Gaggan Is Asia's Best Restaurant For A Record Fourth Year
No one could have a predicted a more remarkable outcome, not even the man of the hour Gaggan Anand; his eponymous restaurant made history by topping the sixth edition of the annual Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list for a record fourth time.
Held for the first time in Macau at the impressive Wynn Palace, the awards was also “the least stressful” for Anand. “I feel like Bjorn Borg winning Wimbledon for four years straight, and I hope I didn’t burn out,” he quipped at a short press conference following the announcement.
See also: Emoji Speak With Gaggan Anand
“It’s like you get what you want, and you don’t expect it again and again, and again." He did, however, affirm that his success reflects the importance of innovation. “It’s not about a recipe or a dish but how you innovate in that 150sqm (space) that you have, and how it impacts every diner that comes there.
“And that innovation is a continuous process … every four months we decide to change the menu, and when we change the menu, 80 per cent of the dishes are thrown to the garbage; and that’s what you sacrifice to be where I am.”
Following closely are equally creative restaurants with a bold approach to creating a memorable dining experience. At No. 2 is Zaiyu Hasegawa’s Den, Japan’s best restaurant, while the third spot went to another Japanese innovator, Florilege in Tokyo, Japan, led by chef Hiroyasu Kawate’s imaginative modern French cooking. The highest placing for a Singapore restaurant is Odette, which climbed four spots to secure their position at No. 5 on the list.
Of course, many were excited to see native chefs make their mark, such as Thailand’s Bongkoch ‘Bee’ Satongun of Paste restaurant in Bangkok, which debuts at No. 31. She was this year’s Best Female Chef award recipient, and is noted for her focus on reviving age-old recipes and putting a progressive and personal spin on them. The win reminded some of the previous recipient and Bangkok’s other native innovator Duangporn ‘Bo’ Songvisava of Bo.Lan who was honoured in 2013. Her restaurant, however, dropped 18 places to No. 37.
Though no restaurant from the Philippines made the list this year, chef-owner Jordy Navarra’s Toyo Eatery in Manila was honoured with this year’s Miele One To Watch award. “With a menu celebrating local culture and traditional dishes, Navarra is a young talent who is advancing the cuisine with creative flair and a progressive approach, but also with precision and attention to detail,” shares William Drew, Group Editor of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants.
This year also saw major movements and long-overdue recognition of Hong Kong players, with T.Dining Top 20 Best Restaurants awardees Belon and Neighborhood entering the list for the first time, and T.Dining's two-time best pastry chef winner Nicolas Lambert voted as Asia's Best Pastry Chef.
Here’s a quick look at this year’s Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants:
- Gaggan, Bangkok Thailand
- Den, Tokyo, Japan
- Florilege, Tokyo, Japan
- Suhring, Bangkok, Thailand
- Odette, Singapore
- Narisawa, Tokyo, Japan
- Amber, Hong Kong, China
- Ultraviolet, Shanghai, China
- Nihonryori RyuGin, Tokyo, Japan
- Nahm, Bangkok, Thailand
- Mingles, Seoul, Korea
- Burnt Ends, Singapore
- 8 1/2 Otto e Mezzo Bombana, Hong Kong, China
- Le Du, Bangkok, Thailand
- Raw, Taipei, Taiwan
- Ta Vie, Hong Kong, China
- La Cime, Osaka, Japan
- Mume, Taipei, Taiwan
- Indian Accent, New Delhi, India
- L'Effervescence, Tokyo, Japan
- Locavore, Bali, Indonesia
- The Chairman, Hong Kong, China
- Waku Ghin, Singapore
- Lung King Heen, Hong Kong, China
- Ministry of Crab, Colombo, Sri Lanka
- Jungsik, Seoul, Korea
- Sushi Saito, Tokyo Japan
- Il Ristorante - Luca Fantin, Tokyo, Japan
- Les Amis, Singapore
- Fu He Hui, Shanghai, China
- Paste, Bangkok, Thailand
- Neighborhood, Hong Kong, China
- Eat Me, Bangkok, Thailand
- Hajime, Osaka, Japan
- Jade Dragon, Macau, China
- Corner House, Singapore
- Bo.Lan, Bangkok, Thailand
- Quintessence, Tokyo, Japan
- Issaya Siamese Club, Bangkok, Thailand
- Belon, Hong Kong, China
- Ronin, Hong Kong, China
- TocToc, Seoul, Korea
- The Dining Room at The House On Sathorn, Bangkok, Thailand
- Jaan, Singapore
- Nihonbashi, Colombo, India
- Caprice, Hong Kong, China
- Shoun RyuGin, Taipei, Taiwan
- La Maison de la Nature Goh, Fukuoka, Japan
- Wasabi By Morimoto, Mumbai, India
- Whitegrass, Singapore
For more details about Asia' 50 Best Restaurants 2018, visit the official website.
With additional reporting from Charmaine Mok