FOOD lovers and tourists might soon be able to check out how many stars their favourite restaurants in Singapore score in a local edition of the prestigious Michelin Guide.
The famous little red guide book, published by the French tyre company Michelin, is regarded by foodies as an authority on fine dining.
It now believes that Singapore has a sufficient number of top restaurants to warrant its own edition.
Said Mr Jean-Luc Naret, director of the guide book: 'There are some very talented chefs here who combine a bit of every type of cuisine together, which makes Singapore an interesting gastronomic destination in Asia.'
The guide, which was first published in 1900, employs inspectors who dine at restaurants anonymously and award stars for good food and service. One star means a very good restaurant and three stars, the highest rating, stands for exceptional cuisine.
The annual guides are published in 22 countries. The first guide on an Asian city - Tokyo - was published last year. Mr Naret would not say when the Singapore edition would be published.
Speaking at the World Gourmet Summit Awards Luncheon on Saturday, he said: 'Singapore is on the map for a Michelin Guide, but the chefs here can relax because our inspectors are not in your restaurants yet.'
Straits Times food critic Wong Ah Yoke, 47, welcomed the debut of the guide in Singapore.
He said: 'The opening of the integrated resorts in the next few years is expected to bring in world-renowned restaurateurs and chefs, which should raise the profile of the restaurant scene here.'
A spokesman for restaurant group Les Amis, which won five awards at the World Gourmet Summit, said: 'Singapore is often associated with great hawker food, not fine dining. A Singapore Michelin Guide will put the country on the fine-dining radar of gourmands around the world.'