Every month we curate the most important news in drinks, dining and travel in our corner of the world and a little bit beyond. Its awards announcements galore for the May 2024 edition of Spirited Dispatches.

We are entering peak awards season! MICHELIN is currently gearing up to release its MICHELIN Guide Singapore edition next month, while World’s 50 Best Restaurants has revealed its secondary 51-100 list ahead of the announcements divulging its main top 50 rankings also happening in June.

Spirits enthusiasts – and we count ourselves among you – might want to know that the Spirit of Craft Awards has named some worthy artisanal spirits in its inaugural list.

In other news, new hotels continue to open across the region offering even more choice for the discerning traveller.

News & Events

  • The World’s 50 Best Bars to take place in Madrid, Spain for its 2024 edition

The highly-anticipated annual list of The World’s 50 Best Bars will drop on 22 October 2024. We’ll find out the names of the best cocktail bars from around the world in a live awards ceremony held in Madrid, Spain as the Spanish capital play host to the movers and shakers of the cocktail world. Which cocktail capital will be home to this year’s biggest winner? Will Barcelona be three times lucky, with Sips landing the No.1 spot last year, while fellow bar Paradiso took top honours back in 2022? We’ll find out this October.

  • MICHELIN Guide Singapore 2024 results to be announced this June

Gourmands, take note. The latest edition of the MICHELIN Guide Singapore will be published in its entirety next month, with the full selection released on its website on 25 June. Surprisingly there won’t be an official awards ceremony this year, the first time in its eight-year run in Singapore since it was launched in 2016. The Bib Gourmand selection will be announced earlier, on 18 June.

  • World’s 50 Best Restaurants reveals the 51-100 list for 2024

50 Best has released the list of restaurants ranked from No.51 to No.100 for this year’s World’s 50 Best Restaurants. The extended list features restaurants from 23 territories across six continents, including 12 new entries from 11 different cities. Singapore restaurants include Burnt Ends (No.68), Labyrinth (No.92), and Meta (No.95). This announcement comes ahead of the official The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2024 awards ceremony on Wednesday 5 June in Las Vegas.

  • SOCraft Awards shines spotlight on global craft spirit makers with its inaugural list

The Spirit of Craft Awards (SOCraft Awards), Asia’s first awards programme recognising the art of craft in the world of artisanal spirits with sustainability as a key judging criteria, has named 43 craft spirits in its first-ever list. Determined by a panel of 36 judges consisting of Asia’s bar elites, spirits experts and drinks critics, the competition saw entries from 15 countries in different spirits categories participate. The Launceston Distillery Single Malt Tawny Cask Matured Whisky in particularly is a deliciously worthy winner, and builds on Tasmania’s serious whisky making cred. The full list of awardees can be found on www.spiritofcraftawards.com.

  • Three Singapore bars listed on first-ever The Pinnacle Guide

The Pinnacle Guide has officially released its inaugural list of sip-worthy cocktail bars, the new awards programme lauding a total of 37 venues across the globe. Three Singapore bars entered the list, with grand lobby bar ATLAS and Shangri-La Singapore cocktail lounge Origin Bar earning a 2-PIN award, while whimsical Ballroom by Barbary Coast received a 1-PIN rating. There are no 3-PIN bars as yet. The Pinnacle Guide continues to welcome submissions, with applications always open.

  • Wild Turkey unveils The Jimmy Russell Wild Turkey Experience

Wild Turkey Distilling Co has thrown the doors to The Jimmy Russell Wild Turkey Experience, its fully-renovated and modernised visitor centre named in honour of its legendary master distiller. Now open to the public, the award-winning distillery is a must-stop along the Kentucky Bourbon Trail that offers breathtaking views of the Kentucky River along with three new indoor and outdoor bars, new distillery tour and tasting experiences, and a retail gallery that designed to wring every last cent from us bourbon-loving fans. Book that trip now, ‘hon.

Artist's rendering of Na Oh at Hyundai Motor Group Innovation Center Singapore

Drinks & Dining

  • FLUTES plays a fancy new tune over at historic Midtown House

Award-winning contemporary European restaurant FLUTES marks 20 years in Singapore’s ultra-competitive dining scene with a move to new digs. Previously situated within the National Museum, it has relocated to the historic Midtown House – formerly the Beach Road Police Station – where diners can continue to enjoy its unique Singapore-accented take on contemporary European culinary approach under Executive Chef Peter Rollinson, along with a renewed commitment to sustainability and ethical sourcing.

  • Benu’s Corey Lee to open ‘Na Oh’ in Singapore

World-renowned chef Corey Lee of Michelin-starred Benu in San Francisco will launch his debut restaurant in Southeast Asia when Na Oh (pictured above) welcomes its first diners in Singapore this June. Opened in collaboration with the Hyundai Motor Group Innovation Center Singapore (HMGICS), Chef Lee’s Na Oh will be a new restaurant concept that explores Korean cuisine through a modern lens while tapping produce from the facility’s robotics smart farm. Unlike fine dining Benu though, Na Oh is positioned as a casual family restaurant.

  • Fleurette to officially close this June

Contemporary fine dining restaurant Fleurette has announced that it will officially close on 15 June 2024. This announcement comes after the sudden passing of its 29-year old chef-owner Tariq Helou late last month. Fleurette will continue to present its current Spring menu – lovingly crafted by Chef Tariq with the vibrant flavours and exacting standards the late chef was known for – as a tribute to him until that final day. Rest in peace, Chef.

This new Walk Japan tour brings you to Kyoto's backcountry

Travel & Lifestyle

  • TUMI expands its travel retail footprint across Asia with new stores

Leading premium travel accessories brand TUMI has expanded and refreshed its presence at major international airports throughout Asia. In particular, new duty-free TUMI stores in South Korea’s Incheon International Airport, Thailand’s Suvarnabhumi Airport, and Soekarno–Hatta International Airport in Indonesia have all opened this month, while the one in India’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport getting its own mid-June.

  • Bhutan relaxes mandatory travel insurance requirements for its visas

Travellers looking to head to the kingdom of Bhutan will be relieved to know that Bhutan’s Department of Tourism has withdrawn the mandatory travel insurance requirement for its visas. First introduced during the COVID pandemic, this move helps streamline travel procedures making it easier for aspiring visitors to experience the unique culture and breathtaking landscape of Bhutan.

  • Walk Japan launches new guided walking tour to explore Kyoto’s wondrous nature

Leading adventure travel company Walk Japan has kicked off ‘Kyoto: Mountains to the Sea’. This is an immersive, fully-guided eight day tour that eschews the usual well-trodden cultural sights and instead takes adventurous travellers to Kyoto’s the hidden beauty of Kyoto’s backcountry (such as pictured above). Tread on ancient trails through valleys and over high passes while visiting little known villages and staying in quaint traditional Japanese inns. Those who prefer plain vanilla tour packages need not sign up.

TA’AKTANA, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Labuan Bajo


  • TA’AKTANA, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Labuan Bajo, opens

TA’AKTANA, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Labuan Bajo is set to open at the end of this month. Part of Marriott International’s portfolio, opulent resort sanctuary TA’AKTANA (pictured above) is located on the coast of picturesque Flores on the westernmost edge of East Nusa Tenggara and offers a combination of suites, overwater villas, family villas and even a 3-bedroom mansion with ultra-luxurious amenities for the discerning traveller looking to relax and be spoiled silly. Particularly for the nature lover, there’s the Komodo National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, within easy reach by boat.

  • Katra Marriott Resort & Spa opens in Katra, India

Marriott International has opened Katra Marriott Resort & Spa, its 150th property in India. Located in the city of Katra within Jammu & Kashmir at the foot of the hills of Trikuta, the luxurious property offers 100 guest rooms, suites and cottages for travellers wishing to soak in the wondrous beauty and spiritual energy of the surrounding natural landscape where they indulge in leisurely nature walks or indulge in the vibrant culture and cuisines of Katra.

  • Four Points by Sheraton Sonmarg Resort 

Another hotel opening nearby in the region of India’s Jammu & Kashmir is Four Points by Sheraton Sonmarg Resort. Located near the iconic Zoji La Pass, this exquisite 47-room hotel in the picturesque resort town of Sonmarg targets leisure travellers, honeymooners and family vacationers with its breathtaking views of the Himalayan ranges and a suite of amenities aimed at helping them relax in between exploring the region.

  • Sheraton Hanoi West pops up in Vietnam’s culturally-rich capital

Vietnam’s bustling tourism scene welcomes yet another hotel opening as Sheraton Hanoi West, debuts. Previously the Hyatt Regency West Hanoi, this is Sheraton Hotels & Resorts’ second Sheraton Hotel in Hanoi. The reflagged property offers 520 keys with an extensive collection of guestrooms, suites and residences along with exceptional business and leisure facilities that include co-working style community spaces and function rooms.

  • NH Collection Helsinki Grand Hansa officially opens its doors in Finland capital

NH Collection debuts its first hotel in Finland with NH Collection Helsinki Grand Hansa this month. Located at right in the heart of the city with just a three-minute walk to The Central Railway Station, this property actually combines two heritage buildings – the Art Nouveau-style New Student House built in 1910, and Seurahuone, Helsinki’s oldest continuously operated hotel. You’re looking at 224 guest rooms and suites – plus an expansive presidential suite – that’s conveniently located near many cultural attractions and art museums, and is even within walking distance to contemporary Scandinavian restaurant Olo, which is 50 Best Discovery recommended.

Bruichladdich Micro Provenance Single Cask 0287 is a Singapore exclusive.

Product Releases

  • Bruichladdich releases Micro Provenance Single Cask 0287, a Singapore exclusive

Popular Islay distillery Bruichladdich has again issued an exclusive release from its Micro Provenance range for Singapore. The Bruichladdich Micro Provenance Single Cask 0287 follows Cask 0315 from 2022 and Cask 1898 from the preceding year. This time round Bruichladdich’s head distiller Adam Hannett has picked out a 60.3% ABV monster that’s been aged for 12 years in a second-fill Jurançon cask (which previously held a sweet vin doux naturel wine from Jurançon winemaking region in Southwest France). The Bruichladdich Micro Provenance Single Cask 0287 is available for purchase in Singapore exclusively at One Cellar at S$288.

[Photos courtesy of newsmakers]

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