Restaurant Andre rises to No. 32 on Best 50 list

Chef Andre Chiang (above) helms the only Singapore entry in the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list.
Chef Andre Chiang (above) helms the only Singapore entry in the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list.

Fine-dining establishment Restaurant Andre may be the only Singapore restaurant on the World's 50 Best Restaurants list, but it is just one of two representatives from Asia to have risen up the ranks.

The restaurant in Bukit Pasoh Road rose 14 spots to No. 32. Hong Kong's Amber restaurant has also gone up the list by 18 places, to No. 20.

Two Bangkok restaurants, Gaggan - the current No. 1 on the Asia's 50 Best Restaurants list - dropped 13 spots from the top 10 to No. 23, while Nahm slid 15 places to No. 37.

Tokyo's restaurants Narisawa retained its spot at No. 8, while Nihonryori RyuGin slipped two places to No. 31. And at No. 42 is Ultraviolet by Paul Pairet in Shanghai, which dropped 18 spots.

These seven restaurants are all in the top 10 of this year's Asia's 50 Best Restaurants list, an offshoot of the World's 50 list.

The results were announced at the annual World's 50 Best Restaurants award ceremony, held in New York on Monday night. It was the first time the awards ceremony had been held outside London.

Osteria Francescana in Modena, Italy, owned by chef Massimo Bottura, was No. 1 on the list. Last year's top restaurant, El Celler de Can Roca in Girona, Spain, went down a notch to second place.

Rounding up the top five were New York's Eleven Madison Park in third place, Lima's Central at No. 4 and Copenhagen's Noma at No. 5.

At the ceremony, an emotional Bottura said: "People think we are rock stars. But our job is all about hard work in the kitchen every day. I think the most important ingredient for the future is culture because culture brings knowledge and knowledge brings consciousness."

Other special awards given out include World's Best Pastry Chef, which went to macaron master Pierre Herme; Chef's Choice Award to El Celler de Can Roca's Joan Roca; and Lifetime Achievement Award to French chef Alain Passard of L'Arpege in Paris - No. 19 on the list.

Speaking to The Straits Times from New York after the ceremony, an elated chef Andre Chiang, 40, said: "This is our best-ever showing since we first entered the list (in 2013) and I fly the Singapore flag with pride. This year will be a great year for Singapore, especially with the launch of the Michelin Guide next month."

He is currently on his Octaphilosophy World Tour, named after his recently launched cookbook. As part of the tour, he will be cooking in Amsterdam, Paris and London next week.

On his strong showing among his Asian counterparts, he says: "Being a good restaurant is not enough. You need to push boundaries, create something different and make an impact on society."

One of his projects includes research into the use of fermentation, such as using fermented juices as an alternative to wine. Other chefs who have also experimented with fermentation include chef David Chang of the Momofuku group of restaurants, who has a line of fermented foods and condiments.

Chiang is also the co-owner of modern Australian barbecue restaurant Burnt Ends, which ranked No. 70 in the World's 50 Best companion list, which ranks the 51st to 100th best restaurants. That list was released last week.

At the ceremony in New York, Mr William Drew, group editor of the World's 50 Best, announced that next year's ceremony will be held in Melbourne, Australia. This is part of the brand's world tour, to move around gastronomic capitals around the globe.

The upcoming Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants award ceremony will be held in Mexico on Sept 26.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 15, 2016, with the headline 'Andre rises to No. 32 on Best 50 list'. Print Edition | Subscribe