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Asia’s best restaurants — most are in Japan, Singapore and Thailand

Japan is Asia’s top destination for foodies this year, according to a new ranking released by the 50 Best organization.

The country is home to 17 of the region’s 100 “best” restaurants, which were released in two parts in March.

Singapore and Thailand tied for second place, with 15 restaurants each on the list. Hong Kong – last year’s top destination – saw 13 properties on the list.

William Drew, chief content officer of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants, said Japan’s strong performance was “not a surprise”.

“Japan has long been considered one of the world’s great gastronomic countries with a culinary heritage admired around the world – combined with innovation, dedication, knowledge and talent,” he told CNBC.

The 50 best restaurants in Asia

This year commemorates the 10th anniversary of the “Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants” list. This year’s ranking includes restaurants from 19 cities, with 7 new establishments on the list.

Singapore and Thailand have the most entries on the Top 50 list with nine restaurants each. Thailand took the top accolade with Bangkok’s Le Du named “Asia’s Best Restaurant 2023” – gaining three places.

Le Du’s menus champion the use of seasonal and local ingredients, reinforcing his unwavering belief in the superiority of Thai produce.

Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2023

This year’s ranking has seen some upheaval: Japan’s Den, which was No. 1 in 2022, fell three places to No. 4, while Bangkok’s Sorn fell from No. 2 to No. 9.

Japan’s Sezanne climbed an impressive 15 places to emerge at No. 2, clinching the title of “Best Restaurant in Japan” for the first time.

The Hong Kong president, who ranked No. 1 in 2021, lost further ground from No. 5 to No. 13.

The “Highest Entry” award also went to India’s Avartana, who debuted on the list at No. 30.

The “best restaurant” in Asia

Asia’s Best Restaurant, Thai Le Du, is a Michelin-starred restaurant that first entered the list in 2017 at No. 37.

Opened in 2013, chef and owner Thitid ‘Ton’ Tassanakajohn gives Thai cuisine a modern twist through a French-leaning lens.

His menus champion the use of seasonal and local ingredients, reinforcing his unwavering belief in the superiority of Thai produce.

When I opened the restaurant, [people] said, I will never do it because I only use local products.

Thitid Tassanakajohn

chef/owner of Thai restaurant Le Du

Speaking to CNBC after the awards ceremony on Tuesday night, Tassanakajohn said taking the coveted spot was “unreal.”

“I did not expect it at all… 10 years ago, when I opened the restaurant, [people] said, I’ll never do it because I only use local produce and you have to use imported ingredients,” he shared.

“I’m so happy to represent Thailand and bring Thai ingredients to the forefront of Asia.”

The 50 best restaurants in Asia

The list of “Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants” for 2023 is as follows:

1. Le Du (Bangkok, Thailand)

2. Sezanne (Tokyo, Japan)

3. Nusara (Bangkok, Thailand)

4. Den (Tokyo, Japan)

5. Gaggan Anand (Bangkok, Thailand)

6. Odette (Singapore)

7. Miscellany (Tokyo, Japan)

8. The Peak (Osaka, Japan)

9. Sorn (Bangkok, Thailand)

10. Narisawa (Tokyo, Japan)

11. Labyrinth (Singapore) — Highest Climber Award (from 40th place in 2022)

12. Sazenka (Tokyo, Japan)

13. The President (Hong Kong)

14. Villa Aida (Wakayama, Japan)

15. Mosu (Seoul, Korea)

16. Mask (Mumbai, India)

17. Meta (Singapore)

18. Fu He Hui (Shanghai, China)

19. Indian Accent (New Delhi, India)

20. Ode (Tokyo, Japan)

21. Zen (Singapore)

22. Suhring (Bangkok, Thailand)

23. Onjium (Seoul, South Korea)

24. Burnt Ends (Singapore)

25. Euphoria (Singapore)

A dish from Japanese Sezanne, who climbed an impressive 15 places to emerge No. 2.

Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2023

26. Cloudstreet (Singapore)

27. Friends (Singapore)

28. Mingles (Seoul, South Korea)

29. Neighborhood (Hong Kong)

30. Avartana (Chennai, India) — Best New Entry Award

31. Next (Shenzhen, China)

32. Cenci (Kyoto, Japan)

33. Mrs. Maria & Mr. Singh (Bangkok, Thailand)

34. Da Vittorio (Shanghai, China)

35. Potong (Bangkok, Thailand)

36. Born (Singapore)

37. Wing (Hong Kong)

38. Raan Jay Fai (Bangkok, Thailand)

39. Wing Lei Palace (Macau)

40. Anan Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam)

41. Mono (Hong Kong)

42. Toyo Eatery (Manila, Philippines)

43. Sichuan Moon (Macau)

44. The Effervescence (Tokyo, Japan)

45. Mume (Taipei, Taiwan)

46. ​​Baan Tepa (Bangkok, Thailand)

47. Born & Bred (Seoul, Korea)

48. Metiz (Makati, Philippines)

49. Whim (Hong Kong)

50. Refer (Beijing, China)

The best restaurants in Asia: 51-100

This is the third year that the extended list has been published. There are 17 new entries spanning 17 cities – including L’evo at No. 60, the very first restaurant in Toyama, Japan, to make the list.

Ten restaurants that ranked among Asia’s top 50 restaurants last year have fallen to 51-100 rankings this year.

Most notably, Joo Ok dropped 33 places from No. 18 to No. 51 and Samrub Samrub Thai dropped 51 places from No. 31 to No. 82.

Ete also saw a 49-place drop from No. 41 to No. 90.

A dish of Yong Fu from Hong Kong. Hong Kong leads the list 51-100 with eight spots.

Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2023

Hong Kong continued its reign with the most restaurants in the 51-100 list, with eight in the ranking.

Singapore’s Thevar had the biggest jump in this list – catapulting from No. 92 to No. 56 – closing in on the top 50 list. The Indian Bukhara also reduced his gap, going 14 places from No. 66 to No. 52.

Here is the extended list:

51. Joo Ok (Seoul, South Korea)

52. Bukhara (New Delhi, India)

53. Your Life (Hong Kong)

54. Yong Fu (Hong Kong)

55. 7th Door (Seoul, South Korea)

56. Thevar (Singapore)

57. Logy (Taipei, Taiwan)

58. Jade Dragon (Macau)

59. Jin Sha (Hangzhou, China)

60. The evo (Toyama, Japan)

61. Andō (Hong Kong)

62. Estro (Hong Kong)

63. Lolla (Singapore)

64. Sugita (Tokyo, Japan)

65. Ultraviolet by Paul Pairet (Shanghai, China)

66. Americano (Mumbai, India)

67. Sketched (Tokyo, Japan)

68. Eatanic Garden of Josun Palace (Seoul, South Korea)

69. Ministry of Crab (Colombo, Sri Lanka)

70. 8 1/2 Otto and Mezzo Bombana (Hong Kong)

71. Side of Mauro Colagreco (Bangkok, Thailand)

72. Wana Yook (Bangkok, Thailand)

73. Lerdtip Wanghin (Bangkok, Thailand)

74. Dewakan (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)

75. Nihonryori RyuGin (Tokyo, Japan)

76. Fu1015 (Shanghai, China)

An Indonesian dish of the month, a new entry at n°95. The restaurant also won the “One To Watch” award.

Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2023

77. Ling Long (Beijing, China)

78. The Table (Mumbai, India)

79. Eat and Cook (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)

80. The Pizza Bar on 38th (Toyo, Japan)

81. Gaa (Bangkok, Thailand)

82. Samrub Samrub Thai (Bangkok, Thailand)

83. Nae:Um (Singapore)

84. Jaan de Kirk Westaway (Singapore)

85. Claudine (Singapore)

86. Summer Pavilion (Singapore)

87. Adachi Sushi (Taipei, Taiwan)

88. Obscura (Shanghai, China)

89. Meet the Bund (Shanghai, China)

90. Summer (Tokyo, Japan)

91. Tribute (Tokyo, Japan)

92. Golden Flower (Macau)

93. Ekaa (Mumbai, India)

94. Nadodi (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)

95. August (Jakarta, Indonesia)

96. Freedom (Kaohsiung, Taiwan)

97. Sushi Hare (Hong Kong)

98. Nahm (Bangkok, Thailand)

99. Xin Rong Ji (Hong Kong)

100. Vea (Hong Kong)

“A great year” for Singapore

Singapore restaurants hold nine coveted locations – an increase from seven last year. Odette, which has twice been named Asia’s best restaurant, leads the charge at No. 6.

Its pastry chef Louisa Lim also won the “Asia’s Best Pastry Chef” award.

All restaurants in Singapore – except Kirk Westaway’s Jaan – saw improvements on the Top 100 list.

For example, Australian barbecue restaurant Burnt Ends, has regained its footing after falling 27 places last year – jumping 17 places to No. 24.

The interior view of the Labyrinth in Singapore, which won this year’s “Highest Climber” award.

Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2023

Labyrinth also climbed 29 places to No. 11, winning the “Highest Climber” award. Born is Singapore’s highest ranked new entry this year at No. 36.

It’s been a “great year” for Singapore’s culinary scene, Drew told CNBC.

“There are a myriad of explanations as to why some regions are performing strongly – it could be variable Covid restrictions in some countries in recent years,” he added.

“Or more broadly, it could be an indication of changing culinary tastes, or it could also mean that a geographic area is becoming more prominent.”

How the list is made

The list is an “annual snapshot” of the opinions of more than 300 industry experts, said the 50 Best organization, called “the academy”.

They are made up of food writers, critics, chefs and restaurateurs from across the region.

The 50 Best organization added that the panel was “gender balanced” and each member had 10 votes to nominate restaurants – with a maximum of seven located in their home country.

A dish of Odette’s Scottish Blue Lobster from Singapore. The restaurant, which was twice named the best in Asia, ranked No. 6 this year.

Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2023


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