Asia's 50 best restaurants

At Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants awards ceremony in Bangkok are (from far left) Alain Huang, head chef of Raw (Taipei); Zor Tan, creator of Raw and sous chef of Restaurant Andre (Singapore); Dave Pynt, head chef of Burnt Ends (Singapore); Andre Chiang
At Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants awards ceremony in Bangkok are (from far left) Alain Huang, head chef of Raw (Taipei); Zor Tan, creator of Raw and sous chef of Restaurant Andre (Singapore); Dave Pynt, head chef of Burnt Ends (Singapore); Andre Chiang, chef-owner of Restaurant Andre and co-owner of Raw and Burnt Ends; and Johnny Jiang, executive chef of Restaurant Andre. PHOTO: RESTAURANT ANDRE

Also among the top 10 on Asia's 50 Best Restaurants list are Odette at No. 9 and Burnt Ends at No. 10

With the debut of the Michelin Guide in Singapore last year, some might think that the Asia's 50 Best Restaurants list is no longer relevant here.

But chefs and other food industry players were quick to say the two - as well as other food guides on the market - appeal to different audiences and each has something to offer diners seeking sumptuous food or an unforgettable dining experience.

The results of the Asian list were released on Tuesday night at an awards ceremony at Bangkok's W Hotel.

 

Restaurant Andre in Bukit Pasoh Road was named the second-best restaurant in Asia, up from third position last year. Odette, located at National Gallery Singapore, came in ninth and was the highest new entry on the list.

Burnt Ends in Teck Lim Road came in 10th, up from 14th place last year, and its head chef Dave Pynt won the Chefs' Choice Award.

Tippling Club also improved on its 31st placing last year by coming in 27th.

  • Among the best

  • Singapore restaurants on this year's Asia's 50 Best Restaurants list

    • No. 2: Restaurant Andre, also Best Restaurant in Singapore

    • No. 9: Odette, also winner of the Highest New Entry Award

    • No. 10: Burnt Ends

    • No. 16: Les Amis

    • No. 20: Waku Ghin

    • No. 23: Corner House

    • No. 27: Tippling Club

    • No. 42: Jaan

    • No. 44: Shinji by Kanesaka

  • • For the full list, go to www.straitstimes.com

Singapore restaurants took nine of the 50 spots, down from 10 last year, with five restaurants - Waku Ghin, Les Amis, Corner House, Shinji by Kanesaka and Jaan - seeing a drop in their rankings.

Two restaurants - Iggy's and Wild Rocket - which were on last year's list, dropped out of the top 50.

When asked, some experts felt the results were "respectable" and that Singapore restaurants maintained their presence on the list in the face of regional competition.

Mr Aun Koh, 44, co-founder of The Ate Group and owner of food blog Chubby Hubby, says: "I think we had a strong showing. I didn't see anyone being particularly disappointed.

"Chefs work very hard to improve themselves and so it may not be a criticism if you did not do as well. It may just be that your competitors have improved."

He adds: "Awards also tend to be about visibility, popularity and networking. Maybe the ones that did better invested more in public relations and communicating the experience at their restaurants to the voting panel."

Mr Francis Poulose, 49, managing director of food and beverage consultancy Poulose Associates, says he did not necessarily agree with the rankings.

He adds: "The list is largely a popularity award. To do well, you must, first, have a good product and, at the same time, know who the voters are and be able to reach out and appeal to them.

"This is not to say the list is bad. But diners should understand how it is arrived at. In any case, there are many ways to look at how good a restaurant is and all guides have their merits."

Mr Peter Knipp, 62, organiser of the World Gourmet Summit, says: "Some people swear by Asia's 50 Best Restaurants. Others may not agree with it. The same applies to the Michelin Guide and many other awards. In essence, each guide is different. But they all help diners make informed decisions about what is appropriate for them."

The chefs whose restaurants were on the list were naturally delighted.

Australian chef Pynt, 33, says: "It feels great to be recognised and the restaurant's award is testament to the hard work that my team has put in."

He says he was slightly disappointed that his restaurant did not receive any honours in the Michelin Guide last year, but adds: "I respect the values of every list. They all have their own criteria, so it is hard to compare them."

Taiwan-born chef Andre Chiang, 40, of Restaurant Andre, says: "Which guide to follow depends on personal preference. It is like how some customers like their food spicy, but others do not.

"I don't see any guide as more important than the others.

"Each customer has his own ranking of restaurants... and to me, this is the most important ranking."

French chef Julien Royer, of Odette, says in a press statement that receiving the award was "an absolute honour" and "an acknowledgement" from his peers in the industry.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 23, 2017, with the headline 'Restaurant Andre is Asia's No. 2'. Print Edition | Subscribe