Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2012

 Last night was a night of anticipation for restauranteurs and chefs all over the world. The World's 50 Best Restaurants were announced at the UK's Restaurant Magazine annual awards ceremony in London's Guildhall. The list comprises two lists: 1-50 and 51-100.

The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list was first conceived in 2002. The idea was born as a feature idea for a then youthful trade magazine aimed at chefs and restaurateurs in the UK – Restaurant Magazine. In its early years, the list was dominated by European restaurants. It has since evolved to a very international list with a good dose of restaurants from Asia.

The biggest winner is Noma, from Copenhagen, Denmark. The restaurant has managed to stay No. 1 for three years!

Singapore shares the limelight with Hong Kong, with each city dominating the list with four restaurants. Singapore - Iggy's (No. 26), Waku Ghin (No. 39), Les Amis (No. 53) and Restaurant Andre (No. 68). Hong Kong - Amber (No. 44), Bo Innovation (No. 52), Caprice (No. 54) and Lung King Heen (No. 93).

What's interesting from the list of Singapore restaurants is actually Les Amis. Founded on 15th March 1994, it is the first independent fine dining establishment in Singapore. Sometimes I wonder how this multiple-award winning restaurant managed to stay relevant and competitive for the past 17 years. It's quite a feat considering the influx of celebrity restaurants to Singapore over the years. 

If you haven't been to Les Amis for a while, perhaps it is time to rediscover and get to know this friend again. Let me give you three good reasons.

Reason #1 - Chef Armin Leitgeb, the resident chef at helm boasts a stellar background. Of Austrian descent, he has worked with several Michelin starred chefs including the then 3 star Michelin Pourcel brothers of Jardin des Sens in Montpellier, 3 star Michelin Paul and Marc Haeberlin of Auberge de L’ill in Alsace and 2 star Michelin Hans Haas of Restaurant Tantris in Munich.

Reason #2 - With a desire to explore the kitchens outside of Europe, he travelled to the States to cook in The French Laundry for Chef Thomas Keller, who just won the San Pellegrino Lifetime Achievement Award. This is the closest you can get to getting a "taste" of Thomas Keller in Singapore. In fact, Thomas Keller visited Chef Armin and Les Amis earlier this year.

Reason #3 - Chef Armin also invited Head Pastry Chef Daniel Texter from Noma to join his team in 2010. Noma has been the No.1 restaurant on the World's Best 50 Restaurants for three consecutive years. If Copenhagen is not on your travel list just yet, Chef Daniel is the closest you can get to get a taste of Noma.
Resident Chef Armin and Pastry Chef Daniel

For more information on Les Amis, please visit


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