Unlike last year’s list where there were 10 different cuisines, the Best Restaurants in Singapore 2018 has only 5 cuisines. Strangely, this phenomenon of narrowing cuisines is replicated in the Best Casual Restaurants 2018 list.
Another phenomenon is that both lists–casual and best–are occupied by Asian and Southeast Asian food: only 2 restaurants on the Casual List are Italian and only 2 on Best List are Spanish. Perhaps this makes sense because Asian chefs are getting more educated about premium ingredients and more careful about using fresh ingredients.
In alphabetical order, these are the 10 Best Restaurants in Singapore in 2018:
Blossom (喜悦) skilfully fuses traditional flavours with contemporary techniques, serving fiery Szechuan dishes and classic Cantonese dim sum treats.
Recommended: smoked duck with 15-year Yunnan pu-er tea leaves and Zhejiang chrysanthemum ($40 halved, $80 whole) and pan-fried lobster with caviar ($32).
62 year-old chef Damian D’Silva draws inspiration from his Eurasian-Peranakan parentage to present dishes that are hard to find in other restaurants. The food is interesting and delicious. You cannot eat this food elsewhere even in other Peranakan restaurants.
Recommended: sambal buah keluak fried rice ($28), beef cheek rendang ($36), kueh bengkah ($10).
Kamoshita, an oden izakaya, is opened by chef-owners Koki Miyoshi and Naoki Kaiyama; the former worked at Mikoto at Robertson Quay prior to opening Kamoshita. They serve omakase at $60 / $80 / $100 but there are a la carte options which are more affordable and offer more varieties.
Recommended: seasonal sashimi; assorted cheese types ($20); omakase oden ($25); seabream claypot ($29)
Kimme Restaurant at Amoy Street serves modern Korean cuisine using Western culinary techniques. It is opened by Chef Sun Kim of one Michelin-starred Meta Restaurant and the kitchen is helmed by Head Chef Louis Han, who worked with Chef Sun for the last two years.
Recommendations: kampachi sashimi ($26), Argentina king prawn ($30), French quail ($32).
Operated by the Fei Xiong Group, La Cala serves Spanish and Mediterranean cuisines.
Recommendations: jamon croqueta ($4.50 per piece), crispy suckling pig ($35), pigeon paella ($38).
Lucky House Cantonese Private Kitchen
267 Upper East Coast Rd, Singapore 466413
tel: +65 9823 7268
weekdays dinner only
Lucky House is perhaps the most famous private home dining by Sam Wong. Dinner will take 2.5 to 3 hours and costs $80 per person. Wong uses charcoal fire for many dishes, including the boiled soups and roasted duck. He goes to the market and get fresh ingredients, and he cooks whatever he can find, so the menu changes daily. He hand-grounds spices and desserts using the stone mill in the kitchen. And beside the kitchen, there is a garden in which he plants organic vegetables although these days, the demand is too high and his small garden cannot supply for guests.
Recommendations: yellow chicken (蒜香黄油大肥鸡).
Chef-Owner Yong Bing Ngen, with more than 35 years of experience, presents contemporary Cantonese cuisine including his signatures such as the Majestic Trio Combination (东瀛芥茉虾拼鹅肝片皮鸭) of crispy wasabi prawn, pan-seared foie gras and crispy fish-skin with caviar ($20 per pax); Roasted Ireland Silver Hill Duck in Peking Style (京式爱尔兰鸭 馍馍皮,葱,青瓜, $88 whole, $48 half); and Stewed “Mee Sua” Baby Abalone, Vegetable and Crab Roe (小小鲍鱼焖麵綫, $22).
Other recommendations: Crispy Mangalica Pork Belly Marinated with Five Spice ($14), Double-Boiled Clear Seafood Soup Served in Whole Yellow Cucumber ($18), Black Truffle with Crabmeat and Egg White Fried Rice ($20, serves 3-4), Crispy King of Durian with Canadian Maple Syrup ($10).
Mizuki is on Top 10 because of their tempura but please skip the sushi. For tempura, the prices for lunch range from $60 to $180; and dinner at $130, $180, and $280.
Recommendation: Scallop tempura, anago sea eel tempura.
Nude Grill at Marina One, a contemporary Asian grill house, get some of the meats from Japan and New Zealand; and grill them over binchotan (Japanese charcoal) and almond wood. Chef Tan Kee Leng, formerly from Bacchanalia and Les Amis, helms the kitchen and employs Western modern culinary techniques on Asian ingredients.
Recommendations: cuttlefish risotto ($18), poussin with bamboo glutinous rice ($29).
The protege of three Michelin-starred chef Santi Santamaria, Daniel Chavez, helms the kitchen of Ola Cucina.
Recommendations: calamari ($26), Pulpo ($28, grilled Spanish octopus on hummus), arroz al horno ($42, pork paella), charcoal grilled wagyu ribeye ($58), suckling pig (leg $66), pistachio and semolina cake ($16)
To summarise, these are the 10 best restaurants of the year:
Written by Dr. A. Nathanael Ho.