Did The 2017 Michelin Guide Singapore Get It Right?
It was a big night for gourmands, chefs and restaurateurs as the dining establishments that have earned their stars in the 2017 Michelin Guide Singapore were announced at a gala event, held at The Fullerton Hotel Singapore, yesterday evening.
A total of 38 establishments made it onto the prestigious list, and there were a total of 11 new recipients.
They included Labyrinth, the first restaurant championing Mod-Sin cuisine to make the list; Braci, an intimate mod-Italian nook helmed by notable chef and restaurateur Beppe de Vito, and contemporary-Australian champion and Singapore Tatler’s Best New Restaurant 2016/2017, Whitegrass.
On the other end of the spectrum—at least where the price of a meal was concerned—the two hawker stalls, Liao Fan Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice & Noodle (Chinatown Complex Food Centre) and Hill Street Tai Hwa Pork Noodle retained their stars, but there were no new hawkers added to the list.
Should there have been more hawker stalls added to the list? Did the guide better represent Singapore’s dining landscape this year? Is this the age for Mod-Sin cuisine?
Here are just some of what our society friends, pundits and chefs had to say.
Lynn Yeow De Vito
The local dining landscape is more exciting
“I feel that the 2017 Michelin Guide Singapore has a better list than last year’s, as it has more dining places that reflect Singapore’s vibrant F&B scene. It puts Singapore on the culinary map, attracting tourists from around the world who want to sample our cuisine.
That said, I wish more local restaurants will be included in next year's list. I’m a big fan of Chinese food, so I’m hoping to see Jade Palace and Paradise Teochew Restaurant (join the list of Michelin-starred restaurants). I still feel that Wild Rocket by Willin Low, who champions Mod-Sin cuisine, deserves a spot.”
Han Li Guang
The guide has given chefs a chance to champion Singaporean cuisine
“My team’s goal has always been to promote local cuisine, and educate (diners) that it’s not just (about) hawker food. I do Mod-Sin cuisine and in the past, it has been misunderstood—people see it as 'fusion' or 'confusion'.
I will continue to represent this cuisine, and evolve further with new menus and innovations that use local ingredients to play with flavours. We recently started making oyster sauce from scratch, so that’s something you can expect to see on our menu in the near future.
I hope that this accolade will also help us bring local food to the international stage (and inspire) more opportunities for collaborations.”
Dr Leslie Tay
A lot more could have been done for Singapore food
“I’m just slightly disappointed that the Michelin inspectors didn’t seem to have gone to other hawker centres, because we have so many hawkers who are deserving of at least a spot on the Bib Gourmand list. It feels like they didn’t do as much work as we wanted them to do. Some of the top hawkers are still not (on the list). So, the list hasn’t changed much, has it?
But I am happy Chef Kang (of Chef Kang’s) got a star. That is the biggest victory for me. His food is Cantonese-Teochew but it has a lot of Singaporean influences—it's Chinese food, done Singapore-style.
Beppe De Vito
It’s still all about pleasing the diners
“Braci is all about creating a new experience for diners; it has never been about me. I hope this star will motivate my team to work with the same passion and commitment, and to deliver the best food and service.”
More hawker stalls should be included in the guide
“Given the history of the Michelin guide and its transition from an emergency manual into a destination invitation, I don't see why we shouldn't include more hawker stalls from all corners of Singapore. After all, it wouldn't hurt to know of a good place to eat that can also provide respite if your car broke down somewhere you were unfamiliar with in Singapore!”
It’s a good moral booster for chefs
“It feels good to retain our one star, especially since we’re the only Indian restaurant (with a star) to make it into the guide. It’s not an easy job, but we continue to push ourselves to provide better food and service.
The Michelin star is a nice badge to have as I feel that it recognises the chefs’ hard work, and this will only bring our dining scene to the next level with more chefs aiming to earn or retain their stars.”
More restaurants should earn three stars next year
“We need more three Michelin-starred restaurants in our beautiful country, that’s also a foodie haven. Let’s hope that Joël Robuchon won’t feel so lonely next year, so I’m looking forward to seeing Odette and Andre join him in three-star heaven!”