June 28, 2023
SINGAPORE – Eight-month-old Seroja, a fine-dining restaurant serving food inspired by the Malay Archipelago, and made with ingredients sourced from South-east Asia, scored a hat-trick at the Michelin awards ceremony on Tuesday evening.
It gained its first star; was named Singapore’s first Green Star restaurant, given to establishments with sustainable practices; and its chef, Kevin Wong, received the Young Chef Award.
The restaurant in Fraser Street joined four others awarded their first star: Born in Tanjong Pagar, Poise in Teck Lim Road, Sushi Sakuta at the Capitol Kempinski Hotel and Willow in Hongkong Street.
This brings the number of one-Michelin-starred establishments in Singapore to 46.
Dropped from the list were Basque Kitchen by Aitor, which closed recently, and Shang Palace.
In the two-Michelin-star category, Cloudstreet, Jaan by Kirk Westaway, Saint Pierre, Shoukouwa, Thevar and Waku Ghin retained their stars. Shisen Hanten lost a star to join the one-starred list.
Les Amis, Odette and Zen kept their three stars.
Some 500 guests from the Singapore food world attended the launch of the seventh Michelin Guide Singapore at Parkroyal Collection Marina Bay.
Instead of the sit-down dinners of previous years, guests mingled in a cocktail party setting, picking food and drink from live stations offering canapes and food from Michelin-starred and Bib Gourmand restaurants.
Bib Gourmand hawker stalls and restaurants were also part of the ceremony this year, with the 19 new entrants invited on stage, later joined by 60 existing names on the list of establishments which, according to the guide, deliver good value.
Malaysia-born Wong, 29, a Singapore permanent resident, told The Straits Times: “I went to France with a dream to work in Michelin-starred restaurants and, tonight, my restaurant was awarded a star. It’s a dream come true.
“It’s a great feeling, and good assurance for my team. The star tells me Seroja is on the right path. Cooking cuisine from my own culture, this is something to be proud of.”
He said the restaurant sources ingredients from farms in Singapore and Malaysia, buying excess produce that it turns into drinks for its non-alcoholic beverage pairings.
Vegetable trimmings are used the same way. For instance, water chestnut trimmings are used to make a drink with watercress and sansho pepper.
Chef Zor Tan, 36, of Restaurant Born, a fine-dining restaurant in the historic Jinrikisha Station, said: “This is just the beginning. There is still room for us to be better, but this award acknowledges our efforts, affirms that we are going in the right direction. We will focus on tightening the gaps in all aspects of the dining experience.
“My ultimate dream, of course, is to one day be able to achieve three stars.”
Chef Nicolas Tam, 33, of contemporary Asian restaurant Willow, said: “I’m at a loss for words. I didn’t expect it. We do our best every day and we will continue to believe in ourselves.”
The full list
.Jaan by Kirk Westaway
.Art di Daniele Sperindio
.Hill Street Tai Hwa Pork Noodle
.Imperial Treasure Fine Teochew Cuisine (Orchard)
.La Dame De Pic
.Putien Kitchener Road
.Shinji (Bras Basah Road)
.Sushi Sakuta (new)