Due to recent travel restrictions happening around the world, the eighth edition of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants was not held in the Saga Prefecture of Japan, where the awards were originally to be hosted.
Instead, they were announced virtually on Facebook. The virtual edition of the prestigious awards ceremony, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna, was the first of its kind in the history of 50 Best and as always, were put forward to recognise the achievements of chefs and their teams over the last 12 months.
This year, 7 new entries and 1 re-entry appeared on the list and awarded restaurants across 10 countries. Here in Hong Kong, 8 restaurants were awarded a place on Asia’s 50 Best list, while 2 restaurants from Macau were recognised as well. At the top of the list and awarded both Singapore’s and Asia’s Best Restaurant for a second year is Odette. Helmed by Chef-Owner Julien Royer, the modern French restaurant, inspired by his grandmother, won the hearts of many once more.
Meanwhile in Hong Kong, Cantonese restaurant The Chairman jumped from 11th place to 2nd place — taking the award for the best restaurant in China. The restaurant, loved by many in this city, takes on the traditional flavours of Chinese cuisine and celebrates it simply yet gloriously. Here, Chef-Owner Danny Yip looks to local suppliers and fishermen for their ingredients while ensuring as much organic produce as possible.
Other Hong Kong restaurants on the list include neo-Parisian bistro Belon which, under the culinary direction of Chef Daniel Calvert, jumped from 15th to 4th place; modern Asian-inspired French restaurant VEA, helmed by Chef Vicky Cheng, also made a giant leap taking them from 34th to 12th on the list; David Lai’s Neighborhood climbed up to 19th place; while Chinese restaurants Seventh Son and Lung King Heen, and Chef Umberto Bombana’s 8½ Otto e Mezzo Bombana were amongst the top 50 restaurants, too.
A special sustainable mention was given to Amber which, thanks to Chef Richard Ekkebus’ innovative culinary endeavours, presented them with the Sustainable Restaurant Award this year. Having reopened in May 2019 after a four-month hiatus, Ekkebus took out the heft in fine dining and replaced dairy, while cutting down on sugar and salt, with seasonal, sustainable produce and clean cooking.
Additional awards featured the Miele One to Watch, which was presented to Chef Prateek Sadh of Masque in Mumbai, India. Considered the country’s most experimental kitchen, Masque is changing the perception of Indian food, plate by plate; The American Express Icon award was deservedly presented to famed kaiseki chef and author Yoshihiro Murata of Kikunoi Restaurant in Gion, Kyoto; The Inedit Damm Chef’s Choice award was voted by his peers and presented to Yusuke Takada of Osaka’s La Cime for all his good work; Asia’s Best Pastry Chef crowned the lovely Natsuko Shoji of Été who continues to create her sweet cakes inspired by the world of fashion; and Asia’s Best Female Chef spotlighted Cho Hee-sook of Seoul’s Hansikgonggan for all her work in preserving traditional Korean cuisine.
The full list of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants of 2020:
- Odette — Singapore (Best Restaurant in Singapore and Asia)
- The Chairman — Hong Kong (Best Restaurant in China)
- Den – Tokyo, Japan (Best Restaurant in Japan)
- Belon — Hong Kong
- Burnt Ends — Singapore
- Sühring — Bangkok, Thailand (Best restaurant in Thailand)
- Florilege — Tokyo, Japan
- Le Du — Bangkok, Thailand
- Narisawa — Tokyo, Japan
- La Cime — Osaka, Japan
- Les Amis — Singapore (Gin Mare’s Art of Hospitality Award)
- VEA — Hong Kong
- Indian Accent — New Delhi, India (Best Restaurant in India)
- Mingles — Seoul, South Korea (Best Restaurant in Korea)
- Gaa — Bangkok, Thailand
- Sorn — Bangkok, Thailand (Highest Climber Award)
- Il Ristorante Luca Fantin – Tokyo, Japan
- Mume — Taipei, Taiwan
- Neighborhood — Hong Kong
- Fu He Hui — Shanghai, China
- Jaan by Kirk Westaway — Singapore
- Wing Lei Palace — Macau
- Sichuan Moon — Macau (Highest New Entry)
- Nihonryori RyuGin — Tokyo, Japan
- Seventh Son — Hong Kong
- JL Studio — Taichung, Taiwan (New Entry)
- TocToc — Seoul, South Korea
- Zén — Singapore (New Entry)
- Sazenka — Tokyo, Japan
- Ministry of Crab — Colombo, Sri Lanka
- Amber — Hong Kong
- 8½ Otto e Mezzo Bombana – Hong Kong
- Lung King Heen — Hong Kong
- Hansikgonggan — Seoul, South Korea (New Entry)
- Ode — Tokyo, Japan (New Entry)
- Raw — Taipei, Taiwan
- Locavore — Bali, Indonesia (Best Restaurant in Indonesia)
- Paste — Bangkok, Thailand
- Bo.Lan — Bangkok, Thailand
- La Maison de la Nature Goh — Fukuoka, Japan
- Ultraviolet by Paul Pairet — Shanghai, China
- Corner House — Singapore
- Shoun RyuGin — Taipei, Taiwan
- Toyo Eatery — Manila, Philippines (Best Restaurant in Philippines)
- Bukhara — New Delhi, India (Re-entry)
- Sushi Saito — Tokyo, Japan
- 80/20 — Bangkok, Thailand (New Entry)
- L’Effervescence — Tokyo, Japan
- Inua — Tokyo, Japan (New Entry)
- Nouri — Singapore