Bangkok’s Gaggan Bags the No. 1 Spot at Asia’s 50 Best Restaurant Awards
Gaggan Anand’s eponymous restaurant in Bangkok is once again The Best Restaurant in Asia, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna, and The Best Restaurant in Thailand.
Amidst speculations and a nail-biting awards ceremony the affable Gaggan kept the top spot for a fourth consecutive year. During his acceptance speech Anand said: “I am not just a proud winner but this time — for the first time — I was least stressed for what my number would be, and the more happening thing was that we (restaurants and chefs) would meet and greet. We have become a family and that’s the best thing that’s happened over the six years with 50 Best. We have young chefs taking over the old ones. So it’s time for us to leave and you guys to take over.” Dubbed as the Oscars of the food world, the awards matched the glitter of this year’s venue. Held in Macau for the first time at the stunning Wynn Palace, the awards ceremony gathered together the best chefs in Asia.
Locavore in Ubud, Bali rose one spot to No. 21 and kept its title as The Best Restaurant in Indonesia. Now in its sixth year, the 2018 list includes eight new entries, with Japan claiming 11 restaurants. Hong Kong and Thailand both have 9 restaurants on the list, while Singapore has 7 restaurants. Taipei has 3, while Mainland China, India and Sri Lanka all have 2 restaurants. Host city Macau has one, Jade Dragon (No. 35).
Den (No.2) rises nine places to earn the title of The Best Restaurant in Japan, replacing five-time title holder Narisawa (No.6). The top 10 also includes Florilège (No.3), Sühring (rising nine places to No.4); Rising four places to No.5, is chef Julien Royer’s Odette which claims the title of The Best Restaurant in Singapore. Amber (No.7) in Hong Kong is named The Best Restaurant in China for a third successive year. With Japan’s Nihonryori RyuGin (No.9) and Bangkok’s Nahm (No.10).
Newcomer Paste (No.31) in Bangkok, known for it’s innovative Thai cuisine with respect for tradtion, received double recognition as chef Bongkoch ‘Bee’ Satongun, is also named elit® Vodka Asia’s Best Female Chef 2018.
Hong Kong’s The Chairman (No.22) and Mume in Taipei (No.18) tie for the Highest Climber Award with both restaurants rising 25 places.
Japanese chefs and restaurants were recognized in several individual award categories. Acclaimed chef Yoshihiro Narisawa is this year’s recipient of the peer-voted Chefs’ Choice Award, sponsored by Estrella Damm. For two decades, Narisawa has earned the respect of his peers with his refined dishes and ability to blend French cooking techniques, employ sustainable practices and honour Japanese culinary traditions.
Ranked No.20 on the 2018 list, L’Effervescence in Tokyo has won the inaugural Sustainable Restaurant Award in Asia. The award is given to the restaurant with the highest environmental and social responsibility rating, as determined by audit partner the Sustainable Restaurant Association.
Asia’s Best Pastry Chef Award, sponsored by Valrhona: Nicolas Lambert, Caprice, Hong Kong
Hailing from a family of patissiers, Nicolas Lambert honed his skills training alongside world-acclaimed French pastry chefs, including Christophe Michalak at Hôtel Plaza Athénée in Paris. Since joining Caprice in Hong Kong in 2015, the French chef’s delicate creations and artful plating have earned him a devoted following. His signature ‘La Framboise Reconstituée’ reveals his technical skills as well as his ability to push creative boundaries.
The Art of Hospitality Award: Ultraviolet by Paul Pairet, Shanghai, China Consistently within the top 10 of Asia’s 50 Best, Ultraviolet is an immersive, multi-sensory dining experience that combines gastronomic mastery and theatrical wizardry. Transported to a mystery purpose-built venue, guests are served a tasting menu in which each course is accompanied by bespoke lighting, visual effects and other senses-stimulating cues.
Other award recipients include Toyo Eatery in Manila earning the Miele One To Watch Award for its modern interpretations of Filipino culinary traditions. Celebrated chef André Chiang, of Raw in Taipei and formerly of Restaurant André in Singapore, is this year’s deserving recipient of The Diners Club® Lifetime Achievement Award.
William Drew, Group Editor of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants, said: “The Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list welcomes eight new entries in 2018, reflecting the ongoing culinary innovation happening in this region. In its sixth year, Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants continues to recognise new talents, identify industry trends and celebrate excellence. We are thrilled to honour the 50 restaurants on the 2018 list, as well as the individual award winners, who inspire us with their singular visions and remarkable achievements.”
Photos by Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants sponsored by S. Pellegrino & Aqua Panna