Considered as one of the most important recognition for restaurants around the world, the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants awards was held on Tuesday night (March 26) at Macau’s Wynn Palace.
Sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna, the seventh annual award ceremony was attended by chefs, restaurateurs, and industry leaders.
Singapore’s French fine dining restaurant Odette, helmed by chef Julien Royer, cinched the top restaurant in Asia. It knocks off Bangkok’s Gaggan — the former No.1 restaurant for the past four years — down a notch to the second spot. Gaggan though still has a chance to reclaim the spot before it shutters in 2020. Also in Bangkok, fine-dining German restaurant Suhring maintains its fourth place position.
The two-Michelin-starred Odette at the National Gallery Singapore, which opened in 2015, debuted on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list last year at No. 28.
The restaurant race
Japan has always had strong presence on the list — rounding up the top five are Den, ranked No. 3 (and also No. 17 on the World’s 50 Best list for 208), and Florilege, ranked No. 5. Den is known for it’s playful, inventive take on Japanese kaiseki cuisine; while Florilege dishes up fine French-Japanese cuisine.
Singapore restaurants maintain a strong presence on the list – as modern Australian barbecue restaurant Burnt Ends (formerly No. 12) in Teck Lim Road climbs to No. 10, while British restaurant Jaan at Swissotel The Stamford rises from No. 44 to 32.
Japanese restaurant Waku Ghin at Marina Bay Sands is No. 40 (down 17 spots), while contemporary restaurant Corner House in the Singapore Botanic Gardens ranks No. 49 (down 13 spots). French restaurant Les Amis at Shaw Centre ranks No. 33 (down four spots).New on the list is Creative fine dining restaurant Nouri in Amoy Street, helmed by chef Ivan Brehm, is a new entrant at No. 39.
First time entrants
This year’s list has 10 restaurants making their debut, including a first-time entry — Dewakan — from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia at No. 46. The restaurant is also Malaysia’s first restaurant on the list, and offers a fine-dining insight into the wide array of indigenous ingredients found in the country, including Malaysian bean-to-bar, single origin chocolate; and bee pupae.
Other accolades went to Singaporean chef Jimmy Lim of JL Studio in Taichung, Taiwan, who won the One To Watch Award; Bali’s Locavore restaurant, which received the Sustainable Restaurant Award and Best Restaurant in Indonesia title; and Asia’s Best Female Chef Garima Arora of Gaa in Bangkok, which was lauded the Highest New Entry at No. 16.
Now, the spotlight shifts to Singapore as the host for the Asia’s 50 Best Bars on May 9 at Capitol Theatre, and the highly-anticipated World’s 50 Best Restaurants at Marina Bay Sands on June 25.
Additional reporting by Goh Weets
A version of this article was originally published in The Straits Times.