Odette in Singapore named Asia's top restaurant

Odette chef Julien Royer and Mr Wee Teng Wen, co-founder of The Lo & Behold Group which includes Odette in its stable of restaurants. The French fine dining restaurant at the National Gallery Singapore opened in 2015.
Odette chef Julien Royer and Mr Wee Teng Wen, co-founder of The Lo & Behold Group which includes Odette in its stable of restaurants. The French fine dining restaurant at the National Gallery Singapore opened in 2015.ST FILE PHOTO

Singapore's French fine dining restaurant Odette is the top restaurant in Asia, as it clinched the No. 1 spot on the Asia's 50 Best Restaurants 2019 list.

Helmed by chef Julien Royer, Odette (No. 5 last year) finally knocked Bangkok's Gaggan - the No. 1 restaurant for the past four years - down a notch to second spot.

Also in Bangkok, Suhring maintained its fourth position. Rounding up the top five were Den, ranked No. 3, and fifth-placed Florilege, which are both in Tokyo.

The seventh annual award ceremony was held last night at Macau's Wynn Palace and attended by chefs and restaurateurs.

The list of Asia's 50 Best Restaurants is an offshoot of the annual World's 50 Best Restaurants list, published by William Reed Business Media.

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Addressing the audience, Royer, 35, who thanked his team and wife, said: "This was not expected and we are very thankful to the people who love our cuisine and restaurant.

"It has been an incredible four years for us. There is so much talent in the room, so many good restaurants and good chefs. Everyone is a winner."

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This new crowning glory for Odette comes shortly after recent news of Royer's plans to open a restaurant called Louise in Hong Kong in June, in collaboration with Hong Kong restaurateur Yenn Wong of the Jia Group.

The two-Michelin-starred Odette at the National Gallery Singapore, which opened in 2015, debuted on the World's 50 Best Restaurants list last year at No. 28.

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Singapore restaurants maintained a strong presence on the list, as modern Australian barbecue restaurant Burnt Ends (formerly No. 12) in Teck Lim Road climbed to No. 10, while British restaurant Jaan at Swissotel The Stamford rose from No. 44 to 32.

Japanese restaurant Waku Ghin at Marina Bay Sands is No. 40 (down 17 spots), while contemporary restaurant Corner House in the Singapore Botanic Gardens ranked No. 49 (down 13 spots) and French restaurant Les Amis at Shaw Centre ranked No. 33 (down four spots).

Creative fine dining restaurant Nouri in Amoy Street, helmed by chef Ivan Brehm, was a new entrant at No. 39.

Modern Australian restaurant Whitegrass, last year's debut entrant, dropped off the list this year since the restaurant in Chijmes closed in December last year.

Other accolades went to Singaporean chef Jimmy Lim of JL Studio in Taichung, Taiwan, who won the One To Watch Award; Bali's Locavore restaurant, which received the Sustainable Restaurant Award and Best Restaurant in Indonesia title; and Asia's Best Female Chef Garima Arora of Gaa in Bangkok, which was lauded as the Highest New Entry at No. 16.

This year's list saw 10 restaurants making their debut, including Dewakan from Kuala Lumpur at No. 46.

Now, the spotlight shifts to Singapore as the host for the Asia's 50 Best Bars on May 9 at Capitol Theatre, and the highly anticipated World's 50 Best Restaurants at Marina Bay Sands on June 25.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 27, 2019, with the headline 'Odette in Singapore named Asia's top restaurant'. Print Edition | Subscribe