The Bedrock Bar & Grill in Somerset has been named the Best Steak Restaurant at the Restaurant Association of Singapore (RAS) Epicurean Star Award, the first time an award was given out in this category.
A total of 22 awards across 22 categories were announced yesterday at a gala dinner attended by more than 1,000 guests, including guest of honour Manpower Minister Josephine Teo.
The Best of the Best Fine Dining award went to Tong Le Private Dining at OUE Tower, which was also named the Best Asian Restaurant Fine Dining. For casual dining, the Best of the Best accolade went to East Treasure at Clarke Quay, which won the Best Chinese Restaurant Casual Dining award as well.
There were two winners for the Best Japanese Restaurant Chain category - Ichiban Boshi and Bizen Okayama Wagyu Steakhouse. The Best Asian Restaurant Chain category also saw two winners - Elemen and Yoogane.
The judging panel for this year's awards, the 24th edition, included The Straits Times senior food correspondent Wong Ah Yoke, celebrity chef Eric Teo and One FM 91.3's music director Charmaine Phua.
At the award ceremony at Raffles City Convention Centre, Mrs Teo announced the launch of the "F&B Tech Reboot" competition to help selected food and beverage businesses overcome digitalisation challenges.
In her speech, she said the food and beverage (F&B) industry here caters to Singaporeans who are always looking out for quality food and dining experiences, but it also faces challenges such as manpower constraints.
Digitalising operations is one way in which these businesses have tried to reduce the time spent on menial tasks. Initiatives like digital menus and online ordering options "have helped the F&B industry to utilise their manpower to focus on what truly matters to diners - food quality and service", she said.
But inter-operability across different software is a challenge, she noted, with staff often re-entering data manually across different programs.
The "F&B Tech Reboot" competition, organised by the RAS and supported by Enterprise Singapore, aims to help selected F&B businesses with digitalisation.
The contest calls for participants - it is open to registered start-ups and tertiary students - to submit proposals to help four F&B businesses with their digitalisation issues.
The businesses taking part are The Soup Spoon, Bettr Barista coffee company, burger chain Wolf Burgers and Peranakan establishment Straits Chinese Restaurant.
For example, the challenge that Wolf Burgers faces concerns the manual consolidation of its POS (point of sale) data, which is needed for the business to analyse data and manage its inventory. It wants to develop a solution to integrate its POS and back-end systems.
The contest runs till Jan 10 next year. There will be up to three winners for each business case, with prize money ranging from $1,000 to $4,000.