Cover image: From Paris with Love, a dish at Art
On September 1, the fifth edition of the Michelin Guide Singapore unveiled several new one star restaurants including Art, Basque Kitchen by Aitor, Cure, Esora, Lerouy, Oshino, Shang Palace, Sommer and Thevar. Modern British restaurant Jaan by Kirk Westaway received two stars, along with Saint Pierre, Shisen Hanten, Shoukouwa and Waku Ghin. Fine dining French establishments Les Amis and Odette successfully maintained their three stars. And joining the stellar duo is contemporary European restaurant, Zen, which was promoted to three Michelin stars.
The following top chefs tell us what guests can look forward to at their newly awarded restaurants.
Cloudstreet at Amoy Street has been receiving rave reviews since it opened in July 2019.
Chef-owner Rishi Naleendra’s imaginative ingredient-driven tasting menus include creations such as smoke eel and pork jowl dish with pickled quail egg and Sri Lankan curry of Western Australian marron.
The restaurant recently expanded to the second floor – this plush, intimate space is christened Cirrus. Naleendra says, “We had only one kitchen and our pastry section was so small. Our food and dining experience has evolved in the last two years – from seven chefs, we now have 14. So we moved the pastry kitchen upstairs. That way, not only our staff can benefit, but our diners too.” After the last savoury course, guests will be ushered upstairs to enjoy dessert, cheeses and handcrafted petit fours.
To ensure Cloudstreet stays unique during challenging times, Naleendra says that he has to “think fast and act fast.” He adds, “You can plan as much as you want, but if you can’t change and adapt, you won’t survive. Staying original is the primary goal.” He continues, “I am blessed to have a talented team of young chefs who have been with me for a few years now. The best way to keep it going is to include the team in the creative process; they have a lot to bring to the table.”
Thevar at Keong Saik Street has drawn regulars with its punchy, Modern Indian specialities since 2018. Chef Mano Thevar showcases his creative interpretations of Indian flavours that reflect his heritage – his take on dishes that he ate when growing up in Penang, woven with European techniques. Prior to establishing his eponymous restaurant, the chef worked in top-notch restaurants, including Guy Savoy and Waku Ghin.
As for championing contemporary Indian food in Singapore, Thevar says, “I believe that modern Indian cuisine deserves a spot in the Michelin Guide. I am truly happy that we won [a star] this year.” He adds that it’s about getting the perfect balance of traditional recipe and innovative techniques. “Currently we are trying traditional Indian dishes that can be re-created with other techniques, with an emphasis on using freshly sourced ingredients.”
Some of the boldly flavoured dishes you should try on the current menu include the beetroot chaat, crispy pork betel leaf, and crab curry rice. The chef will introduce new items soon.
On the rooftop of National Gallery Singapore, Art is helmed by Executive Chef Daniele Sperindio. He joined the ilLido Group as group executive chef in 2020. Prior to this, he trained at top-notch establishments like Alinea and Narisawa.
Art’s new culinary direction was born this year after a challenging 2020. Sperindio, who works closely with ilLido Group’s restaurateur-chef Beppe de Vito, says that they are always exploring new creative directions at Art. “The menu is constantly evolving. The goal is to create a new sense of surprise and discovery for our guests,” he adds.
“It’ll be a busy last quarter of the year. I’ll be joining forces with Chef Ivan Brehm of Nouri for an exciting four hands collaboration in October where we’. W-creating an entirely new menu that shines a different point of view on our shared heritage. We’ll also be organising the Singapore edition of the World Alba White Truffle Auction dinner for the third year in a row this November.”
Sommer’s head chef Lewis Barker has worked for over a decade in some of the world’s renowned restaurants, including Bacchanalia and Vianney Massot in Singapore. His approach to modern European cuisine at the 28-seater at The Sail@Marina Bay is to focus on seasonality and fresh ingredients. Sister brand Supafresh, a boutique purveyor of top-quality Japanese produce, sources most of the premium produce.
To ensure Sommer stays consistently excellent, Barker says, “We will continue to keep pushing ourselves to be better. Our restaurant is young so we are just starting our journey.” As for what’s next, he says that they are currently working on a new menu for autumn. The goal is to iterate during each season. Currently, some dishes that guests can look forward to are the Kinmedai embellished with crispy scales and served with roasted squid bouillon, and the Zucchini Flower stuffed with a mousse of Murasaki sea urchin souffle, and finished with sea urchin sauce perked up with shio kombu.