April 14, 2024

Asia’s 50 best restaurants for 2023 revealed



CNN
 — 

Bangkok has long been considered a world capital when it comes to street food. But these days, its fine dining scene is proving to be just as alluring.

An eatery in the Thai capital won the top spot at the 2023 “Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants” awards, which were handed out at a ceremony in Singapore Tuesday night.

Winning restaurant Le Du, led by owner and Thai chef Thitid “Ton” Tassanakajohn, is a modern Thai-inspired eatery that offers a four- or six-course tasting menu focused on seasonal Thai ingredients. Number four on last year’s list, it rose three spots to take the 2023 crown.

It was a great night for chef Thitid. Not only did his restaurant Le Du win the top spot, but his Bangkok restaurant Nusara, serving what he calls “colorful cuisine” that is “neither traditional nor modern” landed just two places behind it, earning the number three place on the list.

“I’m so honored that I’m standing among the (best) chefs in Asia in this room and this is more than a dream come true,” said Thitid from the stage while accepting his trophy.

“50 Best is something very special to my heart and not just because of the ranking but because of everyone in this room. That is the most important thing. I’m so lucky to be included in this family with you all, with all my chef friends, my brothers and sisters.”

Tokyo restaurant Sezanne, famed for its regionally inspired French cuisine, came in second on the 2023 list. Last year’s first place winner, fellow Tokyo eatery Den, fell to the number four spot this year.

Rounding out the top five was Bangkok-based Gaggan Anand, run by the legendary Kolkata-born chef of the same name.

The list – an offshoot of the global “World’s 50 Best” brand, is compiled by the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants Academy, which is made up of more than 300 food writers, critics, chefs and restaurateurs, all selected for their knowledge of Asia’s restaurant scene.

With the devastating effects of the pandemic still lingering in the global restaurant industry, the 90-minute awards ceremony, held in Singapore’s Resorts World Sentosa, offered those in attendance a chance to celebrate their peers’ successes.

Special awards handed out at the event included the “One to Watch” trophy, handed to Jakarta restaurant August, which opened in 2021. The “Asia’s Best Female Chef” award went to Johanne Siy, the Philippines-born head chef of Singapore restaurant Lolla.

The Sustainable Restaurant Award was given to Manila’s Toyo Eatery, while Louisa Lim of Odette, Singapore won the Asia’s Best Pastry Chef award.

In terms of cities with the most wins, restaurants in Bangkok and Singapore each snagged nine spots on the 2023 list, while seven Tokyo eateries earned trophies.

Though most of the winners on the list are fine dining restaurants, one street food eatery managed to break through the pack – Bangkok’s Michelin-starred Raan Jay Fai, run by 70-something owner and chef Supinya “Jay Fai” Junsuta.

1. Le Du (Bangkok)

2. Sezanne (Tokyo)

3. Nusara (Bangkok)

4. Den (Tokyo)

5. Gaggan Anand (Bangkok)

6. Odette (Singapore)

7. Florilege (Tokyo)

8. La Cime (Osaka)

9. Sorn (Bangkok)

10. Narisawa (Tokyo)

11. Labyrinth (Singapore)

12. Sazenka (Tokyo)

13. The Chairman (Hong Kong)

14. Villa Aida (Wakayama, Japan)

15. Mosu (Seoul)

16. Masque (Mumbai)

17. Meta (Singapore)

18. Fu He Hui (Shanghai)

19. Indian Accent (New Delhi)

20. Ode (Tokyo)

21. Zen (Singapore)

22. Suhring (Bangkok)

23. Onjium (Seoul)

24. Burnt Ends (Singapore)

25. Euphoria (Singapore)

26. Cloudstreet (Singapore)

27. Les Amis (Singapore)

28. Mingles (Seoul)

29. Neighborhood (Hong Kong)

30. Avartana (Chennai, India)

31. Ensue (Shenzhen, China)

32. Cenci (Kyoto, Japan)

33. Ms. Maria & Mr. Singh (Bangkok)

34. Da Vittorio (Shanghai)

35. Potong (Bangkok)

36. Born (Singapore)

37. Wing (Hong Kong)

38. Raan Jay Fai (Bangkok)

39. Wing Lei Palace (Macao)

40. Anan Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City)

41. Mono (Hong Kong)

42. Toyo Eatery (Manila)

43. Sichuan Moon (Macao)

44.L’Effervescence (Tokyo)

45. Mume (Taipei)

46. Baan Tepa (Bangkok)

47. Born & Bred (Seoul)

48. Metiz (Manila)

49. Caprice (Hong Kong)

50. Refer (Beijing)