Dubbed the “Oscars of the Asian gastronomic world,” the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants awards brings together the best restaurants and chefs across the largest continent on the planet. Let’s discover 10 of that 50 restaurants.
- Gaggan, Bangkok, Thailand
Gaggan Anand’s fertile imagination and culinary wit are played out in a lengthy but always fun tasting menu which balances the soulfulness of Indian street food with hyper-modern cooking techniques to unrivaled effect. The 25-course menu, written entirely in emojis, starts off with a series of rapid-fire snacks including the spherified Yoghurt Explosion, and proceeds through a long sequence of courses including Indian sushi, charcoal prawn Amritsari and uni ice cream in a miniature cone. At the end of the meal, guests are presented with a version of a menu that contains the names of the dishes.
- Den, Tokyo, Japan
Chef Zaiyu Hasegawa. His ingenuity and intent to make diners smile is paramount. A playful presentation is supported with technically savvy skills to create modern kaiseki, the style of Japanese cuisine involving a series of small, intricate dishes. Having made its debut in Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list in 2016 at No.37, it reaches No.2 in 2018, winning the title of The Best Restaurant in Japan.
- Florilege, Tokyo, Japan
Florilège, meaning anthology in French, is the stage for chef Hiroyasu Kawate’s imaginative modern French cooking. He plays with temperature and texture and isn’t afraid to combine produce sourced from France with Japanese ingredients. Must-try dishes include the green tiger prawn, duck and oxalis, as well as manjū dumplings stuffed with pigeon and simmered in port wine. The restaurant first won the One To Watch Award in 2016 and it rose 11 places up the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list in 2018, proof of its ever-growing popularity.
- Suhring, Bangkok, Thailand
In a city where German food offerings are sparse, the arrival of Sühring’s light, contemporary fare in 2016 was immediately welcome. Using seasonal ingredients and a large dose of technical skill, twins Thomas and Mathias Sühring offer tasting menus of seasonal dishes inspired by their home country. Sühring was the second highest new entry to Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants at No.13 in 2017 and now rises nine places to No.4.
- Odette, Singapore
Art lovers with a foodie streak (or vice versa) are in for a treat at Odette – a sophisticated French restaurant that is housed in Singapore’s National Gallery. Royer describes his cooking style as ‘essential cuisine’: the very best seasonal ingredients and artisan produce from around the world put centre stage in elegant and refined dishes.
- Narisawa, Tokyo, Japan
Chef Yoshihiro Narisawa is a pioneer in the world of Japanese cooking, taking a cuisine baked in tradition and applying new techniques learned through experience and years working with top chefs across Europe, South America and Asia.
- Amber, Hong Kong
Though Dutch-born chef-director Richard Ekkebus sets the culinary dial firmly to Western, he capitalises on his location in one of the world’s great ports to access fine ingredients from all over Asia as well as Europe and Australia, creating a unique cuisine framed by courtly Eastern service.
- Ultraviolet, Shanghai, China
Founded in 2012 after more than a decade’s gestation, Ultraviolet by Paul Pairet is considered by many to be the most avant-garde restaurant experience in the world. The brainchild of the aforementioned French chef, Ultraviolet is open to just 10 guests per night, who will experience the ultimate in immersive dining in a secret city location.
- Nihonryori Ryugin, Tokyo, Japan
hef Seiji Yamamoto marries Japan’s kaiseki tradition with a style and sensibility that is both contemporary and highly accessible, even for those visiting Tokyo for the first time.
- Nahm, Bangkok, Thailand
Chef David Thompson and his team take exquisite pains to ensure their dishes are perfectly balanced, but when Thai food is your metier, there’s an undeniable power to the flavours on the plate, with smoke, heat, sourness, funk and bitterness all playing their part.