1. Cuisine

Best Food 2017 Part VI: Best Restaurants of the Year

After a month of listing the best food we ate this year, here it is: the 10 Best Restaurants in Singapore in 2017. They are absolutely the creme de la creme. A delight to dine in. 10 restaurants, 10 different cuisines, but what they have in common is their dedication to serve the best food using great ingredients. Most of them are considered fine-dining with the notable exception of a casual restaurant by a Singaporean chef. We are really glad his restaurant made it to the list.

333A Orchard Road #02-37 Mandarin Gallery Singapore 238897
T: +65 9159 3177
12pm-3pm, 7pm-10pm, closed Sun

The kitchen is headed by Chef de cuisine Kenji Yamanaka, who graduated in 1996 from the L’École Technique Hôtelière Tsuji Château de l’Éclair in Liergues, France. His resume includes three Michelin starred restaurants such as Georges Blanc in Vonnas, France, and L’Osier in Ginza Tokyo, where he was under the tutelage of Chef de Cuisine Jacques Borie (who holds the title of Un des Meilleurs Ouvriers de France).

The Michelin starred Beni reinterprets French food with Japanese sensibility and serves only fixe prix menu, no a la carte. The most affordable: a 4-course lunch (weekdays only) at $68++. Lunch degustation (7 courses) goes for $128++, and lunch precieux (5 courses) with Yamanaka’s signature, Ozaki wagyu, at $228++. Dinner is at $178++ or $258++. His style is a light, delicate, clean, restrained touch like the gentleness of a quiet Japanese novel. [FULL REVIEW]

97 Amoy Street, Singapore 069917
tel: +65 6224 2232
M-F 12pm-3pm, M-Sat 6pm-11pm

35 year-old Australian Clayton Wells who opens Blackwattle, serving modern Australian food, is the chef of Automata, which ranks 9th best restaurant in Sydney by Australian Financial Review. At 19 years old, Wells was an apprentice in a hotel kitchen before moving on to eminent Sydney restaurants such as Quay and Tetsuya’s.

Wells leaves 28 year-old Joeri Timmermans, his sous chef at Automata, to helm Blackwattle. They serve a 3-course lunch at $48++ and 5-course dinner at $115++. A la carte is also available.

We like Blackwattle because the dishes are easy and clean; nothing very complicated, just letting the integrity of the ingredients to speak for themselves. [FULL REVIEW]

Braci Singapore
52 Boat Quay, Level 5, Singapore 048941
Tel: +65 6866 1933
Lunch T-F 12pm-2pm, Dinner M-Sat 6pm-10.30pm

Braci, a modern Italian restaurant which receives a Michelin star, is personally helmed by the chef-owner of Il Lido Group Beppe De Vito who has six other Italian restaurants including  &Sons , Aura, and Osteria Art.

Unlike his other “loud” restaurants, Braci is personal, allowing only about 20 patrons. Set lunch starts from $48++ for 3 courses. Or you can order the degustation (lunch and dinner) at $100 (4 courses), $150 (5 courses), and $200 (5 courses). They treat the ingredients respectfully here and demonstrate high culinary prowess. Worthy of its Michelin star. [FULL REVIEW]

Chef Kang
25 Mackenzie Road Singapore 228681
Tel: +65 6238 6263
11.30am-2.30pm, 6pm-10.30pm, closed M

Although some people have complained that the Michelin-starred Chef Kang serves “cze char food at fine dining prices”–and I agree to a certain extent–there is a certain magic in the food. It’s inconceivable how Chef Kang manages to convert simple and cheap ingredients into such delightful ambrosia. The food represents the best of what cze char food can offer. [FULL REVIEW]

Kappou Japanese Sushi Tapas Bar
190 Middle Road, Fortune Centre #02-10A Singapore 188979
tel: +65 9819 2058

23 year-old Aeron Choo is a one-woman show at Kappou Japanese Sushi Tapas Bar in Fortune Centre. Although young, she started working in kitchens at the age of 14 and has worked in Japan for about 2 years. Since she is the only one cooking, expect to spend at least 2.5 hours here. It sounds like a long time, but the courses arrive at a decent pace.

They now only serve $128++ omakase. If you want extra uni and caviar, there is a supplement of +$60, or additional caviar and ikura at +$40. The food here is dynamic, young, and modern, appealing to young crowds. [FULL REVIEW]

The Masses
85 Beach Road #01-02 Singapore 189694
tel: +65 6266 0061
M, T, Th, 12pm-9.30pm; W, F, Sat 12pm-12am; Sun 12pm-9pm

Opened by local boy Chef Dylan Ong, one of the three founders of  The Saveur Group, The Masses focuses on contemporary, borderless cuisine. It uses fresh, seasonal ingredients of good quality and sustainable sources; and the organic vegetables come from a local farm, reducing carbon footprint.

The food is so delicious because in every dish, there are always contrasting textures and flavors. It’s very smart food design here; there are balance, beauty, and great flavors in each dish. [FULL REVIEW]

Spago by Wolfgang Puck
1 Bayfront Avenue, Marina Bay Sands Hotel, Tower 2 Level 57, Singapore 018971
T: +65 6688 9955
Lunch (daily) 12pm-2.30pm
Dinner (Sun-Th) 6pm-10pm
Dinner (F & Sat) 6pm-11pm

Spago is Chef Wolfgang Puck’s second restaurant at Marina Bay Sands after steakhouse CUT. Spago serves Californian cuisine with Asian (mostly Japanese) accents. They use the same suppliers as CUT, importing many of its seasonal ingredients from USA. The original Spago opened in 1982 in West Hollywood, California and has two Michelin stars.

In Singapore, Chef de cuisine Greg Bess has been at the California flagship from 2004 and when CUT opened in Singapore in 2010, he oversaw the opening. And then Spago Singapore. The lunch menu goes for $45 for 3 courses, $95 for 4 courses. The dinner tasting menu is at $245, but there is a la carte for lunch and dinner. For dinner, estimate to spend slightly more than $100. [FULL REVIEW]

Sushi Kimura
390 Orchard Rd #01-07 Palais Renaissance Singapore 238871
tel: +65 6734 3520
tue 12.30pm-3pm, 7pm-10pm, W-Sun 12pm-3pm, 7pm-10pm. Closed Mon.

Sushi Kimura is helmed by Tomoo Kimura with more than 15 years of experience at top sushi restaurants in Tokyo and Singapore, including the one-Michelin-starred Ginza Sushi Ichi and Sushi Hashida. He serves Edo-mae styled sushi, priced at $120, $180, and $250 for lunch, and $280, $330, and $390 for dinner.

Here are some of the features used in ingredients:
-organic Fujisu vinegar from Miyazu city, Kyoto. To make it, they use five times more rice than other vinegars from a method called lio Jouzou.
organic soya sauce from Aritaya, Gunma prefecture.
-Tsuya-hime organic rice from a family farm in Yamagata prefecture.
-Shin nori cultivated in Ariake sea
-Hokkaido spring water to cook rice and other dishes (actually you can buy this in Meidi-ya).

Tono Cevicheria
7 Fraser Street, Duo Galleria #01-49/50, Singapore 189356
T: +65 6702 7320
M-F 12pm-3pm, 6pm-10pm, Sat 6pm-10pm

Tono is founded by Peruvian Chef Daniel Chavez, and the kitchen is helmed by Chef Mario Malvaez who leads a team of Lima-trained Latin American chefs. Tono focuses on fresh, carefully sourced ingredients with a sustainability slant, particularly seafood. Some of the fish are line-caught.

Peruvian food served at Tono is salty and pungent and sour, very different from Asian flavours but equally lovely. There is little subtlety in Peruvian food; it is bold, in your face, and honest. [FULL REVIEW]

VLV Singapore
3A River Valley Road, Clarke Quay #01-02 Singapore 179020
Tel: +65 6661 0197
Weekdays 12pm-3pm, Daily 6pm-11pm, Weekend Brunch 11.30am-3.30pm

In 2014, when Chef Martin Foo helmed Tong Le Private Dining, it was #1 on our 10 Best Restaurants in 2014. Foo left Tong Le and joined VLV at Clarke Quay. Foo specializes in modern Cantonese cuisine and the difference between Tong Le and VLV is that Tong Le serves expensive prix fixe dishes in individual portions whereas VLV serves food in communal style, so it is more affordable.

There is a saying that goes, “Follow the chef, not the restaurant,” and this adage is true in this case. Foo’s cooking is consistent from Tong Le to VLV. It’s umami, smart, innovative, homely, elegant, and modern. He uses ingredients from all over the world–truffles, kurobuta, etc–not restricted to traditionally Chinese ingredients, and yet his food indubitably has a “Chinese”-ness. [FULL REVIEW]

To recap, these are the 10 Best Restaurants of the Year:




-Chef Kang


-The Masses


-Sushi Kimura



You may be interested in…
Best Food 2017 Part I: 10 Best Dishes of the Year
Best Food 2017 Part II: 10 Best Desserts of the Year
Best Food 2017 Part III: 5 Best Cafes of the Year
Best Food 2017 Part IV: Best Meals Under $20
Best Food 2017 Part V: Best Casual Restaurants For Year-End Gatherings ($20-$50)

Written by A. Nathanael Ho.

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