Singapore may be small but it has a big reputation in the culinary stakes; high end restaurants and hole-in-the-wall bars the island over regularly grace lists of the world’s best. The 2023 Michelin Guide to Singapore really hammers this message home.
Featuring the crème de la crème of the city’s gourmet offering, the freshly-unveiled list now spans an impressive 286 locations, of which 55 have achieved one, two or three Michelin Stars.
Among the five newly one-starred restaurants are Born at Jinricksha Station, where diners at treated to a French meets Chinese tasting menu inspired by “the circle of life” and personal journey of chef Zor Tan, and modern Nordic venue Poise, set in a monochromatic room with theatrical lighting to call attention to the dishes.
The two are joined by Seroja, described as a love letter to the Malay Archipelago and also the city’s first Green Star recipient for sustainable practices, as well as the 10-seater omakase restaurant Sushi Sakata, and Willow, which fuses solid French techniques into a pan-Asian tasting menu.
Michelin International Director Gwendal Poullenac calls Singapore “a fascinating destination”, citing the melting pot of cultures as one of the reasons for its continued culinary success.
Among the wider list are three restaurants with three Michelin stars (Odette, Zén and Le Amis), six with two stars (including Saint Pierre and Cloudstreet), and 46 holding one star.
However not all Michelin-recommended venues come with a premium price tag, as the Bib Gourmand list – Michelin’s annual guide spotlighting value-for-money eateries that deliver a flavour punch without hurting the hip pocket – revealed earlier this month.
“The inspection team has been amazed to discover many hawker stalls with flavoursome dishes from different ethnic groups that have their own secret recipes for diners to enjoy,” Poullenac adds.
New additions to the 79-strong Bib Gourmand list, awarded since 1997, include 17 hawker centre stalls and two restaurants, which inspectors chose not only for their exceptionally-delicious dishes but their cultural importance too.
The two restaurants making the cut were Kok Sen in Keong Saik, which has been plating up home-style ‘tze char’ classics for more than 50 years (try the prawn paste chicken), and The Coconut Club on Beach Road, which is renowned for its best-selling nasi lemak.
As for the hawker stalls, they included Cheok Kee in Geylang Bahru Market & Food Centre (known for its velvety soy-marinated duck) and the third-generation Tai Seng Fish Soup in Taman Jurong Market & Food Centre, famed for its fish soup made from scratch.
Another long-running favourite is Nam Sing Hokkien Fried Mee at 51 Old Airport Road Market, with the stall dishing up just one dish – hokkien fried mee prawns – since 1960.
The new Bib Gourmand restaurant additions are:
- Kok Sen – Keong Saik
- The Coconut Crab – Beach Road
If the vibrant authenticity of a hawker stall is more your style, Bib Gourmand singles out:
- Noo Cheng Big Prawn Noodle – Adam Road Food Centre
- Bahrakath Mutton Soup – Adam Road Food Centre
- Beach Road Fish Head Bee Hoon – Whampoa Market Place
- Cheok Kee – Geylang Bahru Market & Food Centre
- Du Du Shou Shi – Jurong West 505 Market & Food Centre
- Heng Kee – Hong Lim Market & Food Centre
- Hui Wei Chilli Ban Mee – Geylang Bahru Market & Food Centre
- Ji De Lai Hainanese Chicken Rice – Chong Pang Market & Food Centre
- Kwee Heng – Newton Road Food Centre
- Nam Sing Hokkien Fried Mee – 51 Old Airport Road Market
- No.18 Zion Road Fried Kway Teow – Zion Riverside Food Centre
- Selamat Datang Warong Pak Sapari – Adam Food Centre
- Singapore Fried Hokkien Mee – Whampoa Market
- Soon Huat – North Bridge Road Market & Food Centre
- Spinach Soup – Geylang Bahru Market & Food Centre
- Tai Seng Fish Soup – Taman Jurong Market & Food Centre
- Young Chun Wan Ton Noodle – 115 Bukit Merah View Market & Food Centre