Michelin stars between them will use Andalusian chef Dani Garcia’s restaurant to bring guests on an edible journey. While the four-day event sees the spotlight shining on Robuchon on the first night with his most celebrated dishes recreated for guests, the second night will see Garcia take on a challenge. Without the help of modern equipment, the chef will be joined by Angel Leon and Paco Morales to cook unplugged.

On the third night, he will cook with Daniel Humm, and the fourth night, with Frank Sebastian of Horvath in Berlin. Here is the list of participating chefs and the number of Michelin stars they hold:

Daniel Humm*** (Eleven Madison Park – New York)
Sebastian Frank** (Horvath – Berlin)
Albert Adria** (Pakta, Tickets, Enigma and more – Barcelona)
Quique Dacosta*** (Quique Dacosta – Alicante)
Joan Roca*** (Celler de Can Roca – Girona)
Paco Pérez** (Miramar – Griona)
Ángel León** (Aponiente – Cádiz)
Ramón Freixá** (Ramon Freixa – Madrid)
Andoni Luis Aduriz** (Mugaritz – Errenteria)
Paco Roncero** (La Terraza del Casino – Madrid)
Francis Paniego ** (El Portal de Echaurren – Ezcaray)
Ricard Camarena* ( Ricard Camarena – Valencia)
Rodrigo de la Calle (El Invernadero – Madrid)
Toño Pérez** (Atrio – Cáceres)
Marcos Morán* (Casa Gerardo – Asturias)
Paco Morales (Noor – Córdoba)
Josean Alija* (Nerua – Bilbao)
Dani García** (Restaurante Dani Garcia – Marbella)

Tickets are on sale now. The dinners run April 18 to 21.

For more information, click here. The site is in Spanish and English.