Singapore resto Iggy's loses longtime Asian dining crown

Wed Jan 23, 2013 6:23am EST
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By Elaine Lies

TOKYO (Reuters) - Singapore restaurant Iggy's fell from first place as the top dining spot in Asia after holding the crown for two straight years, while a Japanese restaurant in the city state soared to second place in a regional dining guide.

Celebrity chef Joel Robuchon saw his Macau restaurant Robuchon au Dome, previously known as Robuchon a Galera, top the list of Asia's 20 best restaurants in The Miele Guide 2013, the guide's fifth edition, while L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon in Hong Kong took third place.

Iggy's came in at fourth in the guide, which went on sale on Wednesday, its first time in less than either first or second place since the guide began in 2008.

Typical of the region's diverse cuisine is Waku Ghin, a new Japanese restaurant in Singapore run by Australian chef Tetsuya Wakuda, that surged into second place in its debut on the list, said Koh Yuen Lin, the guide's Editor-at-Large.

"Asia has historically been a melting pot of different cultures and people, especially with our colonial history, and thus it is not surprising that up until today we still continue to embrace many culinary influences," said Koh.

"It has shown that with sufficient dedication and talent, chefs can reach the top in any type of cuisine they set their minds to - after all, food is one of the few things that can transcend our differences."

China had the most restaurants in the top 20 with seven, five of them in Hong Kong, followed by Singapore with five and Bali, Indonesia, with three.

Regional dining over the past year has been marked by increasing appreciation of chefs who incorporate local ingredients and culinary cultures into their cuisine, a reflection of the locavore movement around the globe, Koh said.   Continued...