Restaurants with one Michelin star
Headed by sushi chef Yuji Yabe and kaiseki ryori chef Hiroki Sodou, this pint-sized one-Michelin-star import from Ginza, Tokyo, is not switching its focus from wild tuna and sea urchin, imported four times a week from Tsukiji. The restaurant seats only 24, and serves up seasonal kaiseki menus (lunch from $70-$240, dinner from $220-$390) – they're not big meals, which means uncompromising quality for every diner.
Take time to appreciate the little touches of detail in the restaurant throughout the meal – the Lilliputian flowers in the chopstick holder, the delicate ikebana flower arrangements, and the chefs’ hand-woven ojiya chijimi fabric kimonos.
Helmed chef Timoo Kimura, an alumnus of one-Michelin-starred Sushi Ichi and Hashida, Sushi Kimura is an intimate omakase restaurant with just 12 counter seats and two private rooms that seat roughly the same number. While chef Kimura's omakase sushi experience is the real draw here – prices range from $120 to $250 for lunch and $280 to $400 for dinner – the new chirashi set ($80/$100) available only during lunch is a slightly more affordable way to taste what Sushi Kimura has to offer. The premium bowl is only available to those who choose to sit in the private rooms and come with luxurious slices of hirame, kinmedai, marinated tuna, chutoro, ishidai, isaki, tai or a combination of the freshest fish available during the season. That's not all, the rice seasoned with aged vinegar is also generously topped with ikura and uni so you know you're getting an excellent deal.
Chef Manjunath Mural has created a show-stopping pan-Indian meal in a charming Scotts Road black-and-white bungalow. On the menu, which criss-crosses the sub-continent’s regional cuisines, you’ll find melt-in-the-mouth Keralan-spiced lamb shanks, tandoori prawns bathed in a pomegranate marinade, and the Lucknavi classic of Gilawat kebabs: pan-seared ground lamb patties perfumed by cardamom, ground rose petals and raw papaya.
Modern Australian fine dining spot Whitegrass, driven by chef-owner Sam Aisbett, is CHIJMES' crowning glory. Whitegrass isn't just another pass from Down Under peddling roo burgers and fork-pressed avocado. Trained by Tetsuya, Aisbett's Japanese training certainly shows up on the menu, as do local accents. But the modern Aussie way of incorporating seasonal native ingredients on the plate still reigns. A set lunch is available from $54 – only from Wednesdays to Saturdays – but the seven-course dinner discover menu ($250) is where Aisbett truly shines.
Restaurants with two Michelin stars
Before Singapore became a hotspot for celebrity chef openings, there was Les Amis. The kitchen team, headed by executive chef Sebastien Lepinoy, now works on Sundays and adds new lunch menus, making Les Amis a little more accessible for the wallet-conscious diner. The three-course express option is $65, a full works degustation is $155 for six courses, and the most flexible four-plate prix fixe in town, with multiple cold and hot appetisers, mains and dessert options, goes for just $90. Dinners are a grander affair with six courses starting at $185 and peaking at $295 for nine.
Described as honest food with a steep respect for ingredients cultivated from his farming family in France, Julien Royer’s cuisine prides itself on keeping up with the provenance of its produce. And it’s clear that Royer is one of the few chefs who manage to measure up to the lofty introductions they pen into their menus. Throughout our meal, the heartfelt quality displayed in his ode to his grandmother – after whom the restaurant is named – is fervently palpable.
The à la carte menu features chef Chen Kentaro's specialties, such as the stir-fried wagyu beef with Sichuan chili peppers ($34). It also has a weekend dim sum brunch buffet that includes Peking duck and other signature selections ($50). In addition to the cuisine perfected by the three celebrity chefs, indulge in a rich dining experience in Shisen Hanten's multi-million dollar interior.
‘Delicate’ seems to be Shoukouwa’s calling card. The flavours of its sushi are refined, balanced and feminine – even when compared to other high-end omakase bars. Lunch starts at $150 while dinner escalates to a princely $480. On the sushi train, look out for: tender marinated maguro whose flavours simmer then bloom; a subtly sweet sea eel; a plump slice of tai; and a firm, almost crunchy, halibut. Even the appetiser of tiger prawn, water lily and shiso flower in a vinegar dashi doesn’t so much as hit the right notes than it does hint at them.
Helmed by acclaimed chef Tetsuya Wakuda, Waku Ghin features Japanese cuisine with a European twist. Think ten-course degustation menus featuring ingredients sourced from the region and beyond, with dishes such as marinated botan shrimp with sea urchin and caviar, and wagyu with wasabi and citrus soya.