The Best Restaurant in Asia: After four years of brilliant Bangkok restaurant Gaggan topping the Asia’s 50 Best ranking, it has finally been replaced at No.1 by Julien Royer’s sumptuous French fine dining destination.
What makes it special: First and foremost: Royer’s food. The 36-year-old Frenchman sources the highest quality products from specialist artisan producers across the world – from Europe to Asia and Australia. He then makes those ingredients purr in delicate but flavourful dishes which, while French at their core, show frequent flashes of the chef’s decade based in Asia.
More than just the dishes: The chef has assembled a stellar young team, not just in the kitchen but in the dining room too, led by GM Steven Mason and Singapore’s star sommelier Vincent Tan. Every table and every guest is treated in a bespoke, never-by-the-numbers fashion with immense attention to detail.
What about the restaurant itself? Located in the historic National Gallery Singapore, the dining room has a feminine feel not frequently found in top-end establishments, thanks to the soft pink, grey and cream colour scheme created by Singaporean artist Dawn Ng. The space also houses original artworks including abstract collages of de-constructed food photography.
Chef history: Royer’s heavyweight CV includes stints working for Michel Bras in France and Antonin Bonnet in London. On moving to Singapore, he helmed the acclaimed Jaan for several years before opening Odette – named after the grandmother who inspired Royer to taste and ultimately to cook – in late 2015.
Typical dishes: The ever-changing menu may feature the likes of: crispy scaled kinki fish with butternut squash and Thai velouté; pigeon ‘beak to tail’ with Jerusalem artichoke and kampot pepper from Cambodia; or yuzu tarte with sake and basil.
Go Inside Odette with Julien Royer: