Restaurant wish list: 15 global eateries we’re dying to try in 2015

CNN  — 

It’s going to be a great year for global foodies.

Some of the world’s biggest restaurants are exporting their brands to other countries – some permanently, others only temporarily – while top chefs are opening exciting new ventures.

Here are some restaurant openings and events we can’t wait to experience, as well as a few classics worth revisiting.

Santina (New York)

The Mario Carbone, Jeff Zalaznick and Rich Torrisi partnership expands with the recent launch of Santina near the Highline in Manhattan.

Despite the Meatpacking District location, the focus here is on seafood, along with the group’s Italian cuisine, which has proved successful in their Carbone restaurants in both New York and Hong Kong.

Santina is named after Mario’s grandmother, so Sicily will be featured strongly on the menu.

Santina, 820 Washington St., New York; +1 212 254 3000

The Fat Duck (Melbourne, Australia)

Heston Blumenthal’s groundbreaking Fat Duck is temporarily decamping from wintry Berkshire in the UK to sunnier climes in Melbourne, Australia.

The relocation to The Crown Towers Hotel offers diners the same three-Michelin-star experience and menu as the original, promising “a multi-sensory phantasmagoria.”

You’re out of luck though if you’d like a table – all reservations for the six-month stint have already been filled via an online ballot system that’s now closed. Time to work that network of yours for an invite.

The Fat Duck will be in Melbourne from February 3 to August 15, 2015.

The Fat Duck, Level 3 Crown Towers, 8 Whiteman St., Southbank, Melbourne, Australia; +61 3 9292 5778

It's edible, they promise!

Noma at The Mandarin Oriental Tokyo

Great chefs apparently think alike – Rene Redzepi’s Copenhagen-based NOMA is also taking a break from Europe and heading East, in this case for a stint at Tokyo’s Mandarin Oriental hotel from January 9 until February 14, 2015.

Beef tartare with ants, reindeer moss with cep mushrooms and sea urchin and duck are among the 20 servings offered across both the lunch and dinner menus.

Once again however the six-week visit has sold out.

Noma, 2-1-1 Nihonbashi Muromachi, Chuo-ku, Tokyo; +81 3 3270 8800

Tivano, Temple House (Chengdu, China)

With 14 million people, China’s fourth most populous city is renowned as a gastronome’s paradise for its often fiery but always nuanced Sichuan cuisine, available everywhere from street stalls to high-end restaurants.

One missing piece in Chengdu has been high-end Western dining.

That will change with the May opening of Italian restaurant Tivano in the city’s new Temple House hotel that’ll specialize in northern Italian cuisine and wines.

Tivano, 81 Bitieshi St., Jinjiang District, Chengdu, China; +86 28 6636 9999

Flames, Four Seasons Hotel The Westcliff (Johannesburg)

Joburg’s venerable Westcliff Hotel, with views over jacaranda tree covered-hills and the elephants of the city’s zoo, is reborn as The Four Seasons following a $50 million renovation.

With it comes, Flames promises an authentic South African braai (barbecue) experience under chef Dirk Gieselmann.

Specialties including boerewors and sosaties alongside kebabs and stellar steaks are accompanied by local beers and wines.

Flames, Four Seasons Hotel, The Westcliff, 67 Jan Smuts Ave., Johannesburg; +27 11 481 6000

Hottest restaurants that opened in 2014

Ciltern Firehouse is a hotspot for celebs like David Beckham, Cara Delevingne and Rita Ora.

Chiltern Firehouse (London)

Within days of opening, Chiltern Firehouse quickly became London’s most talked about restaurant, bar and celebrity draw, a fixture of gossip columns.

Dating from 1890, the building originally housed fire engines and now plays host to Portuguese chef Nuno Mendes’ innovative cuisine with influences and ingredients from around the world.

One downside of its popularity is that reservations can be hard to come by.

Chiltern Firehouse, 1 Chiltern St., Marleybone, London; +44 20 7073 7676

Black Sheep (Manila, Philippines)

One effect of the growing global appreciation of cuisine from the Philippines has been a restaurant renaissance in the capital Manila.

Chef Jordy Navarra, a protege of the Fat Duck, is emblematic of the new wave.

He’s taken the Heston Blumenthal model of clever deconstruction of dishes and melded it with local Filipino produce, all in a dramatic penthouse setting overlooking the city.

Black Sheep, Penthouse at W. 5th Ave., Taguig, Manila, Philippines; +63 2 478 4498

Restaurant David Toutain (Paris)

Toutain’s eponymous restaurant in the 7th arrondissement quickly won critical and customer acclaim for his inventive and unusual creations.

Cauliflower mousse with coconut ice cream or fish with rhubarb and peas show that he isn’t shy about pushing boundaries.

The setting however is relaxed and un-stuffy and a world away from traditional French haute cuisine.

Restaurant David Toutain, 29, Rue Surcouf, Paris; +33 1 45 50 1110

Corner House (Singapore)

Jason Tan delivers what he calls “gastro-botanica,” an approach that gives equal weight on the plate to protein and plants.

The description is further understood given the restaurant’s location in the Singapore Botanic Gardens.

He reinterprets local dishes such as Kaya Toast.

Ohers plates show his classical French training at Robuchon au Dome in Macau.

Corner House, 1 Cluny Road, E J H Corner House, Singapore Botanic Gardens, Singapore; +65 6469 1000

Lasai (Rio de Janeiro)

In a city more famous for its relaxed beach bars and street food, young chef Rafael Costa e Silva has opened Lasai in the city’s Botafogo district.

He trained at the legendary Mugaritz in San Sebastian so knows modernist cuisine and fine plating inside out, as reflected in the two tasting menus that feature produce from the restaurant’s own gardens as well as the country’s famously good meats.

Lasai, Rua Conde de Iraja, 191,Rio de Janeiro; +55 21 3449 1834

Classic restaurants

Considering you're eating works of art, Zazu is surprisingly laid back.

Zazu (Quito, Ecuador)

Zazu’s bright, sleek main dining room has a buzzy, laid back international feel, with a clientele to match.

Any Ecuadorean will proudly insist that ceviche is their country’s national dish, not Peru’s.

One option at Zazu features local stone crab served with olive oil, chili and, of course, lime juice.

The suckling pig tacos might be an even better choice.

Zazu, Mariano Aguilerra 331 y La Pradera, Quito, Ecuador; +593 2 254 3559

Statholdergaarden (Oslo, Norway)

Bent Stiansen is a titan of Norway’s food scene and a former holder of the hugely prestigious Bocuse d’Or.

He uses the country’s extraordinary natural bounty to maximum effect, with shellfish and other seafood often at the forefront of his six-course Michelin-starred menu.

The dining room features crystal, porcelain, chandeliers and fresh flowers under a remarkable stucco ceiling.

Statholdergaarden, Radhusgata 11, Oslo; +47 22 41 88 00

Waterside Inn (Bray, UK)

Few restaurants are as charming as Michel Roux’s legendary Waterside Inn on the banks of the Thames in the culinary hotspot of Bray.

It’s a temple of French gastronomy, a three Michelin-starred pantheon of la cuisine classique now helmed by Michel’s son Alain and run with faultless hospitality from the amuse-bouche through to the petit four.

Waterside Inn, Ferry Road, Bray, West Berkshire, United Kingdom; +44 1628 620 691

Amber, The Landmark Mandarin Oriental (Hong Kong)

Under Dutch maestro Richard Ekkebus, Amber at the Landmark Mandarin has gone from strength to strength.

The mystery for serious diners is why he’s not been awarded an elusive but thoroughly merited third Michelin star to join the two he’s held for a decade.

Ekkebus takes classic French technique and execution and throws in global flavors and produce to deliver often brilliantly innovative dishes, delivering an atlas of exemplary cuisine on a plate.

Amber, The Landmark Mandarin Oriental, 15 Queen’s Road Central, Hong Kong; +852 2132 0066

Chez Panisse (Berkeley, California)

Few chefs have had as much impact on contemporary American cuisine as Alice Waters.

She opened Chez Panisse back in 1971 and espoused a philosophy that has now become mainstream, namely to eat local, seasonal produce wherever possible.

Her legendary Berkeley restaurant is a warm, inviting temple to this thinking where the ingredients do the talking for a menu that changes daily.

Chez Panisse, 1517 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley, California; +1 510 548 5525

Chris Dwyer is a Hong Kong-based communications consultant and food writer. For his restaurant reviews, chef interviews and more visit