The New Best Restaurant in Asia

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John Heng

The grilled baby pike served with olive rice

Tucked into a former laundry room in a softly lit corner of Singapore's Regent Hotel, Iggy's doesn't exude the flash one would expect of the "Best Restaurant in Asia." But that is precisely the accolade bestowed upon it by the Miele Guide — a recently launched work of reference that aspires to be to Asia what the Michelin is to Europe. (See 10 things to do in Singapore.)

Amid a Japanese-style setting of pinewood and granite, Iggy's pushes gastronomic boundaries, but never past the comfort barrier. "I don't serve food that shocks," says Ignatius Chan, the French-trained sommelier who started the cozy 38-seat restaurant four years ago.

Instead, Iggy's set eight-course menu, which changes monthly, offers iconoclasm with dollops of reassurance. Take, for instance, the grilled baby pike served with olive rice (pictured above). The rice is roasted to give it a pleasant crunchiness and the flavor of the piquant fish, like many of Iggy's dishes, is that marvelous interplay between sweet and salty that the Japanese call umami. Not all dishes at Iggy's live up to this transcendent promise (on the night we visited, the dessert was a disappointingly boring fig tiramisu). But there were hints of greatness in the light-as-a-cloud gazpacho sorbet served as a palate cleanser, and in the charcoal-grilled Wagyu steak, which is little larger than a square of chocolate but infinitely rich, smoky and dense.

Dinner for two, with a couple of glasses of wine each, comes to about $370 — pricey, but with the restaurant occupying Miele's top spot, there's no shortage of people willing to pay it. For reservations, call (65) 6732 2234.

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