Odette, Singapore, Lands the No.1 Spot
The 2019 list of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna, was announced at an awards ceremony at Wynn Palace, Macao. After holding the No.1 spot for four consecutive years, Gaggan in Bangkok moves to No.2, acceding to Odette in Singapore. Chef Julien Royer’s Odette claims the coveted titles of The Best Restaurant in Asia, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna, and The Best Restaurant in Singapore. Gaggan retains the title of The Best Restaurant in Thailand.
The 2019 list features 10 new restaurants, including two first-time entries from Thailand: Sorn (No.48) and Gaa, making its debut on the list at No.16. Gaa has double reason to celebrate. As well as claiming the Highest New Entry Award, executive chef Garima Arora is named elit™ Vodka Asia’s Best Female Chef 2019.
Thailand is also represented by Sühring (No.4), Bo.Lan (No.19), Le Du (No.20), Nahm (No22) and Paste, the latter climbing three places to No.28.
The 2019 list reflects the diversity and vitality of the ever-evolving Asian gastronomic scene, featuring 10 new restaurants, including a first-time entry from Malaysia (Dewakan, No.46) and a new restaurant in the Philippines (Toyo Eatery, No.43), a country last represented in the list in 2017Host destination Macao counts two restaurants with Jade Dragon rising eight places to No.27 and Wing Lei Palace debuting at No.36.
William Drew, Group Editor of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants, said: “Now in its seventh year, the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list continues to evolve, inspire and showcase emerging talent. The 2019 list welcomes 10 new restaurants, including a first-time entry from Malaysia, and celebrates the ongoing culinary innovation in the region.”
Individual Country Awards:
Singapore claims seven entries on the list, including Odette. Housed in the iconic National Gallery Singapore, Odette serves Asian-inspired modern French cuisine, each dish presented with impeccable style and characteristic perfection. Taking its name from Royer’s maternal grandmother, Odette earned Asia’s Highest New Entry Award in 2017 before debuting on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list last year at No.28.
Other Singapore entries include newcomer Nouri making a bow at No.39 and longtime favourites Burnt Ends and Jaan rising to No.10 and No.32 respectively. The remaining Singapore restaurants are Les Amis (No.33), Waku Ghin (No.40) and Corner House (No.49).
Japan leads the 2019 list with 12 entries. Fronting this group is Den (No.3), earning the title of The Best Restaurant in Japan for a second consecutive year. Den’s charismatic chef, Zaiyu Hasegawa, was also rewarded for his innovative approach and named the 2019 recipient of the Chefs’ Choice Award, sponsored by Estrella Damm, the only award voted for by the chefs of the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2019 list to recognize a peer making a positive impact on the restaurant scene. The top 10 also includes Japan restaurants Florilège (No.5), Narisawa (No.8) and Nihonryori RyuGin (No.9). Sazenka and Sugalabo, both in Tokyo, are newcomers to the list, landing at No.23 and No.47 respectively.
Hong Kong counts nine restaurants on the list, including The Chairman (rising from No.22 to No.11), 8½ Otto e Mezzo Bombana (No.12), Amber (No.21), Neighborhood (No.37), Lung King Heen (No.38) and Ta Vie (No.50). Soaring 25 places to No.15, modern French bistro Belon is crowned with this year’s Highest Climber Award.
Host destination Macao counts two restaurants with Jade Dragon rising eight places to No.27 and Wing Lei Palace debuting at No.36.
Ultraviolet by Paul Pairet (No.6) in Shanghai is named The Best Restaurant in China. Hong Kong counts nine restaurants on the list, including The Chairman (rising from No.22 to No.11) and first-time entries Vea (No.34) and Seventh Son (No.44). Soaring 25 places to No.15, modern French bistro Belon is crowned with this year’s Highest Climber Award.
Ascending 11 places to No.7, Mume in Taipei clinches the title of The Best Restaurant in Taiwan, besting two-time winner, Raw (No.30).
Locavore (No.42) in Bali earns dual honors. As well as holding the title of The Best Restaurant in Indonesia, Locavore wins the Sustainable Restaurant Award in Asia, presented to the restaurant with the highest environmental and social responsibility rating, as determined by audit partner Food Made Good.
Indian Accent, rising two places to No. 17, returns as The Best Restaurant in India for a fifth successive year. Ministry of Crab in Colombo (No.35) is named The Best Restaurant in Sri Lanka for a fourth time while Toyo Eatery, the 2018 recipient of the Miele One To Watch Award, enters the list at No.43, claiming the honor of The Best Restaurant in the Philippines. Popular Seoul restaurant Mingles (No.13) retains the title of The Best Restaurant in Korea.
- Other award winners announced include:
Asia’s Best Pastry Chef Award, sponsored by Valrhona: Fabrizio Fiorani from Il Ristorante Luca Fantin, Tokyo
Italian chef Fabrizio Fiorani developed his pastry skills in the kitchens of such acclaimed restaurants as La Pergola in his native Rome and Enoteca Pinchiorri in Florence. Expanding his horizons, he traveled to Dubai and Portugal before settling in Tokyo. His desserts seamlessly complement chef Luca Fantin’s contemporary Italian tasting menu and Fiorani’s first cookbook, Tra L’Onirico e Il Reale (Between Dreams and Reality), was published in 2018.
- Art of Hospitality Award: 8½ Otto e Mezzo Bombana
Since 2008, Hong Kong’s 8½ Otto e Mezzo Bombana has been celebrating chef Umberto Bombana’s native cuisine, serving refined Italian food with the finest seasonal ingredients sourced from around the world. After debuting on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list in 2013 at No.39, the restaurant has ranked within the top 20 of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list for seven consecutive years. 8½ Otto e Mezzo Bombana’s outstanding hospitality, led by General Manager Marino Braccu, creates a highly refined but warm atmosphere in which diners can enjoy Chef Bombana’s creations.
Other individual award recipients include JL Studio in Taichung, Taiwan, earning the Miele One To Watch Award for its modern interpretations of Singapore cuisine. Celebrated chef Seiji Yamamoto, of Nihonryori RyuGin in Japan, is the inaugural winner of the American Express Icon Award.
- How the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list is compiled
The list is created from the votes of the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants Academy, an influential group of over 300 leaders in the restaurant industry across Asia, each selected for their expert opinion of Asia’s restaurant scene. The panel in each region is made up of food writers and critics, chefs, restaurateurs, and highly regarded ‘gastronomes’. Members list their choices in order of preference, based on their best restaurant experiences of the previous 18 months. There is no pre-determined checklist of criteria, but there are strict voting rules.
For the 2019 edition, Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants is once again working with professional services consultancy Deloitte as its official independent adjudication partner. The adjudication by Deloitte ensures that the integrity and authenticity of the voting process and the resulting list of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants are protected.