Chef’s top tables: Colin Clague

The name Colin Clague has long been associated with some of Dubai’s best restaurants, Here you’ll find the British-born chef’s all-time favourite places to eat elsewhere in the world

 

Nobu Fifty Seven, New York

As a former head chef of Zuma, you might think it’s strange that I’d pick one of Nobu’s restaurants, but I honestly had a completely faultless meal there. It sticks in my memory – the service was impeccable and the food, which I had tasted many times before, in various Nobus around the world, was exemplary. There are two floors with a spacious lounge downstairs – make sure you have a drink there before heading up to the dining room.

Favourite dish: The black cod and new-style sashimi

Restaurant André Singapore

Situated in a terraced house on Bukit Pasoh Road, this legendary restaurant by Chef André Chiang is a dream come true from start to finish. Chiang micromanages every last detail – from the ingredients to the plates to the décor – and it shows. His philosophy, or ‘octaphilosophy’ (built on eight elements of gastronomy: unique, pure, texture, memory, salt, south, artisan, terroir) is all about ingredients and making the most of seasonality. Classically trained in France with some of the greats, his eponymous eatery is a must if you’re visiting Singapore.

Favourite dish: The menu changes regularly but my standout was ocean-trout confit in citrus oil

The Fat Duck, Bray

I have to be honest, molecular gastronomy isn’t really my thing as I’ve never been particularly scientific – however, what Heston Blumenthal has achieved at this iconic English eatery is truly incredible. Boasting as many chefs as customers, the restaurant is housed in an old 16th-century cottage in the beautiful village of Bray, out in the Berkshire countryside. It’s a bit off the beaten track but a meal here is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Make a foodie weekend of it and stop at The Waterside Inn nearby, the Roux family’s restaurant where you can also spend the night.

Favourite dish: The whole 14-course tasting menu

Hyotei, Kyoto

As classic as it gets, the inside of this beautiful kaiseki restaurant is all woods and tatami rooms. With a rich history dating back over 400 years, it serves the very best food Japan has to offer. They don’t tend to bend to Western tastes here, but if you love traditional Japanese cuisine then this three-Michelin-starred enclave makes for essential dining when in Kyoto – not only for the authentic cuisine but also for the stunning building and location, in scenic Northern Higashiyama.

Favourite dish: The Asagayu rice porridge

Per Se, New York

Without doubt one of the highlights of the restaurant world, when I visited Per Se several years ago, with another head chef from London, we had to call in a favour from Jason Atherton to get a reservation, they were so booked out. I’m not surprised – the food that Thomas Keller and his team prepared that evening was mind-blowing. We both chose the tasting menu with grape pairing but the two menus were completely different, and being chefs we swapped plates, so in all we tried nearly 30 dishes that night, and everything was perfect. Ten out of 10 and then some.

Favourite dish: The oysters and caviar (well, you only live once)