Whitegrass is top restaurant

Whitegrass (above) is located at Chijmes.
Whitegrass (above) is located at Chijmes.PHOTO: BUSINESS TIMES FILE
Whitegrass (above) is located at Chijmes.
Sam Aisbett.

Known for its modern Australian cuisine, Whitegrass is named Restaurant of the Year at this year's G Restaurant Awards

Australian restaurant Whitegrass at Chijmes, which is helmed by chef-owner Sam Aisbett, won the top honour of the annual G Restaurant Awards on Tuesday night.

On winning Restaurant of the Year, the 33-year-old says: "I'm very humbled. This award is for my chefs in the restaurant who do all the work. We don't follow trends and we don't follow what other chefs are doing. We do what we do and if we get something out of it, even better."

The 11/2-year-old restaurant, known for its modern Australian cuisine, was lauded alongside two other new restaurants.

The 31/2-month-old The Dempsey Cookhouse & Bar in Dempsey Road won Best New Restaurant (Western) and four- month-old Violet Oon Satay Bar & Grill in Clarke Quay won Best New Restaurant (Asian).

Culinary doyenne Violet Oon's National Kitchen restaurant at the National Gallery Singapore picked up the same award last year.

A total of 52 awards were presented at the ceremony, held at Sheraton Towers Singapore. More than 300 people, including chefs, restaurateurs and readers, attended it.

In its eighth edition, the awards recognise the best dining experiences. It is put together by The Peak Selections: Gourmet & Travel, a quarterly spin-off title of luxury magazine The Peak.

  • Some winners 

    Restaurant of the Year: Whitegrass, 01-26/27 Chijmes, 30 Victoria Street 

    Best New Restaurant (Asian): Violet Oon Satay Bar & Grill, 01-18 Clarke Quay, 3B River Valley Road 

    Best New Restaurant (Western): The Dempsey Cookhouse & Bar, 17D Dempsey Road 

    Best Dinner Experience (Asian): Hashida Sushi, 04-16 Mandarin Gallery, 333A Orchard Road 

    Best Dinner Experience (Western): Restaurant Andre, 41 Bukit Pasoh Road

    Best Business Lunch (Asian): Ki-Sho, 29 Scotts Road 

    Best Business Lunch (Western): Otto Ristorante, 01-02/03 Maxwell Chambers, 32 Maxwell Road

    Best Champagne Brunch: Colony, The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore, 7 Raffles Avenue 

    The G Hallmark of Excellence: Les Amis, 01-16 Shaw Centre, 1 Scotts Road

Speaking on behalf of his mother, who was away on holiday, Oon's son Tay Yi Ming, 36, managing director of Violet Oon Inc, says: "Two years in a row - I can't believe it. I would never have imagined this if you had asked me a year ago. The team is committed to putting out delicious food every night."

The Dempsey Cookhouse & Bar's executive chef Erik Gustafsson, 33, says: "We couldn't wish for a better start. The restaurant is a casual dining room - loud music with good food and a mix of Western and Asian cuisine.

"You can expect a lot more new dishes, week after week. The menu is going to be very much alive."

Other winners included fine- dining restaurant Restaurant Andre in Bukit Pasoh Road for Best Dinner Experience (Western) and Japanese restaurant Hashida Sushi at Mandarin Gallery for Best Dinner Experience (Asian).

Italian restaurant Otto Ristorante in Maxwell Road picked up the Best Business Lunch (Western) award, while Japanese restaurant Ki-Sho in Scotts Road received the Best Business Lunch (Asian) prize.

Popular brunch venue Colony at The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore, received the award for Best Champagne Brunch. A special award - The G Hallmark of Excellence - was given to French restaurant Les Amis at Shaw Centre, a stalwart in the dining scene for the past 23 years.

The Peak Selections: Gourmet & Travel collaborated with food critics Wong Ah Yoke of The Straits Times and Jaime Ee of The Business Times for a shortlist of top restaurants in each category.

Over six months, a panel of 12 judges - including ambassadors, head honchos of companies, and food and wine experts - dined incognito at the restaurants to decide on the winners.

Of the 52 winning restaurants, 11 of them made their debut on the list.

Ms Amy Van, 41, editor of The Peak Selections: Gourmet & Travel, says: "Singapore's constantly evolving culinary landscape has upped its game in the past year and we aim for the G Restaurant Awards list to be reflective of the current dining scene.

"Some of these top-notch restaurants have raised the bar with a sophistication and refinement that's world-class.

"Adding vibrancy to the scene, too, is a bevy of casual, chic and independent concepts, brimming with creativity and personality."

•Follow Eunice Quek on Twitter @STEuniceQ

•The Peak Selections: Gourmet & Travel ($12) is available at major bookstores, including Books Kinokuniya, Times, Times Newslink and MPH. The digital edition ($12) is available for download on the iPad and Android devices.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 22, 2017, with the headline 'Whitegrass is top restaurant'. Print Edition | Subscribe