Celebrity Chef Gordon Ramsay takes on Singaporean Hawkers in SingTel’s Food Challenge

“SingTel, I truly accept your challenge. Game on.”

These were the exact words by internationally renowned chef Gordon Ramsay, in a response to the challenge issued by SingTel and local food bloggers on behalf of Singaporeans.

Singaporeans love their food and would definitely want it to be world famous. In this challenge, top favourite hawkers polled on Hawker Heroes will pit their skills against the Michelin-starred chef in a culinary battle. This is a chance for Singaporeans to show what they are capable of and whether Singaporean food do deserve a place in the Michelin Guide.

Are Singaporean hawkers truly world class? Can they really stand up against Gordon Ramsay, who was recently into the Culinary Hall of Fame?

“One thing I’m certain of is that people love my version better”

What are your personal thoughts on this? Let us know by leaving us a comment below.

[Make a restaurant reservation with us at Kaimen Asia!]

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Top 10 Restaurants in Kuala Lumpur

1. Celestial Court

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Celestial Court’s grand pagoda façade invites you to indulge in the most delectable Chinese cuisine, presented by Chinese Chef Ho Boon, who has re-imagined classic dishes and favorites for sophisticated modern diners.

– Starwood Preferred Guest

You can make a reservation for Celestial Court Restaurant at http://www.kaimen.asia/restaurants/celestial-court

2. Enak

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Enak is another upscale Malay eatery, this one in the very posh Starhill Gallery.

Diners can try home-style Malay dishes, many based on recipes handed down through the generations in owner Sherena Razaly’s family.

The presentation may be modern, but the flavors are all traditional in signatures such as sambal tumis udang (fried chilli prawns) and ayam goreng lengkuas (fried chicken with blue ginger).

– CNN Travel

You can make a reservation for Enak at http://www.kaimen.asia/restaurants/enak-kl

3. Bijan

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At Bijan restaurant, we are innovating ways of enjoying Malay food, introducing accompanying wine to enhance flavours and ways of preparing local delicacies in a fine balance of old and new. Our dishes are a mix of recipes handed down over the generations and innovations of the real thing, to produce forgotten favourites and delicious new flavours and textures.

Located a mere stone throw’s away from KLCC and Bukit Bintang, Bijan is the ultimate destination for fine Malay cuisine. It is an oasis where you can unwind with a cool glass of wine while the food remains deliciously and unmistakably Malay. Enjoy pre-dinner drinks on the terrace while sampling our delicate canapés.

– Bijan

You can make a reservation for Bijan at http://www.kaimen.asia/restaurants/bijan

4. Kampachi

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For 40 years, the award-winning Kampachi has been acknowledged to be Kuala Lumpur’s leading Japanese restaurant. We serve the finest air-flown sashimi from the famed Tsukiji market in Tokyo. Our Ginza-trained master chefs are also very passionate about each plate they serve to ensure guests get a taste of an absolutely authentic dining experience.

Our culinary journey has been humbly graced by the presence of royalty, heads of state and celebrities and it remains today, a favourite dining destination of many. Since our initial store opening at Hotel Equatorial Kuala Lumpur, Kampachi has added additional locations in various Hotel Equatorial locations, The Troika KLCC, Pavilion Kuala Lumpur, Johor Premium Outlets and Plaza@Jaya33.

– Kampachi by Equatorial

You can make a reservation for Kampachi Pavilion at http://www.kaimen.asia/restaurants/kampachi-pavilion

5. Garibaldi Italian Restaurant and Bar

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Garibaldi is one of Singapore’s most popular and respected Italian restaurant landmarks and now it has arrived in Malaysia.

Located in Bangsar Village, Garibaldi provides a fine example of a stylish Italian eatery –modern, elegant yet friendly and dynamic. The contemporary and hip atmosphere has helped to make “Garibaldi” a classic Malaysia social gathering place.

Distinguished for its fascinating character and strong identity, the atmosphere in the main dining area is always stylish without being stuffy.

The enticing menu emphasizes authentic Italian cuisine prepared with the best ingredients imported directly from Italy.

The elegant bar offers a great selection of wines by the glass and excellent cocktails; it is the perfect setting for social gatherings and events.

The success of Garibaldi is based on serving well-prepared Italian food, executed with explicitness and taste and served with flair, care and attention.

– Garibaldi

You can make a reservation for Garibaldi at http://www.kaimen.asia/restaurants/garibaldi-italian-restaurant-bar–2

6. PRIME Steak Restaurant

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PRIME prides itself in serving only the finest imported beef, complemented with exquisite wine selections. Imaginative interior design with secluded sections enables diners the chance to see and be seen, or to be discreetly seated away from the crowd. PRIME also offers an innovative ‘private dining room with a view’ which seats 10, offering diners an up close and personal view of the kitchen activities.

A large built to order show kitchen, fronted with a solid glass wall, provides diners with a visual experience of all aspects of the food preparation. The grill used for preparing steaks is supplemented by a flaming rotisserie, and PRIME is the only restaurant in town that offers guests the choice of having their steaks grilled on either imported charcoal or on lava stone.

The extensive menu features a large variety of steaks in different cuts. Australian and Japanese beef are featured, with the famous Wagyu beef guaranteed to provide the tenderest of steaks. PRIME also features Black Angus 200 days grain-fed steaks and Australian 120 and 80 day aged steaks. The restaurant also features premium beef from US.

A highly experienced team of female servers and male kitchen professionals has been assembled to ensure that product and service delivery is truly First Class. Coupled with soft Jazz Music throughout, this really will deliver “Prime Grill, Prime Wine, Prime Time” for PRIME’s guests, ensuring their return for more.

– PRIME

You can make a reservation for PRIME at http://www.kaimen.asia/restaurants/prime-steak-restaurant

7. Hakka Republic Wine Bar and Bistro

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Hakka Republic, KL’s hottest and latest fine dining restaurant & wine bar – expect the best here. Plan your next event here, be it a product launch or a cocktail evening with your customers and friends. We are different and we assure you a memorable evening.

– Hakka Republic

You can make a reservation for Hakka Republic at http://www.kaimen.asia/restaurants/hakka-republic-wine-bar-bistro

8. Li Yen at The Ritz Carlton

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Popular with the affluent crowd is Li Yen, which features dim sum lunches and authentic Cantonese cuisine served in a stylish and intimate oriental setting. Patrons dine to the serenade of traditional Yan Qing performances, while digging into signature dishes prepared by the restaurant’s award-winning chefs. Deep-fried silver fish with salt and pepper and baked spare ribs with Chinese tea leaves are just some of the musttry dishes at Li Yen.

– Time Out Kuala Lumpur

You can make a reservation for Li Yen at http://www.kaimen.asia/restaurants/li-yen

9. Cilantro Restaurant and Wine Bar

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Probably the top fine dining restaurant in Kuala Lumpur. Chef Takashi Kimura dishes up sleek modern French cuisine laced with Japanese influences.

Think grain-fed lamb rack with houba miso and unagi paired with foie gras.

Purely French staples are given a deft contemporary twist, such as the steak tartar with a sunny quail’s yolk and wafer-thin parmesan crisp.

The degustation menu lets you sample his signatures for just 220 ringgit for three courses, a definite steal given the top quality of the cuisine.

– CNN Travel

You can make a reservation for Cilantro at http://www.kaimen.asia/restaurants/cilantro-restaurant-wine-bar

10. Dining in the Dark

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A restaurant in total darkness. A completely new sensory experience. DINING in the DARK KL, the very first of such restaurant in Malaysia.

Thoughtfully designed and carefully prepared surprised menu fit for a fine dining—Starter, Main, Dessert—with varying flavours to give your palate a wonderful experience and your mind… an exciting challenge!

One may think it as a challenge, or simply a unique experience of learning and discovery. All you have to do is step in with an open heart (with some excitement of course) and, trust our expert guides to lead you through the whole dining experience.

– Dining in the Dark

You can make a reservation for Dining in the Dark at http://www.kaimen.asia/restaurants/dining-in-the-dark

Top 10 Restaurants in Singapore

1. Waku Ghin Marina Bay Sands

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Fine Japanese dining at Marina Bay Sands

Exclusive is an over-used word, but it sums up Waku Ghin – superstar chef Tetsuya Wakuda’s relatively new Marina Bay Sands outpost. Just 25 covers are dotted among four private rooms – each with a chef preparing a 10-course tasting menu on a teppanyaki grill.To start is raw seafood – maybe sea urchin and abalone – followed by ‘salads’ such as scallops with daikon and oyster. The real magic begins as your private chef cooks a succession of fish and meat dishes. It’s part theatre, part cooking lesson. All can be expertly paired with wines or sake from biodynamic sancerre to an Australian chardonnay, produced specially for this popular chef.

– Asia’s 50 best restaurants 2013

You can make a reservation for Waku Ghin Marina Bay Sands at http://www.kaimen.asia/restaurants/waku-ghin-marina-bay-sands

2. Les Amis

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A perennially popular and elegant neighbourhood gem.

One of the forerunners of fine dining in Singapore, Les Amis is still going strong.

This classic restaurant has an elegant neighbourhood feel that strikes the right balance between meticulous service and friendliness – the sort of restaurant that every foodie wishes they could have at the end of their road. Locals keep returning for dishes such as lightly smoked eel topped with a wafer of crispy pork skin and home-made pasta in truffle stock with crispy shrimp. It also helps that Les Amis boasts the biggest wine cellar in Asia, and that the cheese is supplied by renowned affineur Bernard Anthony of Alsace.

– Asia’s 50 best restaurants 2013

You can make a reservation for Restaurant Les Amis at http://www.kaimen.asia/restaurants/les-amis

3. Jaan

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A restaurant and chef that live up to their location

Many restaurants with a jaw-dropping view tend to be lacking on the culinary side – not so Jaan. On the 70th floor with a vista of Singapore’s skyline and waterways, you will be transfixed by its panorama – but only until chef Julien Royer’s food arrives. First comes a beautifully presented plinth of amuse bouches. Then a 55°C cooked egg is cracked and poured into a dish before you, in a cute nod to Singaporean coffee shops. Presentation is stunning, witty and the flavours never disappoint. Here is a young chef already cooking at the very highest level.

– Asia’s 50 best restaurants 2013

You can make a reservation for Restaurant Jaan at http://www.kaimen.asia/restaurants/jaan

4. L’atelier de Joel Robuchon

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Productive counter cooking, Asian-style

The Singaporean outfit of Joël Robuchon’s L’Atelier concept stays true to the original idea: a place where chefs can experiment and create dishes fusing French techniques with the cooking of individual locations, drawing inspiration from the simplicity of Japanese cuisine and the atmosphere of Spanish tapas bars. In Singapore, this manifests in a menu of opulent ingredients plucked from across the world: foie gras, jamón Ibérico de bellota, lobster, osetra caviar, eringi mushrooms – some given an Asian twist, others used to create classic French and Mediterranean dishes. All this makes for a globe-trotting experience that is as big on fun as it is on flavour.

– Asia’s 50 best restaurants 2013

You can make a reservation for L’aterlier de Joel Robuchon at http://www.kaimen.asia/restaurants/l-atelier-de-joel-robuchon

5. Shinji by Kanesaka

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Omakase restaurant from Japanese masters

This menu-less, omakase (‘I’ll leave the choice up to you’) restaurant has caused quite a stir in Singapore. It’s the eponymous brainchild of renowned Tokyo chef Shinji Kanesaka. In Singapore, a team of Japanese chefs work under the watchful eye of master chef Koichiro Oshino, who has been with Kanesaka for more than 20 years. They operate from behind a wooden counter carved in a single piece from a 220-year-old hinoki or Japanese Cypress tree, which is as stunning as the food the team prepares. Only fish and seafood is served, but not just sushi and sashimi (though sushi is the star of the show) – there are plenty of grilled dishes on offer here, too.

You can make a reservation for Shinji by Kanesaka at http://www.kaimen.asia/restaurants/shinji-by-kanesaka

6. Osteria Mozza

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Upscale Italian-American in downtown Singapore

Outside Osteria Mozza, there’s always a gathering of those without the foresight to book ahead at this popular Mario Batali outpost. Inside, the dark wood, white tablecloths and sizeable bar transports diners from Marina Bay Sands mall to New York City. The US chef’s trademark rock soundtrack adds a convivial atmosphere, but never detracts from the attentive service. Under executive chef David Almany, the menu is deeply Italian-American, boasting half a page of mozzarella and a full page of pasta dishes as well as exemplary antipasti, meat, fish and, of course, dolce. The Italian-dominated wine selection is also suitably impressive.

– Asia’s 50 best restaurants 2013

You can make a reservation for Osteria Mozza at http://www.kaimen.asia/restaurants/osteria-mozza-marina-bay-sands

7. Gunther’s

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French fine dining in a stylishly inviting setting

With many top restaurants in Asia based in luxury shopping malls, Gunther’s is a chic and welcome alternative located in a converted shophouse. A series of intimate spaces – from the small bar to the private dining rooms – keeps the ambience inviting and sophisticated. The neutral décor is enlivened by paintings and antique artefacts from the chef-proprietor, Belgian Gunther Hubrechsen, previously with Les Amis in Singapore. But the star attraction is the vast tray of impressive raw ingredients, including live seafood, shown to each diner at the start of the meal and testament that produce here remains king.

– Asia’s 50 best restaurants 2013

You can make a reservation for Gunther’s at http://www.kaimen.asia/restaurants/gunther-s

8. Imperial Treasure Super Peking Duck

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Superlative Chinese specialist in the Lion City

The friendly receptionist always tells customers before they take a seat if the Peking duck is finished. One can imagine the near-riot in the restaurant if she didn’t. The lacquered, roasted duck, carved tableside and with a touch of sugar added to its crispy skin, Beijing-style, is always in huge demand in this specialist institution,  as are the barbecued meats – another of Singaporean chef Tong Yuk Sing’s specialities. Although the restaurant has a huge capacity, it is made up of several rooms, each boasting its own distinct style and mood.

– Asia’s 50 best restaurants 2013

You can make a reservation for Impreial Treasure Super Peking Duck at http://www.kaimen.asia/restaurants/imperial-treasure-super-peking-duck-restaurant-asia-square

9. Pasta Brava

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Located in a two storey conservation shop house, Pasta Brava was established in 1993 by Rolando Luceri, a former Hotelier with over 40 years of experience in the food and beverage industry. Since then, under the Luceri family, Pasta Brava has garnered recognition in the local Italian dining scene, as well as winning multiple awards over the years.

The warm ambience contains everything from pieces of art painted by the owner’s brother to colourful drawings by guests taking pride of place on the walls. Simple Straits Chinese decorations and souvenirs from the Luceri’s travels pepper the entire restaurant and add to its unique and homely feel.

The cuisine concentrates on traditional dishes from various regions of Italy and whether it’s a family dinner, a corporate lunch, or a private function, Pasta Brava caters to a diverse range of clientele.

– Pasta Brava

You can make a reservation for Pasta Brava at http://www.kaimen.asia/restaurants/pasta-brava-restaurant

10. Esquina

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Inspired by the colourful tapas bars found in Spain, Esquina provides visitors to the culturally-rich Chinatown with an added choice of European cuisine to the ethnic enclave. Open from Mondays to Saturdays, Esquina serves mainly modern Spanish tapas in a unique location that is surrounded by post-war colonial buildings, hip coffee joints and ‘old school’ home style restaurants. Leading the culinary direction for Esquina is Michelin star Chef Jason Atherton, the protégé of celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay.

Esquina is also the latest venture by acclaimed Singapore hotelier and restaurateur Loh Lik Peng. Having had successes with Hotel 1929, New Majestic Hotel and Wanderlust including award-winning restaurants such as Jing and Cocotte amongst many others, Esquina is yet another exciting project aimed to breathe life into the historic and charming neighbourhood.

– Esquina

You can make a reservation for Esquina at http://www.kaimen.asia/restaurants/esquina

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