Gaggan Is Asia's Best Restaurant For A Record Fourth Year

Digest

March 28, 2018 | BY Don Mendoza

The 2018 Asia's 50 Best Restaurants list revealed some unique surprises about the region's best dining destinations

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:

  1. Gaggan, Bangkok Thailand 
  2. Den, Tokyo, Japan
  3. Florilege, Tokyo, Japan
  4. Suhring, Bangkok, Thailand
  5. Odette, Singapore
  6.  Narisawa, Tokyo, Japan
  7. Amber, Hong Kong, China
  8. Ultraviolet, Shanghai, China
  9. Nihonryori RyuGin, Tokyo, Japan
  10. Nahm, Bangkok, Thailand
  11. Mingles, Seoul, Korea
  12. Burnt Ends, Singapore
  13. 8 1/2 Otto e Mezzo Bombana, Hong Kong, China
  14. Le Du, Bangkok, Thailand
  15. Raw, Taipei, Taiwan
  16. Ta Vie, Hong Kong, China
  17. La Cime, Osaka, Japan
  18. Mume, Taipei, Taiwan
  19. Indian Accent, New Delhi, India
  20. L'Effervescence, Tokyo, Japan
  21. Locavore, Bali, Indonesia
  22. The Chairman, Hong Kong, China
  23. Waku Ghin, Singapore
  24. Lung King Heen, Hong Kong, China
  25. Ministry of Crab, Colombo, Sri Lanka
  26. Jungsik, Seoul, Korea
  27. Sushi Saito, Tokyo Japan
  28. Il Ristorante - Luca Fantin, Tokyo, Japan
  29. Les Amis, Singapore 
  30. Fu He Hui, Shanghai, China
  31. Paste, Bangkok, Thailand
  32. Neighborhood, Hong Kong, China
  33. Eat Me, Bangkok, Thailand
  34. Hajime, Osaka, Japan
  35. Jade Dragon, Macau, China
  36. Corner House, Singapore 
  37. Bo.Lan, Bangkok, Thailand
  38. Quintessence, Tokyo, Japan
  39. Issaya Siamese Club, Bangkok, Thailand 
  40. Belon, Hong Kong, China
  41. Ronin, Hong Kong, China
  42. TocToc, Seoul, Korea
  43. The Dining Room at The House On Sathorn, Bangkok, Thailand
  44. Jaan, Singapore
  45. Nihonbashi, Colombo, India
  46. Caprice, Hong Kong, China
  47. Shoun RyuGin, Taipei, Taiwan
  48. La Maison de la Nature Goh, Fukuoka, Japan
  49. Wasabi By Morimoto, Mumbai, India
  50. Whitegrass, Singapore

For more details about Asia' 50 Best Restaurants 2018, visit the official website.

With additional reporting from Charmaine Mok

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