Gaggan Claims No.1, Crowned The S.Pellegrino Best Restaurant in Asia
Thailand continues to be a strong presence in Asia’s dining scene with five establishments honoured at the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2015 awards in Singapore. Gaggan in Bangkok secured the No.1 spot, earning it the coveted dual titles of The S.Pellegrino Best Restaurant in Asia and The S.Pellegrino Best Restaurant in Thailand.
Now in its third year, Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna, announced the 2015 list of winners at an awards ceremony at Capella Hotel, Singapore.
Thailand is also represented by 2014 winner Nahm (No.7), Eat Me (No.25), Bo.lan (No.37) and Issaya Siamese Club (No.39).
Chef Gaggan Anand opened his eponymous Bangkok restaurant in 2010 with a vision to reinvigorate Indian cuisine by incorporating modernist cooking techniques. His passion, energy and creativity are evident in every aspect of the dining experience, from the colonial-style setting to the molecular twists added to traditional Indian dishes. Ranked No.3 at the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants awards last year, Gaggan debuted on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list in 2014 at No.17.
The 2015 list of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants features eight new entries, including first-time entries from the Philippines (Antonio’s, No.48) and Cambodia (Cuisine Wat Damnak, No.50). China boasts 16 restaurants on the list, followed by Singapore and Japan with 10 and eight respectively.
Individual Country Awards:
Ultraviolet by Paul Pairet (No.3) in Shanghai is named The S.Pellegrino Best Restaurant in China, a title previously held by Hong Kong’s Amber (No.6). However, Chef Richard Ekkebus of Amber still had his moment in the spotlight. The respected culinary master is this year’s recipient of the Chefs’ Choice Award, sponsored by Nespresso, an honour voted for by his peers.
Rising one place from its 2014 ranking, Restaurant André (No.5) retains the title of The S.Pellegrino Best Restaurant in Singapore. The new addition to Singapore’s restaurants is Burnt Ends (No.30), while Osteria Mozza (No.45) makes a welcome return.
For a third consecutive year, Narisawa (No.2) is named The S.Pellegrino Best Restaurant in Japan.
Korea’s influence on Asia’s dining scene continues to grow with two new entries, namely Ryunique (No.27) and La Yeon (No.38), the latter earning the One To Watch award, sponsored by Peroni Nastro Azzurro. Building on the success of his 2014 debut, Chef Jungsik Yim’s flagship Seoul restaurant, Jungsik, rises 10 places to No.10, earning the title of The S.Pellegrino Best Restaurant in Korea.
For the first time, Indian Accent (No.22) claims the title of The S.Pellegrino Best Restaurant in India. The country is also represented by Wasabi by Morimoto (No.29) and Bukhara (No.41).
A new entry to the 2014 list, this year Le Moût ranks at No.26, retaining its title as The S.Pellegrino Best Restaurant in Taiwan. Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants also recognises Nihonbashi in Colombo (No.31) as The S.Pellegrino Best Restaurant in Sri Lanka, Antonio’s (No.48) in Tagaytay as The S.Pellegrino Best Restaurant in the Philippines and Cuisine Wat Damnak (No.50) in Siem Reap as The S.Pellegrino Best Restaurant in Cambodia.
Other award winners announced include:
Asia’s Best Pastry Chef, sponsored by Cacao Barry: Hidemi Sugino
Pastry connoisseurs queue up daily at Hidemi Sugino’s eponymous Tokyo patisserie to experience his delicate, inspired creations. Trained in France, his signature mousse cakes delight with their rich textures and original combinations.
Highest Climber Award: Hajime
Chef Hajime Yoneda continues to impress diners with his dedication, artistry and command of French and Japanese cooking techniques. His eponymous Osaka restaurant rises 28 places this year, from No.42 in 2014 to its current ranking at No.14.
Highest New Entry Award, sponsored by LesConcierges: Fu He Hui
Chef Tony Lu continues to reinvent modern Shanghainese cuisine with his vegetarian restaurant, Fu He Hui. Entering Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list at No.19, Fu He Hui showcases Chef Lu’s inventive combinations, respect for ingredients and finely honed skills.
One To Watch, sponsored by Peroni Nastro Azzurro: La Yeon
La Yeon in Seoul makes its debut on Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list at No.38. Serving Korean cuisine in a fine dining setting, La Yeon uses seasonal ingredients to present traditional dishes with impeccable style and refinement.
Chefs’ Choice Award, sponsored by Nespresso: Richard Ekkebus
The Dutch-born culinary director of Amber, in Hong Kong’s Landmark Mandarin Oriental Hotel, is recognised by his fellow chefs as a master craftsman. Ekkebus has guided the restaurant to the top table of gastronomy, gaining respect and admiration as a chef and as an inspirational leader.
Other honourees include Chef Vicky Lau of Tate Dining Room & Bar in Hong Kong who is named Veuve Clicquot Asia’s Best Female Chef 2015. Chef Tetsuya Wakuda of Waku Ghin in Singapore is the worthy recipient of The Diners Club® Lifetime Achievement Award.
William Drew, Group Editor of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants, said: “These awards echo the palpable excitement felt across the restaurant scene in Asia over the last year. Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants aims to celebrate success, reward innovation and hard work, and provide diners with guidance on the greatest places to eat across the continent. Congratulations to Gaggan Anand on his and his team’s remarkable achievement, which is a reflection of this chef’s singular imagination, energy and skill. All 50 restaurants on the list, however, are deserving of great recognition, along with the individual award-winners.”
How Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list is compiled
Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants is created by The Diners Club® Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants Academy, an influential group of over 300 leaders in the restaurant industry across Asia, each selected for their expert opinion of Asia’s restaurant scene.
The Academy is divided into six voting regions: India & Subcontinent; South-East Asia – South; South-East Asia – North; Hong Kong, Taiwan & Macau; mainland China & Korea; Japan. The divisions are designed to represent the Asian restaurant scene as fairly as possible at the current time and are agreed with the Academy Chairs.
Each region has its own panel of 53 members including a chairperson to head it up. The panel is made up of food writers and critics, chefs, restaurateurs and highly regarded ‘foodies’. Each panellist has seven votes. Of the seven votes, at least three must be used to recognise restaurants outside of the voter’s home country.
Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants Results:
Following the ceremony, the full list and awards are published at www.theworlds50best.com/asia