• 07:21 AM, 8 Mar, 2021

(Singapore, March 6, 2021) Meta in Singapore is the recipient of the 2021 American Express One To Watch Award. Selected by the organisers of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants, in collaboration with its regional experts, the American Express One To Watch Award is presented to a restaurant that is outside the main Asia’s 50 Best list but is identified as the rising star of the region. 

Opened in 2016 by South Korean-born chef Sun Kim, Meta – a shortening of metamorphosis – celebrates authentic Asian flavours and high-end European cooking techniques. The progressive menu reflects Kim’s cultural upbringing, travels and influences. His interest in cooking began as a teenager while working in his mother’s restaurant in Seoul and, in 2011, he travelled to Australia to enroll at Le Cordon Bleu in Sydney. Feeling a strong affinity with chef Tetsuya Wakuda’s philosophy upon reading one of his books, Kim secured a job at iconic Tetsuya’s in Sydney, where he worked under the tutelage of the culinary legend. In 2014, he was seconded to Wakuda’s award-winning Waku Ghin in Singapore, eventually calling the city-state his home. 

Since Meta’s launch, Kim’s culinary style has evolved and matured, drawing increased inspiration from his Korean heritage, alongside the delicate artistry of Japanese cuisine and his education in Western cooking techniques. Admired for its technical expertise and creative flair, Meta’s menu distinguishes itself with subtle flavours, elegant presentations and inspired combinations of seasonal ingredients, as evident in Chef Kim’s Kinmedai dish, featuring foie gras, shimeji mushroom and black truffle. Having relocated to an airier location at 1 Keong Saik Road in October 2018, the restaurant features low tables and a cosy four-seat counter, creating an intimate atmosphere. 

William Drew, Director of Content at Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants, says: “While Meta honours Chef Kim’s Korean heritage and the traditional dishes of his childhood, the menu boldly integrates elements of Japanese and French cuisines. Chef Kim’s progressive cooking techniques and creative execution, combined with a serene dining experience, make Meta a worthy winner of the American Express One To Watch Award 2021.”

Responding to the honour, chef Kim says: “I am very humbled and honoured to receive this award from Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants. I couldn’t have achieved this without the support and hard work of the Meta team.” 

Chris Cracchiolo, Senior Vice President of Global Membership Rewards & Loyalty Benefits at American Express, says: “American Express is proud to support this award, which champions innovation, ingenuity and excellence in dining. We are honoured to present this award to the team at Meta, who have created a one-of-kind dining experience that combines Chef Kim’s passion for Korean, Japanese and French cuisines.” 

Meta joins a prestigious line-up of recent One To Watch award winners including Masque in Mumbai (2020), JL Studio in Taichung (2019), Toyo Eatery in Manila (2018), TocToc in Seoul (2017) and Florilège in Tokyo (2016). 

Chef Kim’s achievements will be celebrated as part of the online ceremony for Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2021 on 25 March, from 4.30pm HK/SG (5.30pm JPN), which will be broadcast to a global audience via Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants Facebook and the 50 Best Restaurants TV YouTube channel.

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