Diverse and vibrant, Southeast Asia is home to an incredible array of cuisines that showcase the intricate fusion of world-class culinary techniques and premium quality local ingredients. An unforgettable fine dining experience is merely a short flight away.
In this second part of our mini-series: ‘Fine Dining: A Different Standard’, Neue explores five different fine dining establishments that can be found right here in Southeast Asia.
1. Jaan (Singapore)
Delivering the finest in French cuisine, Jaan offers a stunning view of Singapore’s scenic landscape, including the Marina Bay Sands atop the 70th floor of Swissotel the Stamford, one of the tallest hotels in the country. One recommended dish would have to be the Farmer’s Harvest with Hand Dived Scottish Scallop. The farmer’s harvest brings together seasonal vegetables served with enormous Scottish scallops.
The restaurant also has the privilege of being distinguished with a One Michelin Star accolade and is regularly on the list of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants.
JAAN is an internationally celebrated restaurant in Singapore that has established itself as a gastronomic platform with a reputation for handpicking and grooming exceptional culinary talents.
Born in South West Britain, Chef de Cuisine Kirk Westaway channels his deeply rooted passion for natural flavours that are reminiscent of his childhood in England. Applying the philosophy ‘Reinventing British’, his perpetually evolving menu embodies a seasonal philosophy to showcase British dining in a modern, refreshing light.
Derived from the Cambodian word for ‘bowl’, the intimate 40-seat restaurant has a sophisticated interior that features an elegant private dining room for exclusive events as well as a stunning Murano crystal and silver free-form chandelier that spans the entire length of the ceiling. The beauty of the chandelier is only outdone by two things: the breathtaking view of Singapore’s scenic landscape as well as the truly exquisite culinary and service experience that have become the hallmark of this multi-award winning restaurant.
Price for a set lunch starts from 68 Brunei Dollars (BND) per person, while a set dinner can go for about BND198 per person.
2. La Maison 1888 (Vietnam)
La Maison 1888 captures the essence of haute French dining, with the distinct gourmet experience of delectable à la carte menu of distinguished classic French cuisine in Danang. Crowned as “World’s Leading Fine Dining Hotel Restaurant 2017” by World Travel Awards, this signature restaurant is hailed as the number one gastronomic destination in Vietnam.
Being the first restaurant in Vietnam that features a Michelin-starred chef and after three successful years working with Michel Roux, La Maison 1888 is now home to the world-renowned three Michelin- starred chef Pierre Gagnaire.
Gagnaire (born 9 April 1950 in Apinac, Loire) is an iconoclastic chef at the forefront of the fusion cuisine movement.
Beginning his career in St Etienne where he won three Michelin Stars, Gagnaire tore at the conventions of classic French cooking by introducing jarring juxtapositions of flavours, tastes, textures, and ingredients. Famously known for his skills in reinventing French cuisine, his culinary motto has always been ‘facing tomorrow but respectful of yesterday’ (“tourné vers demain mais soucieux d’hier”).
Top 10 in the World’s Best New Restaurants 2016 by CNN, this truly special French restaurant was designed to recreate an antique French mansion with each dining area its own intimate niche reflecting a period room.
How much? A five-course dinner at La Maison 1888 goes for about BND177, while a seven-course is priced at BND238. Highly recommended dishes include sea bass carpaccio, lobster tail and roasted veal tenderloin.
The restaurant is open for lunch on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from noon to 2pm. It is open everyday for dinner from 6.30pm to 10.30pm. Early reservations are highly recommended.
3. Dinner Under The Stars (Indonesia)
Ever dreamt of dining under the hypnotic stars while devouring delicious food? Famous for dreamy getaways, Bali, Indonesia is also home to Dinner Under The Stars at Four Seasons Resort, Sayan, which promises a private, romantic experience like no other, as well as a luxurious fine dining affair with a five-course menu of either Western or Indonesian selections.
Partake in the Ikan Rica Rica, a dish comprising fresh red snapper, sweet potato as well as local basil and lime leaves. However, a personalised menu can also be requested, according to your preferences. Indulge in the delicious fare atop a lotus pond, surrounded by the panoramic views of the surrounding jungles and the Ayung River below.
Reservations are essential, and prices vary depending on what’s offered on the menu.
4. Plane in the City (Malaysia)
For an unparalleled gastronomic experience, enjoy a First Class meal at Plane in the City, an actual Boeing 737 plane that has been converted into a restaurant in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Exclusivity is a priority here, as only 20 diners are allowed per session, which lasts for 90 minutes.
The fun part is when you are invited to board the plane by the stewardess and she announced it over the PA system. You may even be offered to walk on the plane’s wing.
With dishes prepared by chefs from the Le Méridien, such as the smoked pepper crust duck breast and Foie gras gyoza, the sky is undoubtedly the limit when it comes to the restaurant’s promise in delivering an extraordinary fine dining affair. Prices range from around BND83 (Economy Class) to BND332 (First Class).
5. Waku Ghin (Singapore)
This visually incredible and exquisitely flavourful Tasmanian Cape Grim Beef Tartare is a work of art – it’s an exceptional display of culinary finesse.
Waku Ghin in Singapore is distinguished with Two Michelin Stars, with a menu comprising the freshest Australian catches, the most precise French culinary techniques and a distinct Japanese-style presentation.
Satiate your palate with the 10-course degustation menu, with flavours elevated by quality ingredients while taking in the magnificent view of Singapore’s skyline.
The name ‘Waku Ghin’ is derived from two Japanese words: ‘Waku’ meaning to ‘arise’ (like water pouring forth from a hot spring) and ‘Ghin’ meaning ‘silver’, Chef Tetsuya’s signature colour found throughout the 8,000 square foot space, featuring an intimate bar, three private cocoon rooms and a main dining room.
Each private room is helmed by a chef, bringing forward the season’s best produce to the Chef’s Table, which includes signatures such as the Marinated Botan Shrimp with Sea Urchin and Caviar and Wagyu with Wasabi and Citrus Soy. Then be escorted to the main dining room for desserts and coffee while soaking in sensational skyline views. Expect to pay at least BND150 per person when dining here.
Your culinary adventure will be made even more exciting with “A Year’s Worth of Holidays” by Standard Chartered, where you will stand a chance to enjoy monthly bill-wipe outs totalling BND24,000 a year. Imagine what meals you could also savour back home as you will enjoy double reward points whenever you swipe your meal on your Standard Chartered credit card from now until 31st December. Bon appétit!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
A Bruneian writer with a penchant for never finishing
her stories, because there’s always more to be discovered.
Enjoys travelling and coffee.