It was the result many were quietly hoping for. And though it may seem like a little too much to anticipate that a restaurant from Singapore might top the Asia’s 50 Best list ahead of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards the country will host in June, Odette at the National Gallery Singapore did just that a few hours ago, becoming the first restaurant in Singapore to claim the No.1 spot on the list.
To boot, chef-owner Julien Royer and his team have achieved this in under four years. The restaurant opened in 2015 and was the list’s highest new entry in 2017 before debuting on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list last year at No.28. Royer was also helming the kitchen when Jaan was honoured with the One To Watch Award at the Asia 50 Best list’s inaugural ceremony in 2013.
“It’s hard to believe, it’s amazing,” he shares during a short press conference held after the ceremony at Wynn Palace in Macau. “As you know, Odette is named after my grandmother on my mum’s side, and she’s the one who fed us so well when we were kids, and she’s the one who showed me how much pleasure, emotion and love you can give people, through food, cuisine and hospitality—this is my tribute to her and also what we try to do on a daily basis.”
Looking back at how far he has come since moving to Singapore in 2007, he posits how his style of cuisine has evolved, taking some inspiration from Asia. He attributes this to Singapore’s unique location at the crossroad of culture and cuisine in the region. “I really like the fact that I’m learning a lot since I’ve been here in Asia; every single trip, every single discovery makes my food better. (Being in Asia) has thought me to be very humble when it comes to cooking.”