The local F&B scene deserves to be recognised, even more so in the past two years when the industry continues to be ravaged by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. We have seen a lot of remarkable restaurants close, one of which is Vianney Massot Restaurant which permanently shuttered its doors less than a year after it earned its first Michelin star in 2019. However, we have also witnessed the creativity and resilience of chefs who have adapted and reinvented their businesses to survive these tough times.
That is why the return of the Michelin Guide Singapore this year—albeit in a virtual format held today (September 1)—after a one-year hiatus is a much-celebrated affair. As Gwendal Poullenec, the international director of the Michelin Guides, explained: “The 2021 edition pays tribute to the perseverance and dedication of these professionals who continue to bring us together over the finest gastronomy and experiences.”
For its fifth edition, 49 restaurants made it into the 2021 Guide—five more than the 2019 selection which had 44. As expected, Les Amis and Odette retained their spot in the pinnacle with three stars. Les Amis executive chef Sebastien Lepinoy mentioned that “it is a dream come true” to be able to retain their three stars this year, while Odette chef-owner Julien Royer said that "it's a blessing to be able to celebrate our incredible team for their hard work, dedication, and more importantly their enduring optimism".
Joining these two feted restaurants is Restaurant Zén, whose visibly emotional executive chef Tristin Farmer shared in the virtual event that being a chef was “what I’ve always wanted to do.”
Five establishments also earned their two-star rating, including Jaan by Kirk Westaway (which previously had one star). It is helmed by executive chef Kirk Westaway, whose ‘Reinventing British’ culinary philosophy showcases his British heritage in a parade of delectable dishes made with the finest seasonal ingredients. Westaway couldn’t be happier, stating that he was “over the moon” when they were given this well-deserved recognition, especially after the most trying time in the F&B history.
Of the 41 one-Michelin-starred restaurants, seven are new entrants, among which are Lerouy, Sommer and Oshino. Executive chef Lewis Barker shared that this accolade was “unimaginable for me”, as Sommer only opened in January of this year and went through two no-dine-in restrictions. But at the end of the day, he affirmed that it is always a “team effort” and they will continue to do their “110 per cent” to offer the best dining experience possible.
Five one-starred restaurants were also promoted from Michelin Plate (notable restaurants without a Michelin star). Two of these are Esora, known for its one-degree culinary philosophy, and Cure, whose chef-owner Andrew Walsh puts his heritage on a plate with his Nua Irish menu.