Sam Aisbett’s Whitegrass Singapore
When the Coral Sea meets the Orient.
In January 2016, an important popular website that reviews temples of food referred to Whitegrass in Victoria Street, Singapore, as "a potential star", or rather, a brightly shining star in the future gastronomic firmament of Singapore. And it was spot on, seeing as the Whitegrass was awarded with the first Michelin Star on 30th June 2017 (the second restaurant of the palmarès list to get the first star just one year after opening) and, just 10 days before, it was named "Restaurant of the year" at the G Restaurant Awards. After having dined at the restaurant incognito, the judges of the Award wanted to reward its excellence by recognising the uniqueness of the cuisine, the hospitable elegance and its strong personality. There to receive the prize was Whitegrass’s founder and conductor, Sam Aisbett, who took the flavours of his native Queensland - North-eastern Australian State overlooking the Coral Sea - first to Europe and then Asia. Sam worked in Sydney for many years during his youth, at Tetsuya's with celebrated chef Tetsuya Wakuda and with Peter Gilmore at the Quay. Today, he is Executive Chef at Whitegrass and, in collaboration with his wife Annette ("such a good chef that her talent alarms me!", he says about her, smiling), he offers unique dishes that combine modern Australian food tradition with the Orient and Japanese cuisine: deep sea fish, meat, vegetables, herbs and spices become colourful combinations of flavours in the form of sashimi, dashi, servings of Mangalitsa pork with Lotus roots, egg tarts made according to the dictates of umami (the fifth taste) and the Japanese philosophy of the sixth taste, Hamachi with white beetroot served in the form of rose petals, sugared almonds in Hokkaido milk gelatin, and Thai milk and honey ice cream. All dishes that he loves serving Whitegrass customers personally, taking the opportunity to exchange opinions and hear their impressions in person. The best definition for Sam Aisbett’s cuisine was perhaps given by a food critic who recently wrote that "it appears that an infinite number of different things are going on in his dishes, but in the end it all comes deliciously, incredibly and miraculously together." All that remains to add is that to prepare all their incredible, delicious miracles in Singapore, Sam and his staff use a Berto's S700 kitchen with a one-piece work-top.