The biggest night of the year for Asian restaurateurs has come and gone: the announcement of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2017, presented by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna. The all-important list was revealed tonight at an exclusive awards ceremony in Bangkok, attended by top chefs, media and VIP guests.
The big winner of the night was Gaggan, taking the coveted #1 spot for an impressive third year in a row, with the eponymous chef’s progressive Indian cooking still making a vivid, lasting impression on the judges (Gaggan currently sits at #23 on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list). Singapore’s Restaurant André and Hong Kong’s Amber each rose one spot to claim second and third place on the list; while Tokyo’s Narisawa fell from #2 to #6. China, Japan, Singapore and Thailand tied for the most represented nations, each securing nine spots on the list, while 2017 saw 10 new entries in total, with four from Bangkok alone.
Including Amber, Hong Kong secured a total of seven spots on the list. The only newcomer was Ronin, headed by chef Matt Abergel, which debuted at #45, while Lung King Heen at the Four Seasons (#17) and L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon (#41) placed similarly to last year (Robuchon’s Bangkok restaurant also made its way onto the list this year). The Chairman dropped from #27 to #47, while 8 1/2 Otto e Mezzo Bombana rose nine spots to #4, with chef Umberto Bombana also taking home the Diners Club® Lifetime Achievement Award 2017. After debuting at #48 in 2016, Ta Vie rose to #33 this year. Meanwhile, our sister SAR made an appearance on this year’s list with two new entries, Jade Dragon and The Tasting Room.
Little Bao’s May Chow was on hand at the ceremony to pick up her prestigious award of Asia’s Best Female Chef 2017, with a heartfelt acceptance speech during which she rightly acknowledged Asia doesn’t have nearly enough female chefs. Hong Kong chef Umberto Bombana also took the stage to receive his lifetime achievement award.
The Miele One to Watch Award went to TocToc in Seoul, a rising star in the region headed by chef-owner Kim Dae-chun. Also noteworthy: Asia’s Best Pastry Chef 2017 was awarded to Kazutoshi Narita from Japan, Locavore in Bali picked up the Highest Climber Award (up 27 spots from 2016), Dave Pynt of Singapore’s Burnt Ends snagged the Chefs’ Choice Award, and the Highest New Entry went to Odette in Singapore (#9) — the highest debut for any restaurant in the awards’ five-year history.
New this year was the Art of Hospitality Award, which went to Den in Tokyo, for its superb attention to personalisation and detail in customer service. Other big winners of the night included two standouts from Tokyo: Florilège, which debuted at #14 this year after winning last year’s One to Watch award; and Narisawa, which won Best in Japan for the fifth consecutive year.
Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants are chosen based on the individual experiences and votes of the Academy — a group of 300 well-travelled and experienced gourmands, food critics, chefs and restaurateurs in Asia, hand-selected for their expertise in the industry. The Academy is divided into six regions, with each region hosting a panel of 53 Academy members who submit seven votes each based on restaurants they have visited in the past 18 months.
Here are all of this year’s winners (Hong Kong restaurants are noted in bold):
- Gaggan, Bangkok, Thailand (Best in Thailand)
- Restaurant André, Singapore (Best in Singapore)
- Amber, Hong Kong, China (Best in China)
- 8 1/2 Otto e Mezzo Bombana, Hong Kong, China
- Nahm, Bangkok, Thailand
- Narisawa, Tokyo, Japan (Best in Japan)
- Nihonryori Ryugin, Tokyo, Japan
- Ultraviolet by Paul Pairet, Shanghai, China
- Odette, Singapore (New)
- Burnt Ends, Singapore
- Den, Tokyo, Japan
- L’Effervescence, Tokyo, Japan
- Sühring, Bangkok, Thailand (New)
- Florilège, Tokyo, Japan (New)
- Mingles, Seoul, Korea (Best in Korea)
- Les Amis, Singapore
- Lung King Heen, Hong Kong, China
- Quintessence, Tokyo, Japan
- Bo.Lan, Bangkok, Thailand
- Waku Ghin, Singapore
- Issaya Siamese Club, Bangkok, Thailand
- Locavore, Bali, Indonesia (Best in Indonesia)
- Corner House, Singapore
- Raw, Taipei, Taiwan (Best in Taiwan)
- Jungsik, Seoul, Korea
- Sushi Saito, Tokyo, Japan
- Tippling Club, Singapore
- Le Moût, Taichung, Taiwan
- Ministry of Crab, Colombo, Sri Lanka (Best in Sri Lanka)
- Indian Accent, New Delhi, India (Best in India)
- Eat Me, Bangkok, Thailand
- Jade Dragon, Macau, China (New)
- Ta Vie, Hong Kong, China
- Hajime, Osaka, Japan
- Gallery Vask, Manila, Philippines (Best in Philippines)
- The Dining Room at The House On Sathorn, Bangkok, Thailand (New)
- Le Du, Bangkok, Thailand (New)
- La Yeon, Seoul, South Korea
- The Tasting Room by Galliot, Macau, China (New)
- L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon, Bangkok, Thailand (New)
- L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon, Hong Kong, China
- Jaan, Singapore
- Mume, Taipei, Taiwan (New)
- Shinji by Kanesaka, Singapore
- Ronin, Hong Kong, China (New)
- Wasabi by Morimoto, Mumbai, India
- The Chairman, Hong Kong, China
- Fu He Hui, Shanghai, China
- Nihonbashi, Colombo, Sri Lanka
- Takazawa, Tokyo, Japan
For more information on this year’s list, visit theworlds50best.com/asia.
Photo courtesy of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2017, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna.