Just before the new crop of restaurants are revealed in the 2018 edition of the Michelin Guide on July 25, the foodie world received shocking news: Singapore’s only three-Michelin-starred restaurant, Joel Robuchon Restaurant, will serve its last meal on June 30, reported The Business Times. Yes, it will apparently be closed for good, but its next-door sibling restaurant L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon may reopen in future on Orchard Road, says the paper.
It adds that the Robuchon group may also open its Japanese concept restaurant called Yoshi, from Monaco, some time down the road, though the location has not been revealed.
It is unclear who will take over the coveted spots vacated by the two restaurants at Resorts World Sentosa. However, when we called RWS, we were told they did not, as reported by BT, “confirm the closure”. They then declined to comment further, only saying that a joint statement between the Robuchon group and RWS will be released soon — possibly later today. The profile of RWS was raised significantly when Robuchon’s flagship eatery was awarded three stars in Singapore’s inaugural Michelin Guide in 2016.
This news comes hot on the heels of the closure of two Michelin-starred Restaurant Andre in February. Oh, Andre, you should have waited till next year to return to Taiwan.
If it is true that Robuchon restaurants here are indeed closing down, it could mean the market in Singapore is just too small for so many players in the fine-dining scene. Moreover, customers here (barring the handful of local 'crazy rich Asians', and affluent Chinese tourists) are generally less willing to splash out on expensive meals. “Cheap and good” seems to be the mantra for more budget-conscious Singaporean diners, compared to epicureans in cities like Hong Kong, Shanghai and Tokyo. This means that our city is now short of a international culinary superstar a la Robuchon. Could this, then, be an opportunity for one of our local chefs to shine?
However, with chef Andre Chiang’s highly lauded eponymous restaurant out of the fine-dining scene, back then the next-best contender for three stars, who will 'take over' Robuchon’s prize?
The other eateries currently awarded two stars are: modern French fine-diner Odette by chef Julien Royer, Japanese-style Sichuan restaurant Shisen Hanten, French diner Les Amis, Tetsuya Wakuda’s Waku Ghin and sushi restaurant Shoukouwa.
Our guess is Odette — what’s yours?