Japanese chef Yoshihiro Narisawa took top place on the list for his Les Créations de Narisawa restaurant in Tokyo. Narisawa caught the eye of the awarding academy for taking environmental concern into consideration when creating his dishes in harmony with nature and the environment. Narisawa was also awarded the special award for Best in Japan.
Second place went to chef Seiji Yamamoto for his Nihonryori RyuGin restaurant in Tokyo and third, along with Best in Thailand award, was presented to the British born chef David Thompson restaurant Nahm in Bangkok, which has been at the centre of controversy since its opening in 2010 for its authentic Thai street food, created by a not so authentic Australian chef Thomspon. Thailand continues to gain prominence in Asia’s dining landscape. Duangporn ‘Bo’ Songvisava was the first recipient of the Veuve Clicquot Asia’s Best Female Chef award.
As FOUR magazine expected, André Chiang was rewarded with Best in Singapore award and an influential spot in Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list at 5th overall on the list for his restaurant Andre. Chiang’s Mediterranean-inspired cuisine (pictured above) exudes values synonymous with ‘octaphilosphy’, a term used by Chiang to characterise his culinary style: unique, texture, memory, pure, terroir, salt, south and artisan.
Commenting on the success of the inaugural awards, William Drew of William Reed Business Media and the organiser of the awards said: “We launched Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants as part of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants program to recognise the region’s growing restaurant industry and diverse gastronomic landscape. The list is a reflection of Asia’s culinary talent and showcases individuals that share a passion for excellence.
“It is exciting to see so many innovative and creative chefs pushing Asia’s culinary boundaries and supporting Asia’s growing influence on the global culinary stage. There is no doubt that Asia provides the ideal ingredients to foster a rich and diverse list of culinary excellence, and an impressive exploration ground for food lovers.”
And “many” there was indeed. Further to Narisawa, Yamamoto, Thomspon and Chiang, a whole host of chefs took to the stage at a glittering awards ceremony at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore, to receive their award.
Janice Wong, owner of 2am: Dessert Bar in Singapore, gained Asia’s Best Pastry Chef award - sponsored by Cacao Barry - for her creation and delivery of a multi-sensory experience for those who taste her desserts combined with her experimentation with sweet and savoury flavours, inspired from her childhood in Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan.
JAAN an intimate, 40-seat restaurant dedicated to showcasing the finest in modern French cuisine in Singapore, took ‘One To Watch’ award. The view from the 70th floor is jaw-dropping, matched only by the wittily presented and immaculately executed dishes emerging from the kitchen of Chef de Cuisine Julien Royer. ‘One To Watch’ is awarded to an establishment within the inaugural Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list that the organisers believe has made a significant impact in a relatively short period and that has the potential to rise further up the rankings.
Seiji Yamamoto has been recognised by his contemporaries in Asia’s restaurant industry for innovating Japanese cuisine through the fusion of traditional and modern techniques, gaining Chefs’ Choice Award. Yamamoto creates dishes that push the boundaries of creativity, following his philosophy “to pursue every single possibility for Japanese cuisine in the future”, a theme carried out at his restaurant Nihonryori RyuGin in Tokyo’s Roppongi district, that has been ranked no. 2 of the list.
Joining the list of winners is Paul Pairet of Mr & Mrs Bund (no. 7) and Ultraviolet (no. 8) in China, winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award, sponsored by Johnnie Walker Blue Label, and the Veuve Clicquot Asia’s Best Female Chef, Duangporn Songvisava of Bo.lan (no. 36) in Thailand.
China boasts 16 restaurants on the list for Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants with Amber (no. 4) in Hong Kong named as The S.Pellegrino Best Restaurant in China. Chef de Cuisine Richard Ekkebus took Amber to new gastronomic heights with a place on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants for two consecutive years. His creations represent Hong Kong’s cultural crossroads between east and west, with dishes all presented with extraordinary flair.
Following China closely is Singapore with 10 restaurants on the list, including Chiang’s Restaurant Andre (no. 5) as the winner of The S.Pellegrino Best Restaurant in Singapore.
Restaurants in India made their mark on Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants with 7 making the list. Dum Pukht (no. 17) was named as The S.Pellegrino Best Restaurant in India. Dum Pukht, explores the tradition of cooking kebabs, stews and biryani in a sealed clay pot over a slow fire. Native to the 18th-century Awadh Kingdom from Lucknow, clay pot cooking reaches new heights here.
Restaurants in Sri Lanka, Vietnam and Indonesia also made their debut at Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants. Nihonbashi in Colombo is ranked no. 38, followed by Don’s in Hanoi at no. 47, and Mozaic in Bali at no. 50.
Below is a the full list of the Top 10 Restaurants on Asia's 50 Best Restaurants List 2013:
Narisawa - Tokyo - Japan - Best in Japan
Nihonryori Ryugin - Tokyo - Japan
Nahm - Bangkok - Thailand - Best in Thailand
Amber - Hong Kong - China - Best in China
Restaurant Andre - Singapore - Best in Singapore
8 1/2 Ottto E Mexxo Bombana - Hong Kong - China
Mr and Mrs Bund - Shanghai - China - Lifetime Achievement
Ultra Violet - Shanghai - China
Iggy's - Singapore
Gaggan - Bangkok - Thailand