Jan 17, 2017|
Six months ago, we saw the arrival of the first-ever Singapore edition of the revered Michelin guide. Unsurprisingly, of the nearly 30 restaurants that were awarded stars, seven were Japanese. It’s no secret that Singapore has some of the best Japanese food there is, but these are the ones really worth braving the long waits and the empty wallets for.
Japanese chef de cuisine Kenji Yamanaka is at the helm of this beautiful, hushed, one Michelin-starred eatery. The red draped, 24-seater space has a French-leaning seasonal menu with premium Japanese ingredients featured prominently—the rate Ozaki wagyu, blue lobster and the like. Set lunches start at an affordable $68 for a four-course meal, though the all-out eight-course $268 dinner degustation is really something else. Wine, sake and tea pairings are available, too, naturally.
Japanese omakase restaurant Shoukouwa at One Fullerton, the latest venture by the Saint Pierre group, aims to create an authentic Japanese fine dining experience with modern, minimalist interiors and a meditative ambience—and has won not one but two Michelin stars in the process. It's an intimate operation as the main sushi bar seats only eight, and the private dining room allows for a small party of six. Its seasonal degustation menus start from $180 for set lunches and run till $480 for dinner. There is also the option of pairing your meal with a premium selection of Japanese sake, including Junmai Daiginjo from top sake breweries Sawaya Matsumoto, Hakurakusei and Masuizumi.
The eponymous chef's famous Ginza sushi restaurant has not one but two branches in Singapore, one at the Raffles Hotel and the other at The St Regis Singapore. But fear not—both have one Michelin star apiece. It's a serious place for serious lovers of Japanese seafood and culinary craftsmanship. Book a spot to sit around chef Kikuchi Shunsuke at the black-and-beige, minimalist sushi counter at the St Regis (there's a pebbled path leading you in) and be dazzled by the omakase selection. Don't forget to save some time for the dedicated sake bar in the next room.
Ginza’s Michelin-starred Sushi Ichi is no less decorated right here in Singapore. Their beautiful and zen white-and-beige space at the Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel is all about the sushi, and offers several sets at varying price points ($100-430) for both lunch and dinner. They fly their seafood from Tsukiji a whopping five times a week. The restaurant is adjoined with Kouchi prefecture’s respected sake producers Suigei Shuzo, where you can sample top-shelf stuff as well as more affordable food options, such as the lunch chirashi bowl starting at $33.
Tokyo native Seita Nakahara runs this exquisite enterprise in a Tras Street shop house that recently turned one with a Michelin star under its belt. The place offers the chef’s brand of Tokyo-Italian cuisine, crafted from ingredients sourced from Japan’s diverse regions. Dig in to his ever popular omakase menus ($128, $168, $208) and watch out for the lauded Acqua Pazza, a seafood broth with seasonal fish, clams, dried tomatoes and olives (which he dries in his own kitchen). The other must-try is the uni bruschetta is also a top pick. The rich creamy seafood provides great contrast to the crisp toast.
Topnotch, personalized service makes the hefty $450 price tag for this 10course degustation menu worth the splurge. Expect a sublime European/Japanese feast with exquisite creations using premium ingredients, such as grade nine wagyu and Hokkaido uni, in an understated, elegant space. Hold your breath for signatures like the botan shrimp with sea urchin and caviar, and the wagyu with wasabi and citrus soy. There are over 100 options for premium sake, including two developed specifically for the restaurant.