One of the best reasons to travel is to explore the many culinary offerings that exist around the globe, but with so many great restaurants to try, it can be difficult to narrow that bucket list down. Who better to trust when it comes to trying out new food than our favourite chefs and food celebs from the small screen?
1. ABCV, New York
Chef Jean Georges isn’t just about a juicy steak – he recently launched a plant-based restaurant in the Big Apple. The light and airy space is part of the ABC Carpet & Home store and serves up organic food where possible, and non-GMO, sustainable and artisanal meals. Targeting the health-conscious crowd, the menu includes fruit bowls, salads and pasta.
2. Nobu, Los Angeles
Chef Nobu Matsuhisa is famous the world over with his various outlets in Doha, London and beyond. But the star chef, who counts many famous faces among his friends and customers, is perhaps best known for his Los Angeles outlet on La Cienega Boulevard in West Hollywood. Designed by architect David Rockwell, the stylish interiors are as impressive as the Japanese dishes being served up in the three dining rooms and bar lounge. Book in advance to sample the sushi, sashimi, waygu tacos and more at the chain which was co-founded by actor Robert De Niro.
3. Michael Mina, San Francisco
You may be used to seeing chef Michael Mina on shows such as Hell’s Kitchen with Gordon Ramsay but you might just get to see him in person if you visit his one Michelin-star Union Square restaurant. With 20 restaurants across the United States, his San Francisco venue is the original flagship branch. Here you can enjoy a nine-course tasting menu, or a la carte dishes including duck breast with figs or hamachi sashimi with blackberry and purslane.
4. Morimoto, Philadelphia
Chef Masaharu Morimoto (below) is known for competing in Japan’s Iron Chef in 1998 before becoming one of the stars of the Food Network’s Iron Chef America the following year. His two cookbooks on the market prove there’s plenty more where that came from as far as his Japanese food with Western influences goes. His eponymous dining outlet was opened in partnership with James Beard Award- winning restaurateur Stephen Starr.
5. Jamie’s Italian, London
British star chef Jamie Oliver’s rustic Italian menu is a great one for the whole family, with simple dishes that suit the taste buds of young and mature alike. Although the TV star has many branches of the chain up and down the country (as well as all around the world) his outlet in Piccadilly Circus is especially popular with tourists due to its gorgeous open rooftop terrace. Who knows, you might even be lucky enough to spot The Naked Chef chowing down with his own kids.
6. Manchester House, Manchester
After being featured on BBC’s Restaurant Wars, showing the venue attempting to gain a Michelin star, it’s been easy to recognise chef Aiden Byrne around the city. Manchester House holds four prestigious AA rosettes, and the venue is in high demand thanks to Byrne’s experience from Michelin-starred restaurants Tom Aikens, Pied a Terre, Adlards and The Commons.
7. Le Meurice Alain Ducasse, Paris
Chef Alain Ducasse’s place inside the Hotel Meurice boasts an impressive three Michelin stars and with such an accolade to live up to, it’s unlikely you will be disappointed. After being redecorated by Philippe Starck, the venue dazzles with its mosaic floor and crystal chandeliers, and views of the beautiful Tuileries Gardens. The cuisine is quintessentially French with dishes such as garlic snails and pigeon marinated in wine. Fun fact: The restaurant’s pastry chef, Cedric Grolet, created a beautiful spread of floral cakes for Katy Perry’s latest album release.
8. La Pergola, Rome
The standout part of a visit to the Rome Cavalieri hotel is La Pergola, the city’s only three Michelin-star restaurant. This culinary hotspot is placed under the direction of chef Heinz Beck who offers up Italian food with Mediterranean accents. The decor matches the food, where each dish is said to be made with passion and emotion (order the Fagottelli Carbonara, Heinz’s signature dish). The stylish roof terrace is perfect for panoramic views of the Eternal City.
9. Geranium, Copenhagen
Danish chef Rasmus Kofoed is the co-owner of three Michelin-star restaurant, Geranium. Located on the eighth floor of Fælledparken (Common Gardens), guests can look out over treetops, copper roofs and windmills as they feast on food that really involves the senses. The venue appears on 2016’s The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list and Kofoed is the only chef to win bronze (2005), silver (2007) and gold (2011) at the Bocuse d’Or world chef championships. His restaurant venture is in collaboration with sommelier Soren Ledet, who pairs dishes with wine to enhance the gastronomic experience.
10. Namsaah Bottling Trust, Bangkok
Chef Ian Kittichai’s restaurant collaboration with music impresario Frederic Meyer and nightlife guru, Justin Dunne, is set in a 20th-century pink villa. The venue was previously a soda bottling plant and one-time bank headquarters, hence the name. Serving up cocktails and sharing dishes from the chef, who is well known for his role on TV shows Iron Chef and Masterchef, the place is just as colourful on the inside as it is on the exterior.
11. Bread Street Kitchen and Bar, Hong Kong
This all-day dining venue in Lan Kwai Fong is one of celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay’s offerings under the same name around the globe. The restaurant specially imports seasonal produce from Britain and Australasia, so you get the same level of quality no matter which branch in the world you dine at. The warehouse-style set-up is great for lunch, dinner or even brunch, with traditional fish and chips and Beef Wellington being the hot favourites.
12. Aria, Sydney
TV chef Matt Moran does waterside dining at its best with Aria. Located on Sydney Harbour and with Sydney Opera House at its doorstep, it’s popular with the cultured crowd. The restaurant serves dishes to elevate the senses and with Moran focusing on a flavoursome and quality menu, it’s no wonder it has won many awards.
13. Bayamo and Pinchos Tapas Bar, Norwegian Escape cruise ship
In October 2015, the Norwegian Cruise Lines company transformed dining experiences for their passengers by introducing two speciality restaurants from Iron Chef Jose Garces. With his Latin-inspired culinary expertise, guests are served classic Mexican dishes as well as Cuban specialities at sea on board Norwegian Escape. Try the Berenjenas (roasted aubergine with tomato rice and a saffron emulsion) at Bayamo (below) or Boquerones (white anchovies with pine nuts) at Pincho Tapas Bar.
– TEXT BY LEAH SIMPSON
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This article was originally published by Singapore Press Holdings.