The G Restaurant Awards 2017, which is in its eighth year running, unveiled 52 Awards of Excellence winners – its longest list to date – on June 20, 2017 at Sheraton Towers. One of the 12 new entrants of the awarded list is Modern Australian restaurant Whitegrass, which takes home the most coveted title – Restaurant of the Year. The other 11 restaurants that appeared on the list for the first time are: Akira Back, Cure, Cheek by Jowl, Braci, Mitzo Restaurant & Bar, Salted & Hung, Sushi Kimura, Terra, The Summerhouse, The Dempsey Cookhouse & Bar and Violet Oon Satay Bar & Grill. We find out from some of the chefs and restaurateurs about their win as well as their plans in the upcoming months.
Cure which opened in 2015 at Keong Saik Road is the first solo venture of chef-owner Andrew Walsh (formerly from Esquina). His menu offers the best seasonal produce he can get his hands on. “With Cure, the food is always going to evolve, and (we) keep going forward. My new restaurant called Butcher Boys is going to open up in August. It is going to be very exciting and a bit of a game changer in Singapore,” says Walsh.
He adds, “We got this (award) thanks to hard work, dedication and, most of all, working together as a team. We are small, we are independent, we are not part of a big group, and we would like to push all the way. I would also love to dedicate this award to my dad. He was in the hospital, a little unwell. So this is for my dad. Something for him to look at, and be proud of,” says the chef. www.curesingapore.com
Launched in December 2016, Akira Back Singapore at JW Marriott dishes out Japanese cuisine with Korean accents. The brand will be expanding in Asia as well as internationally. “We are going to open in Toronto, Dubai and Bangkok. Chef Akira Back himself will fly in from the US sometimes, and he will look into details such as the quality of the food and the service,” says Mariyanto Aribowo, restaurant general manager, who was present at the awards ceremony with Akira Back’s sous chef Bobby Hyungmin Bae.
THE DEMPSEY COOKHOUSE & BAR
The Dempsey Cookhouse & Bar by New York’s celebrity chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten received the Best New Restaurant (Western) award this year. The menu features a collection of Jean-Georges’ signatures including modern creations fused with Asian elements. Executive chef Erik Gustafsson shares, “We are going to try to change the menu on a regular basis and throw in some specials every week. We have a lot of regulars and we want to create new things for them. You can expect a lot more new dishes, week by week. I am a creative chef myself, so I like to add new items to the menu.” He says, “It’s been three and a half months since we opened (the restaurant). We couldn’t wish for a better start. We are super busy. We thought we were going to be busy, but I didn’t think we expected this buzz around the restaurant.”
Chef Florian Ridder who helms The Summerhouse, an off-the-beaten track restaurant set in a beautiful black-and-white bungalow at the former Seletar air base, says that the award of excellence is a surprise for all of them. “Especially when we are so far out, and it’s a big project. It is a motivational point for us. We have a lot of projects coming up and we have a lot of things we are going to develop.” Ridder dedicates the award of excellence to his team and Muhammad Ross Al Martin Bin Rosman, chef de partie. “Chef Martin was actually the first one to join our restaurant. We develop the recipes together,” shares Ridder. www.thesummerhouse.sg
VIOLET OON SATAY BAR & GRILL
Managing director of Violet Oon Inc., Tay Yiming, who attended the G Restaurant Awards on behalf of his mother Violet Oon says that the whole team cannot be more thrilled to receive the Best New Restaurant (Asian) award. “I think the team is really committed to putting out every single plate that’s delicious, every single night,” comments Tay. Violet Oon Satay Bar & Grill at Clarke Quay serves satay, grilled meats and seafood as well as Nonya favourites. violetoon.com
SALTED & HUNG
Salted & Hung at Purvis Street, is known for its hearty meat and charcuterie dishes that are all produced in-house. Executive chef Drew Nocente, shares that they will be launching a new tasting menu with beer pairing soon. The restaurant also recently introduced a reasonably priced weekend brunch. The chef enthuses: “I’m stoked to have won the award; it’s great for me and the team to be rewarded for all our efforts. There is a lot of hard work that goes into every dish, not just in the kitchen but the service team is educated on all the various cuts and different techniques we use.” www.saltedandhung.com.sg
CHEEK BY JOWL
First time winner, Cheek By Jowl, which serves creative Modern Australian cuisine, has been receiving rave reviews since it opened last year. Head chef Rishi Naleendra also dedicates the award to his team. “We are very happy. We have an extremely hardworking team. It is not just me – the boys and the girls at the restaurant work harder than me. Everything that we achieve, it always goes to the team. Without them, nothing happens. I think it’s going to be a few exciting months this year and I am looking forward to that.” The restaurant recently held an annual Father’s Day fundraiser; at the special lunch, Naleendra and his team dished out a traditional Sri Lankan feast. cheekbyjowl.com.sg