2013 has been a great year for us. We ate at about 200 eateries and traveled to Penang, Jakarta, Sydney, Melbourne, Taiwan and South Korea. We were finalist for Singapore Blog Awards, appeared on Suria, interviewed on inaugural issue of Yess.Im, contributed to Asia Rooms, named Best 5 Singapore Food Blogs by Hotel Club, 5 Best Food Blogs in Asia by Asia Rooms and mentioned by New York Post. Thank you for those who make these things happen and thank you to those who get us.
Thank you, Chiobu and Huccalily, for contributing and sticking with me through thick and thin. Thank you to all the PRs for your hospitality, and sorry if our honest reviews make it difficult for you to answer to your bosses. Thank you to kind and generous blogger-friends, especially Sg Food on Foot, and Pinky Piggu.
A note on this list: these are the restaurants we tried this year, not restaurants that are opened this year. The nominees represent the best in their categories. We try to avoid putting “Top Ten Eateries” in other categories, but if we do, it means the restaurant deserves the recognition.
Top Ten Restaurants in Singapore 2013
10. Tim Ho Wan (Plaza Singapura and Toa Payoh)
Everybody has been asking the wrong question: nothing is worth a 2-hour queue because time is irretrievable. The correct question to ask is: “If you have to queue 2 hours for dim sum, which restaurant would you choose? How does THW compare to other dim sum restaurants in Singapore?” My answer is: THW has changed the dim sum scene forever in Singapore. For any dim sum restaurant I go, I compare them to THW and THW always emerges on top for the simplest reason: in most restaurants in Singapore, dim sum is made in advance and reheated when customers order. But at THW, everything is made fresh upon ordering.
Homeboy Malcolm Lee turn-soil-to-return (卷土重来) with Version 2.0 of the restaurant. Modern cooking methods, traditional Peranakan recipes, full of heart.
Chef Kazumasa Yazawa, who worked 5 years at Waku Ghin, strikes out on his own. The wagyu beef bowl and kaarage are unforgettable. I still dream of them.
7. Trattoria Gallo D’oro
Simple and rustic. Tastes like home, if I were Italian.
6. Hide Yamamoto
Yandao chef Sho Naganuma (pictured right), protege of Chef Hide Yamamoto, runs this overseas outlet and serves one of the best grilled chicken with truffle in Singapore–rustic yet refined.
5. Hinoki Japanese Restaurant
The colorful Masterchef Santaro Li, who has served PM Lee Hsieng Loong and late President Ong Teng Cheong, doesn’t serve his Japanese cuisine subtle: it is heavy-handed at times but I like it that way.
Another yandao chef, Takatsuki Toshiki. This must be the most exquisite yakiniku (grilled) beef in Singapore.
3. Burnt Ends
Sexy Australian Chef David Pynt brings a new concept to Singapore: wood-fired oven and grill. Food is smokey, aromatic, primitive, sealed in its natural flavors. One of the few restaurants I’d return again and again and again.
Under the tutelage of the late three Michelin-starred chef Santi Santamaria for ten years, Chef Jose Alonso opens Binomio, focusing on northern Spanish cuisine, and the La Rioja region. If there is a restaurant in Singapore that deserves Michelin stars, this is it.
1. Ezoca Japanese Restaurant
While the food is excellent, what makes this restaurant #1 is the experience: I was in an instagram fantasy.
Most Popular Entry of the Year
Best Budget Eats ($0-$20)
Best Mid-Range Asian Restaurant ($15-$30)
Best Mid-Range Western Restaurant ($20-$50)
Best Atas Restaurant (Above $60)
Chiroshi from The Flying Squirrel
Most Romantic Restaurant
Best Restaurant/Bar for Big Groups
A Noodle Story
Most Value For Money
Best Afternoon Tea/ High Tea/ Brunch
Tuna tartar with lime sorbet in tom yam from The Kitchen Table
Eggs benedict from Common Man
Best Singapore Attraction
Pan Pacific lobby
Best Overseas Eat
Best Overseas Hotel
Great Ocean Road, Melbourne
Categories: a. Singapore Travel