Julien Royer’s guide to Singapore
Julien Royer knows a thing or two about high-end restaurants, as chef-patron of three-Michelin-starred Odette restaurant in Singapore, as well as the more casual Claudine, also in Singapore, and one-Michelin-starred Louise, in Hong Kong. But having lived in Singapore for a decade, he also knows all the best spots for cheap and incredibly tasty local fare, including some of the best hawker stalls – meals he often enjoys with his restaurant teams.
The chef, who grew up in Cantal, France, will also be a Grand Juror at the forthcoming S.Pellegrino Young Chef Academy Competition 2022-23 Grand Finale, where he will help to pick the best young chef in the world.
Here’s chef Julien Royer’s guide to the best places to eat in Singapore.
Courtesy of Naked Finn
"I've always admired Ken Loon and the team at Naked Finn for their commitment to bringing diverse and carefully sourced seafood of the highest quality to Singapore. They're extremely passionate about sustainability and educating diners on sustainable seafood practices. To top it off, their seafood is incredibly fresh and well-executed, and the friendly team makes the experience engaging and enjoyable."
Courtesy of Brasserie Gavroche
"My go-to place for authentic French fare and rustic classics with a Parisian atmosphere. The dishes are so timeless and comforting that you can truly feel the heart and soul behind these creations."
Courtesy of Candlenut
"The first Peranakan restaurant in the world to earn a Michelin star! It’s very encouraging to see young chefs like Malcolm Lee exploring their heritage through food. Candlenut takes a contemporary approach to Peranakan cuisine, presenting a refined showcase of local flavours."
"I would recommend this to anyone who wants a taste of Burgundy, right in the heart of Singapore’s vibrant heritage landscape. Owner Geoffrey Daurelle is such an amazing host, and you can truly feel his passion for authentic French fare. Their wine selection is ever-evolving, and their Epoisses croquettes are a definite must-try!"
Le Bon Funk
Courtesy of Le Bon Funk
"The place I would go to for the best natural wine selection and adventurous yet delicious food. Not only is their beef-tongue sandwich to die for, but chef Keirin and the team’s produce-led approach is something I admire greatly."
"A place I would visit for refined Cantonese cuisine. Every detail in this Michelin-starred restaurant is well-considered, and the service is exceptional."
"One of my ventures, and what I would imagine a French neo-brasserie to be like in this present day. Set in a 1930s colonial chapel on Dempsey Hill, Claudine celebrates life around good food and wine, and glorious company. Many dishes are inspired by what I like to eat when I go out, such as luxed-up French classics like steak tartare, 'bouillabaisse', and playful desserts like our île flottante."
"The best place to get modern Australian barbeque, set in a lively atmosphere. Cooking with just wood fire, chef Dave Pynt truly shines the spotlight on quality ingredients. Their meats are so consistently flavourful and cooked to perfection."
Tanjong Rhu Pau
"A humble hawker serving one of the best ‘paus’ [steamed buns] in Singapore. Each pau is still handmade the traditional way as it has been for generations. It’s become a cultural landmark and a must-visit when in Singapore for an authentic local experience."
Boon Tong Kee Chicken Rice
"It's my go-to comfort food that I've grown to love after spending more than a decade in Singapore. It's a simple dish that really shows how rich and flavourful a humble chicken can be." [Various locations]
Tian Tian Seafood
"A bustling and vibrant spot for amazing seafood and quality ‘zi char’ [sharing plates] that my team and I love to enjoy after a long day's work."
Hill Street Tai Hwa Pork Noodle
"Another one of my personal favourites is a one-Michelin-starred hawker that sells the most flavourful and perfectly cooked noodles I've had at an affordable price! The rich umami pork broth ties all the flavours together in a simple, humble dish." [Various locations]