Eleven restaurants here have earned their first Michelin star in the second edition of the Singapore Michelin Guide, announced last night at a gala event at The Fullerton Hotel.
They are: Braci at Boat Quay, Cheek by Jowl in Boon Tat Street, Chef Kang's in Mackenzie Road, Garibaldi in Purvis Street, Iggy's at the Hilton Singapore, Imperial Treasure Fine Teochew Cuisine at Ion Orchard, Labyrinth at the Esplanade mall, Meta in Keong Saik Road, Saint Pierre at One Fullerton, Summer Palace at the Regent Singapore and Whitegrass at Chijmes.
Two one-starred restaurants fell out of the constellation - Tokyo-Italian restaurant Terra in Tras Street and Forest at Resorts World Sentosa.
Mr Michael Ellis, 58, international director of the Michelin Guides, said that a restaurant can lose its stars because it has closed, there has been a change of chef or concept, or its quality is not up to standard.
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One restaurant rose in the ranks. Japanese restaurant Waku Ghin received another star - which adds the Marina Bay Sands establishment by chef Tetsuya Wakuda to the list of two-Michelin-starred restaurants here.
All the restaurants in the two- and three-star categories last year kept their stars, and Joel Robuchon Restaurant at Resorts World Sentosa is still the only three-star establishment in Singapore.
Second S'pore Michelin guide
NEW ONE-MICHELIN-STARRED RESTAURANTS
• Cheek By Jowl
• Chef Kang's
• Imperial Treasure Fine Teochew Cuisine
• Saint Pierre
• Summer Palace, Regent Singapore
FROM ONE MICHELIN STAR TO TWO
• Waku Ghin
GONE FROM THE ONE-STAR LIST
RETAINED THEIR STARS
• Joel Robuchon Restaurant
• L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon
• Les Amis
• Restaurant Andre
• Shisen Hanten by Chen Kentaro
• Alma by Juan Amador
• Corner House
• Crystal Jade Golden Palace
• CUT by Wolfgang Puck
• Hill Street Tai Hwa Pork Noodle
• Lei Garden
• Liao Fan Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice & Noodle
• Putien, Kitchener Road
• Rhubarb Le Restaurant
• Shinji by Kanesaka, Carlton Hotel
• Shinji by Kanesaka, The St Regis Singapore
• Summer Pavilion, The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore
• Sushi Ichi, Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel
• The Kitchen at Bacchanalia
• The Song of India
While there was buzz about hawker stall The Fishball Story at Timbre+ and zi char restaurant JB Ah Meng in Geylang potentially getting stars, after they were dropped from the guide's Bib Gourmand list released last week, there were no new starred hawker stalls this year. Liao Fan Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice & Noodle in Smith Street and Hill Street Tai Hwa Pork Noodle in Crawford Lane remain the only ones, with one star each.
Chef Ang Song Kang, 53, of Chef Kang's, said in Mandarin: "I never thought I would receive a Michelin star. I guess I am lucky that Michelin gave me a chance. Maybe it is because I am very strict on quality control. It is still me cooking in the kitchen. I have no plans for the future yet, my head is still spinning. There is so much to do tomorrow."
Mr Ignatius Chan, 53, of Iggy's at the Hilton Singapore, said he did not dare hope for a Michelin star even after getting invited to the event. He said: "My wife said that it may not mean anything, maybe we are just a restaurant to watch. Now, we are elated beyond words can describe. Winning a star in a restaurateur or chef's career is a landmark. Keeping consistency is really the key. You can do the same thing, but there can be subtle changes for the better all the time. It is about refinement."
About 500 guests, comprising corporate head honchos, restaurateurs, chefs and members of the public paid $595++ a person to attend the sold-out event.
One guest, Ms Joyce Ying, 50, of Soshinsen, an online grocer which supplies sashimi-grade fish, said: "It is very exciting having Michelin here in Singapore. It will really help take the food and beverage industry here to the next level. Watching young chefs climb the ladder is very interesting. However, local places like Wah Kee Big Prawn Noodles that I hoped would be in did not get a star."
The Michelin Guide Singapore is put out by French tyre company Michelin in collaboration with the Singapore Tourism Board and wine authority Robert Parker Wine Advocate. Restaurants are assessed by Michelin inspectors, who dine independently and anonymously, and pay for all their meals. The judging criteria include the quality of food, cooking techniques and value for money.
Mr Ellis said Michelin has not recruited any local inspectors.
"It is still on our radar to get local inspectors as it is a long-drawn- out process for hiring. It takes six months to one year to train an inspector."
• Additional reporting by Rebecca Lynne Tan and Lian Szu-Jin
• To buy the guide, which costs $39.95, go to guide.michelin.sg/en/order-guide
Local restaurants earn stars in the second edition of Michelin Guide Singapore str.sg/michelin17