With a multitude of cuisines available at every price point, from hawker stall to fine-dining restaurant, Singapore is a veritable food destination. It’s little surprise then that the Red Dot now has 44 restaurants with Michelin stars. In the recent 2019 edition of the revered food guide, several new restaurants were added to the list. Here’s what to expect at each of these newly awarded tables.
1. Basque Kitchen by Aitor
This two-storey restaurant by the well-regarded Unlisted Collection hospitality group serves up flavours from chef Aitor Jeronimo Orive’s Basque heritage. Traditional cooking techniques prevail, but Orive adds Asian influences to the mix, and imports all his ingredients from both Japan and the Basque region. As in the autonomous Spanish region, seafood and meats rule the roost here, and the menu features chef Orive’s signature oxtail bomba rice with tender braised beef that falls off the bone and vintage prime rib or txuleta.
2. Buona Terra
With a name that means “good earth” in Italian, Buona Terra’s chef Dennis Lucchi handpicks only the freshest artisanal ingredients for his signature Italian dishes – all made with recipes he grew up with. Expect classics like the hearty carbonara that’s elevated with cured egg yolk bottarga and reinvented dishes like the capesanta e maiale (scallop and pork belly). Wine pairings are also available, and you’ll spot Buona Terra’s impressive collection as soon as you enter the refurbished colonial house that the restaurant occupies.
3. Cheek Bistro
This cosy bistro is an updated take on chef Rishi Naleendra’s highly sought after Cheek by Jowl, and is still run by chef Naleendra and his wife. But where prix-fixe sets once ruled, large and small a la carte sharing plates now steal the show. The vibe at Cheek Bistro is laid-back and cosy, and dishes such as the Iberico pork chop, waffles with chicken liver parfait or whipped ricotta, and barramundi feature various influences. There’s an enviable wine list to boot, with more than 80 labels – many of which are natural wines – to pair with each down-to-earth plate.
4. Restaurant JAG
The Savoie region from the French Alps shines in each offering that comes from chef Jeremy Gillon’s kitchen. While Savoyard food is known for its greasy feel and heavy flavours, chef Gillon lends a lighter touch with 40 dried herbs and ups the ante when it comes to creative presentation. Opt for one of five different tasting menus or treat yourself to the caviar-focused degustation menu. Pair your meal with one of the herb-infused, Savoie-inspired cocktails, handmade by resident mixologist Yong Siang Neo.
Omakase enthusiasts will always be surprised at this industrial-chic 26-seater, as you won’t know what’s on the menu beforehand. Instead, all you need to do is snag a seat at the freeform counter, sit back and watch chef-owner Christophe Lerouy and his team whip up your meal in the open kitchen with creative techniques and some of the best ingredients from around the globe.
6. Vianney Massot Restaurant
Chef Vianney Massot may be one of the youngest chefs in Singapore’s culinary sphere, but he’s already carved a niche for himself. Taking over the spot where Bacchanalia used to reside, chef Massot dishes out seasonal gastronomic plates that are created with impeccable French cooking techniques. He also makes time to greet guests as they walk into the contemporary 20-seater. Sit down to a well-curated set menu or pick highlights such as the L’Agneau de Lait – milk-fed lamb rack and saddle served with herb risotto – to pair with vino from its extensive wine list, all available by the glass.
Stiff fine dining is thrown out the window here, as chefs Richard van Oostenbrugge and Thomas Groot take pride in presenting a relaxed hangout that’s devoid of the typical bells and whistles diners have come to expect from a traditional fine-dining restaurant. The spotlight shines instead on the food that’s prepared in the capacious open kitchen. The seasonal menu focuses on fish and highlights some of the best Dutch flavours imaginable. Sit with Oostenbrugge and Groot at the communal chef’s table over dinner, as you savour must-haves such as the veal tartare os à moelle and Toh Thye San duck with mole madre.