Clinching a gold award on the inaugural Straits Times and Lianhe Zaobao Best Asian Restaurants list is added motivation for Shinji by Kanesaka's master chef Koichiro Oshino.
The 47-year-old says of the accolade: "It adds stress, but it is good stress. It is motivation for everyone in our new chapter."
The Japanese restaurant is reopening at Carlton Hotel Singapore on Monday, after it closed on Feb 12 at Raffles Hotel because of the hotel's revamp. It has another outlet at the St Regis hotel, which collected a silver award.
Both Shinji outlets also have a Michelin star each.
Chef Oshino assures diners that he will keep the experience "authentic" at the new outlet, with a focus on seafood of the best quality.
• Imperial Treasure Fine Shanghai Cuisine
• Shinji by Kanesaka, formerly at Raffles Hotel (opens on Monday at Carlton Hotel Singapore)
• Chef Kang's
• Crystal Jade Golden Palace
• Golden Peony
• Hashida Sushi Singapore
• Jade Palace Seafood Restaurant
• Jiang-Nan Chun
• Kaiseki Yoshiyuki
• Li Bai Cantonese Restaurant
• Man Man Unagi Restaurant
• National Kitchen by Violet Oon
• Paradise Teochew Restaurant, Scotts Square
• Rang Mahal
• Shinji by Kanesaka, The St Regis Singapore
• Si Chuan Dou Hua
• Spring Court Restaurant
• Summer Pavilion
• Waku Ghin
• Wild Rocket
• Blue Lotus Chinese Eating House
• Elemen, Millenia Walk
• Hua Ting Restaurant
• Hua Yu Wee Seafood Restaurant
• Imperial Treasure Fine Teochew Cuisine
• Kanda Wadatsumi
• Lei Garden Restaurant
• Long Beach Seafood Restaurant, Dempsey
• Long Chim by David Thompson
• Man Fu Yuan
• Punjab Grill
• Putien Restaurant, Kitchener Road
• Sabai Fine Thai On The Bay
• Samy's Curry
• Shisen Hanten by Chen Kentaro
• Tao Seafood Asia
• Teochew Restaurant Huat Kee
• The Banana Leaf Apolo
• The Catch Seafood Restaurant & Bar
• The Famous Kitchen
• Tong Le Private Dining
• Tonny Restaurant
• Wah Lok Cantonese Restaurant
• Xi Yan Private Dining
• Yakiniku Yazawa
The new premises will also house an adjoining bar, Joji, which opens tomorrow.
Two other restaurants received gold awards - modern Chinese restaurant VLV at Clarke Quay and Imperial Treasure Fine Shanghai Cuisine at Ngee Ann City.
These establishments, along with 21 silver and 30 bronze recipients, were honoured at a gala reception held at Mandarin Orchard Singapore on Wednesday.
The Best Asian Restaurants awards - which celebrate the best of Asian dining in Singapore - are part of the Asian Masters gourmet extravaganza.
The event is organised by Sphere Exhibits, a wholly owned subsidiary of Singapore Press Holdings, and food and beverage consultancy Poulose Associates. It involves a series of events such as whisky- and champagne-pairing dinners throughout this month.
The judging panel for the awards comprised The Straits Times Life editor Tan Hsueh Yun, Life deputy editor Wong Ah Yoke, Lianhe Zaobao food correspondent Marcus Yeo and Ms Ng Yimin, a correspondent at the Chinese paper.
A total of 54 restaurants made the cut, whittled down from a list of 80 Asian restaurants in Singapore. The panel members dined incognito at the establishments, using quality of food and service to determine the winners.
Other restaurants in the silver category include Jade at The Fullerton Hotel, Man Man Unagi Restaurant in Keong Saik Road, Waku Ghin at Marina Bay Sands and Chef Kang's in Mackenzie Road.
Another big winner was the Imperial Treasure group, which has a restaurant not only in the gold category, but also in the bronze category (Imperial Treasure Fine Teochew Cuisine at Ion Orchard). The group's founder, Mr Alfred Leung, 63, was also honoured with the Lifetime Achievement award.
Mr Leung's younger brother Vincent, operations manager for the group, says: "We did our best to maintain the quality of our restaurants over all these years. And if not for our staff, we wouldn't have the chance to get these awards."
VLV executive head chef Martin Foo, 50, who also won the Chef of the Year award, says in Mandarin: "We've been open for only six months and I did not expect we'd get such recognition so quickly. I thought we would have to be open for at least a year."
Property agent Tricia Ng, 54, who attended the gala reception and eats at fine-dining restaurants twice a week, says: "This award is very encouraging for Asian restaurants. It is high time they get recognised; other accolades such as Michelin stars tend to be given to Western restaurants. It makes it a fair game for Asian restaurants.
"The winners' list will be helpful for me to select which restaurants to dine at when I need to entertain my clients."
• Additional reporting by Kenneth Goh
• For more stories on Asian Masters, go to str.sg/4n39