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Three names from India on Asia's 50 Best Restaurants list

Singapore and Bangkok restaurants were also big winners in this year’s Asia 50 Best Awards

A screenshot of the French restaurant Sézanne in Tokyo.
A screenshot of the French restaurant Sézanne in Tokyo. (Photo via sezanne.tokyo)

The best restaurant in Asia is Sézanne in Tokyo, according to this year’s Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list, announced in Seoul Tuesday night.

Last year’s No. 1 restaurant, Le Du in Bangkok, dropped to 12th. Nusara, last year’s No. 3 restaurant also by chef Thitid “Ton” Tassanakajohn, came in sixth. Sézanne, which serves French cuisine from the Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Marunouchi, advanced from second place. Restaurants in Bangkok, Hong Kong, Osaka and Singapore, plus more from Tokyo, round out the Top 10.  

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It was the first year that the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurant awards took place in South Korea. Seoul is a city “that’s wowing the world” with its food, William Drew, Director of Content at 50 Best, said before the ceremony at the Grand InterContinental Seoul Parnas. 

Mingles, which serves “refined Korean cookery” with “global influence” in the capital city’s buzzy Cheongdam-dong district came in at No. 13, up 15 spots. “Personally this event is happening in my hometown Seoul, so it’s more meaningful for me to have become the best Korean restaurant,” said owner Mingoo Kang after the accolade.

Singapore was the regional winner, having nine of its restaurants on the list. It supplanted Bangkok, which last year had four places in the top 10 and nine total in the 2023 top 50. 

Still, Bangkok’s excellent showing on the overall list has been good for business around the city, says Chudaree Debhakam of Baan Tepa, which climbed four sports to No. 42 this year. Last year she also became the first Thai female chef to run a two Michelin star restaurant. “We opened during Covid, so we only had Thai clients. And then with 50 Best and Michelin awards and accolades you get a big wave of international diners.” 

“Having the number one restaurant be in Bangkok brought a lot of attention from foodies,” she adds.

Earlier this month, the 50 Best organization announced the 51–100 restaurant rankings. Lamdre in Beijing, at No. 97, won the American Express One to Watch Award for its plant-based cuisine. Singapore and Tokyo each had eight spots on the list. 

Last year’s One to Watch winner was August in Jakarta; it now ranks No. 46—up from its debut at No. 95. Co-founder Budi Cahyadi said the award brought serious attention to a place that hasn’t been known as a dining destination.

“Before the award, visitors would come to Jakarta for business, then leave. Our business was mostly local. After the awards, it jumped dramatically, to about 40% international visitors, from Taiwan, China, Korea and Singapore,” said Cahyadi, noting people would extend their trip a day to eat at August. “And that extra day makes a big difference to the city.”

The 50 Best Asia restaurant list is voted on by over 300 anonymous industry experts in the region. There’s no criteria for what constitutes “best” —it could be a dumpling shop or a fine French dining room—nor does it need to have been open for a certain amount of time or won any other accolades. The regional guide, an offshoot of the World’s 50 Best Restaurant list, has been published since 2013. It’s put out by the UK-based company William Reed Ltd. 

Louisa Lim, pastry chef at Odette—a French-focused upscale restaurant in Singapore that topped the Asia 50 Best list in 2019 and 2020—said that the fine dining scene in Singapore has been challenging recently. “Around the world, people are spending less to go out to eat,” she says. “We are creating new dishes to keep customers coming back.”

Here are the winners (with last year’s ranking noted in parentheses).

  1. Sezanne, Tokyo (2)
  2. Florilege, Tokyo (7)
  3. Gaggan Anand, Bangkok (5) 
  4. The Chairman, Hong Kong (13)
  5. Wing, Hong Kong (37)
  6. Nusara, Bangkok (3)
  7. Suhring, Bangkok (22)
  8. Den, Tokyo (4)
  9. La Cime, Osaka (8)
  10. Odette, Singapore (6)
  11. Sorn, Bangkok (9)
  12. Le Du, Bangkok (1)
  13. Mingles, Seoul (28)
  14. Narisawa, Tokyo (10) 
  15. Burnt Ends, Singapore (24) 
  16. Neighborhood, Hong Kong (29)
  17. Potong, Bangkok (35) 
  18. 7th Door, Seoul (55)
  19. Fu He Hui, Shanghai (18) 
  20. Euphoria, Singapore (25) 
  21. Onjium, Seoul (23) 
  22. Logy, Taipei (57)
  23. Masque, Mumbai (16) 
  24. Toyo Eatery, Manila (42)
  25. Born, Singapore (36)
  26. Indian Accent, New Delhi (19)
  27. Mono, Hong Kong (41)
  28. Meta, Singapore (17)
  29. Samrub Samrub Thai, Bangkok (82)
  30. Labyrinth, Singapore (11)
  31. Seroja, Singapore
  32. Caprice, Hong Kong (49)
  33. Jl Studio, Taichung, Taiwan 
  34. Mume, Taipei (45)
  35. Villa Aida, Wakayama, Japan (14)
  36. Ling Long, Shanghai (77)
  37. Ando, Hong Kong (61)
  38. Les Amis, Singapore (27)
  39. Sazenka, Tokyo (12)
  40. 102 House, Shanghai
  41. Mosu, Seoul (15)
  42. Baan Tepa, Bangkok (46)
  43. Lolla, Singapore (63)
  44. Avartana, Chennai (30)
  45. Goh, Fukukoka
  46. August, Jakarta (95)
  47. Cenci, Kyoto (32)
  48. Anan Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam (40)
  49. Chef Tam's Seasons, Macau
  50. Meet the Bund, Shanghai (89)

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