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Michelin judging criteria confusing

Singapore has done fairly well by garnering a three-star restaurant in its inaugural Michelin guide, the same as Hong Kong when the city received its first edition in 2009.

Several omissions, especially Mozza and Spago at Marina Bay Sands, surprised me.

I am confident that Michelin's inspectors will come round as they get to know the scene better.

Their decision to award stars to two hawker stalls is welcome, but somehow makes its judging criteria confusing .

Traditionally, service and ambience are critical aspects of the fine-dining experience.

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It is fair to say that hawker centres provide a gritty way to whet our appetites. With its focus on culinary delights at affordable prices, the Bib Gourmand category was meant to embrace such diversity.

Placing all hawker stalls and restaurants with great cooking but basic service in this section makes more sense to me.

This will guide such outlets, especially the restaurants, on the measures they must take to move up the quality chain, as well as manage consumer expectations of Michelin's evaluation standards.

Sylvester Toh

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 30, 2016, with the headline 'Michelin judging criteria confusing'. Print Edition | Subscribe