Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2013 – The Full List and Recommendations

Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2013 - The Full List and Recommendations
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(Updated: Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2014 )

The inaugural Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants has just been announced. Sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna, the list features the restaurants in Asia that have received the most votes from the Diners Club® World’s 50 Best Restaurants Academy. There are some shoo-ins and surprises (like Singapore’s Imperial Treasure), with Les Créations de Narisawa from Tokyo clinching top spot. Of course, I had an OMG moment after I realised I already tried 4 out of the Top 5 restaurants. So blessed!

The Asia’s 5 Best restaurants are Les Créations de Narisawa Japan, Nijonryori Ryugin Japan, Nahm Thailand, Amber Hong Kong and Andre Singapore, with the key awards of Chef’s Choice Award going to Chef Seiji Yamamoto of Nijonryori Ryugin and The One to Watch awarded to Jaan of Singapore.

Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants – The Full List
1. Les Créations de Narisawa, Tokyo
2. Nijonryori Ryugin, Tokyo
3. Nahm, Thailand
4. Amber, Hong Kong
5. Restaurant Andre, Singapore
6. 8-1/2 Otto e Mezzo Bombana, Hong Kong
7. Mr & Mrs Bund, Shanghai
8. Ultraviolet by Paul Pairet, Shanghai
9. Iggy’s Singapore
10. Gaggan, Bangkok
11. Waku Ghin, Singapore
12. Caprice, Hong Kong
13. Lung King Heen, Hong Kong
14. Les Amis, Singaore
15. Bo Innovation, Hong Kong
16. Quintessence, Tokyo
17. Dum Pukht, New Delhi
18. The Chairman, Hong Kong
19. Eat Me, Bangkok
20. Wasabi by Morimoto, Mumbai
21. Hajime, Osaka
22. Jaan, Singapore
23. L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon, Hong Kong
24. L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon, Singapore
25. 28 HuBin Road, Hangzhou, China
26. Bukhara, New Delhi
27. Sushi Mizutani, Tokyo
28. Indigo, Mumbai
29. Sra Bua by Kiin Kiin, Bangkok
30. Varq, New Delhi
31. Aronia de Takazawa, Tokyo
32. Shinji by Kanesaka, Singapore
33. Kahala, Osaka, Japan
34. Franck Bistro, Shanghai
35. Osteria Mozza, Singapore
36. Bo.Lan, Bangkok
37, Robuchon au Dôme, Macau, China
38. Nihonbashi, Colombo, Sri Lanka
39. Sushi Saito, Tokyo
40. Fu1015, Shanghai, China
41. Indian Accent, New Delhi
42. Ishikawa, Tokyo
43. Gunther’s, Singapore
44. Karavalli, Bangalore, India
45. Jade on 36, Shanghai
46. Yardbird, Hong Kong
47. Don’s, Hanoi, Vietnam
48. Fook Lam Moon, Hong Kong
49. Imperial Treasure Super Peking Duck, Singapore
50. Mozaic, Bali, Indonesia

Here are some of my personal recommendations:

Les Créations de Narisawa (Tokyo, Japan)
Chef Yoshihiro Narisawa believes in the theme of ‘sustainability and gastronomy’, and uses ingredients from the ‘real’ environment, resulting in dishes such as ‘soil’ soup, ‘water’ salad and ‘forest’ dish. As Narisawa celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2013, it is a lucky year for them as they reached the top spot in Asia. His tasting menu only lists the main ingredients and ideas, so that diners can sense the stories and messages of each dish with their own experiences and interpretation.

Nijonryori Ryugin (Roppongi, Tokyo)
RyuGin’s Chef Seiji Yamamoto is known to push culinary boundaries, creating avant-garde dishes, while blending with the seasonal ingredients available in Japan. Every season has a different menu, and every day it may differ based on what is available in the market. The dinner was not only about eating anymore, but appreciating every containing plate, smelling the scents, appreciating the plating, listening to the explanation and story, and just simply watching in awe how art is created. Ryugin’s dessert will blow your mind. It was a combination of ‘candy mango’ frozen to -196 degree Celsius using liquid nitrogen, cracked and mixed with warm mature fresh mango. It was crazy, simply crazy good.

Nahm (Bangkok, Thailand)
Nahm by Austrian David Thompson sometimes feel more Western than Thai in execution, unavoidably since it opened first in London. It is also the first and one of the two Thai restaurants to be every awarded a Michelin star. Located at the Metropolitan Hotel Bangkok (one of my favourite hotels ever). The price is considered very expensive for Thai standards, but probably one of the most affordable in the World’s Top 50 list (It was Number 50 in 2012). Rather than a fixed tasting menu, or set dinner, you would be given flexibility to choose from a section of canapes, relish, salad, soup, curry, stir fry and desserts – some familiar Thai street dishes given an up-market twist using quality ingredients.

Waku Ghin (Marina Bay Sands, Singapore)
Opened by Celebrity Chef Tetsuya Wakuda, ‘Waku’ means to ‘spring forth’ and ‘ghin’ means silver which happens to be his favourite colour. Waku Ghin at Marina Bay Sands can be considered Chef Tetsuya’s dream ‘playground’, a 10,000 square feet expensive space, meant to serve maximum of 25 customers at one time. The 10-course degustation menu has two seatings, one at 6pm and the other 8:30pm, with a very hefty price tag of $400++ per person. Waku Ghin’s signature dish, the Marinated Botan Shrimp with Sea Urchin and Oscietra Caviar, is mind-blowing delicious. Every spoonful of the uni just melts in your mouth sensationally, and you feel transported to a gastronomic dreamland.

Amber (The Landmark Central, Hong Kong)
Located at Landmark Mandarin Oriental near Central, Amber is at the perfect blend of the produces from East and cooking techniques from the West. Chef Richard Ekkebus, Dutch-born and French-trained, loves a light touch to his cooking, with great emphasis placed on creative beautiful presentations. Without trying to exaggerate too much, I am starting to suspect that even ‘delicious’ is not enough to describe the sensational taste. The main course – a wagyu beef tongue & cheek, with gratinated macaroni with beaufort silver beet, button mushroom and red wine reduction, was a melt-in-your-mouth meat while you can still savour the classic taste of the beef. Amber is truly in a different league of restaurants, and provides a superb dining experience.

L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon (Landmark Central, Hong Kong)
L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon of Hong Kong is divided into two areas – an open L’Atelier and a closer intimate Le Jardin. For first-timers, I would recommend sitting at the L’Atelier counter where you can watch the chefs in full action within an open kitchen concept – as though you are watching a cooking programme, but it’s live. The square counter seating is inspired by Tokyo sushi restaurants, with a sexy colour scheme of lush red and mysterious black. Surprisingly, the best dish of the meal was neither the meat mains or desserts, but the “carnarolli” risotto with caramelized chausey lobster with sea urchin. Needless to say, the chunky lobster flesh and oh-so-luscious-yummy uni with the evenly cooked risotto was a combination so lip-smacking good, achieving a balance that is not too dry or moist. Almost perfect.

Other Related Entries
Time To Have A Top 100 Restaurants List For Singapore
Les Créations de Narisawa (Tokyo, Japan)
Nijonryori Ryugin (Roppongi, Tokyo)
Waku Ghin (Marina Bay Sands, Singapore)
Amber (Landmark Central, Hong Kong)
L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon (Landmark Central, Hong Kong)

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Comments

  1. I’ve been to all singapore’s restaurants except Waku Ghin, Andre and Shinji. I’ve not heard of SHinji before leh. OMG, I’m suaku.

    Been to Mr and Mrs Bund in Shanghai. Any upscale restaurant in Singapore can beat it hands-down.

    Anyway, you know Top 10 lists are very political one right? You good friend with the judges, you get in. There are some much better restaurants in Singapore not on the list.

    • Be careful of what you say ah. Haha. I think most people were quite surprising Imperial Treasure got in – tried it a few times. Okay loh, tt’s good, but wow, they must have done something right. So which Singapore restaurants have been left out?

      • Ember, Absinthe, Esquina, Nicolas Le Restaurant, all mindblowing. Lolla, The Dining Room at Tanjong Beach, Le Bistrot du Sommelier, Magosaburou, Summer Palace, Amuse, [email protected], Guy Savoy and Binomio are pretty good and can replace many of the Singapore restaurants on this top 50 list.

        • Okay, a friend told me she tried Shinji and was not bad…. though… $1200 for two pax! You wish there were some cheaper restaurants on that list. :)

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