For the first time since the pandemic began, the latest winners of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants were announced at a glittering LIVE awards ceremony, held yesterday at Resorts World Sentosa in Singapore.
This year’s top 10 restaurants in Asia
Topping the list for the first time is French-influenced modern Thai restaurant Le Du in Bangkok, which ranked number 4 last year and has been a consistent member of the list since 2017. Helmed by young chef Thitid “Ton” Tassanakajohn, the eatery champions the use of seasonal, local ingredients. Le Du has swapped places with last year’s number 1 entry, Den in Tokyo, which has dropped to number 4. Needless to say, Bangkok and Tokyo dominate the top 10 portion of the list this year.
At number 2 – and climbing 15 places – is French restaurant Sézanne, located at the Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo, while the number 3 spot has been taken by another eatery in Bangkok – Nusara, also overseen by Chef Tassanakajohn, offering innovative Thai cuisine. At number 5, Bangkok comes in strong once again with Indian celeb chef Gaggan Anand’s eponymous restaurant. Singapore’s Odette climbs two spots to number 6, while numbers 7 and 8 go to Japan – namely, Florilège in Tokyo and Osaka’s La Cime, with Florilège’s chef-owner, Hiroyasu Kawate, taking home the peer-voted Inedit Damm Chefs’ Choice Award. Rounding out the top 10 are Bangkok’s Sorn at number 9 and Tokyo’s Narisawa at number 10 – its astonishing 11th appearance on the list since it debuted in 2013.
This year in Hong Kong
- 13. The Chairman
- 29. Neighborhood
- 37. WING
- 41. MONO
- 49. Caprice
We are disappointed that no HK restaurants feature in the top 10 this year and that only five have made the top 50, likely a result of all the travel and dining restrictions that have taken their toll on our city’s vibrant F&B scene. In 2021, Cantonese superstar The Chairman topped the list, dropping to number 5 last year. This year, it ranks at number 13, retaining the title of The Best Restaurant in Hong Kong.
Close to home, Della Tang of Ensue (31) in Shenzhen wins the inaugural Beronia Asia’s Best Sommelier Award. At just 32 years old, the female sommelier’s unique background in psychology has given way to her ability to instinctively understand diners’ wine preferences.
Outside Hong Kong
At nine entries each, Singapore ties Bangkok for the city with the most restaurants in the top 50. Marking a double win for the Lion City, Louisa Lim of Odette has been named Asia’s Best Pastry Chef for her imaginative confections, while Asia’s Best Female Chef is Johanne Siy, who runs the kitchen at Lolla, a cool-cat spot specialising in Mediterranean small plates that continues to go from strength to strength under the capable direction of the Filipino chef. The Highest Climber Award goes to “new Singaporean” dining destination Labyrinth, rising an incredible 29 spots to number 11. New Nordic restaurant Zén (21) has swooped the Gin Mare Art of Hospitality Award.
As usual, Japan is killing it on the list, with 10 restaurants featuring in the top 50. In addition to all the awards mentioned above, Shinobu Namae, the executive chef of L’Effervescence (20) in Tokyo, has received the Icon Award for his pioneering efforts in sustainability (notably, L’Effervescence has been voted into nine editions of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants and also received the Sustainable Restaurant Award in 2018 as well as the Highest Climber Award in 2021).
We’re always excited to learn about the latest recipient of the American Express One to Watch Award. This year, the gong goes to August, a bold Jakarta restaurant founded by Chef Hans Christian and restaurateur Budi Cahyad featuring a 14-course tasting menu that showcases inventive takes on regional Indonesian flavours. We love that the dining room design encompasses bookshelves lined with the team’s favourite tomes.
In the Philippines, Manila’s Toyo Eatery (42) wins the Flor de Caña Sustainable Restaurant Award. Chef-owner Jordy Navarra is an advocate for conservation and preservation, working with small-scale producers while respecting culture and tradition at the same time.
Moving to India, Avartana, located at the ITC Grand Chola hotel in Chennai, has debuted at number 30, claiming the Highest New Entry Award. The restaurant’s focus is on creative South Indian dishes with a molecular gastronomic twist.
The complete top 50 list
Click here for more information on each of the top 50 winners for 2023.