Hong Kong, Bangkok, Tokyo, Singapore

Hong Kong is Asia’s top destination for foodies this year, according to a new ranking released by the 50 Best organization.

The city is home to 16 of the region’s 100 “best” restaurants, as shown in the list, released in two parts in March.

Thailand and Japan tied for second place, each with 13 restaurants on the list. The small city-state of Singapore has punched above its weight with 12 establishments named among the best in Asia.

William Drew, chief content officer of William Reed Business Media, which organizes the awards, told CNBC that Hong Kong had had an “unusual experience” this year as it was largely closed to foreign visitors.

“However, restrictions aside, many restaurants have been very busy locally,” Drew said.

“It is likely that local voters dined at a wider variety of restaurants in the city, spreading the vote among a wider range of establishments,” he added.

The 50 best restaurants in Asia

This year commemorates the 10th anniversary of the “Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants” list. This year’s ranking includes 10-seat restaurants, with 16 new entrants.

Looking only at the top 50 places, Japan comes out on top for the second year in a row. It took the coveted top spot – with Tokyo’s Den named “Asia’s Best Restaurant 2022” – and is home to 1 out of 5 restaurants on the list.

Sorn’s Rice Salad is a colorful mix of rice and herbs. The restaurant in Bangkok ranked No. 2 on the list of “Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants” this year.

Source: Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2022

The Hong Kong president, who ranked No. 1 last year, fell four places to No. 5. Singapore’s Odette, twice named Asia’s best restaurant, also lost ground, slipping six places from No. 2 to No. 8.

Rising nine places to No. 2, Thailand’s Sorn also clinched the title of “Best Restaurant in Thailand” for the first time. Local chef Thitid ‘Ton’ Tassanakajohn can now count two of his restaurants in the top 10 – Le Du (#4) and Nusara (#10).

Den – the “best restaurant” in Asia

Japan’s Den – No. 3 on last year’s list – is a two-star Michelin restaurant that entered the list in 2016. In seven years, it has risen from 37th place to No. 1.

Opened in 2007, chef and owner Zaiyu Hasegawa and his team take a creative approach to kaiseki – a traditional Japanese multi-course meal characterized by small, complex dishes – with twists on traditional dishes.

Interior of Den. The two-star Michelin restaurant entered the list at No. 37 in 2016, rising to No. 1 this year.

Source: Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2022

Take, for example, the “Dentucky Fried Chicken”. It’s served in a box that looks like KFC’s packaging, but instead of Colonel Sanders, it shows Hasegawa holding two drumsticks. The chicken is stuffed with rice.

Den is no stranger to success, having been named “Japan’s Best Restaurant” for five consecutive years. It ranked No. 11 on the “World’s 50 Best Restaurants” list in 2021.

The 50 best restaurants in Asia

1. Den (Tokyo, Japan)
2. Sorn (Bangkok, Thailand)
3. Miscellany (Tokyo, Japan)
4. Le Du (Bangkok, Thailand)
5. The President (Hong Kong)
6. The Peak (Osaka, Japan)
7. Suhring (Bangkok, Thailand)
8. Odette (Singapore)
9. Neighborhood (Hong Kong)
10. Nusara (Bangkok, Thailand)
11. Sazenka (Tokyo, Japan)
12. Fu He Hui (Shanghai, China)
13. Ode (Tokyo, Japan) Highest Climber Award (from #27 last year)
14. Villa Aida (Wakayama, Japan) — Best New Entry Award
15. Narisawa (Tokyo, Japan)
16. Mingles (Seoul, South Korea)
17. Sezanne (Tokyo, Japan)
18. Joo Ok (Seoul, South Korea)
19. Suite (Shenzhen, China)
20. Meta (Singapore)
21. Mask (Mumbai, India)
22. Indian Accent (New Delhi, India)
23. Friends (Singapore)
24. Whim (Hong Kong)
25. Blue by Alain Ducasse (Bangkok, Thailand)

A dish from Toyko’s Ode, ranked No. 13 on “Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants” 2022 list.

Source: Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2022

26. 7th Door (Seoul, South Korea)
27. Mosu (Seoul, South Korea)
28. Da Vittorio (Shanghai, China)
29. Sushi Masato (Bangkok, Thailand)
30. Onjium (Seoul, South Korea)
31. Samrub Samrub Thai (Bangkok, Thailand)
32.Mono (Hong Kong)
33. Gaa (Bangkok, Thailand)
34. Wing (Hong Kong)
35. Ministry of Crab (Colombo, Sri Lanka)
36. The Goh Nature House (Fukuoka, Japan)
37. Zen (Singapore)
38. Logy (Taipei, Taiwan)
39. Ultraviolet by Paul Pairet (Shanghai, China)
40. Labyrinth (Singapore)
41. Burnt Ends (Singapore)
42. Summer (Tokyo, Japan)
43. Cenci (Kyoto, Japan)
44. Cloudstreet (Singapore)
45. JL Studio (Taichung, Taiwan)
46. ​​Raan Jay Fai (Bangkok, Thailand)
47. Wing Lei Palace (Macau)
48. 8 ½ Otto and Mezzo Bombana (Hong Kong)
49. Megu (New Delhi, India)
50. Dewakan (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)

The best restaurants in Asia: 51-100

This is the second year that the extended list has been published.

Eleven restaurants that ranked among Asia’s Top 50 Restaurants last year have fallen to 51-100 rankings this year. Most notably, L’Effervescence dropped 52 places from No. 19 to No. 71. Vea also dropped 49 places from No. 14 to No. 63.

The inside view of Eat and Cook in Malaysia, which won this year’s “American Express One To Watch” award.

Source: Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2022

Nonetheless, Hong Kong has proven to be a hot spot this year, dropping from just one restaurant on the list in 2021 to 10 this year.

China’s Jin Sha also had the biggest jump, climbing 38 places from No. 89 to No. 51, closing in on the top 50 list. Nadodi was close behind, climbing 37 ranks from No. 99 to No. 62.

Here is the extended list:

51. Jin Sha (Hangzhou, China)
52. Adachi Sushi (Taipei, Taiwan)
53. Seventh Son (Hong Kong)
54. Mume (Taipei, Taiwan)
55. Jaan de Kirk Westaway (Singapore)
56. Euphoria (Singapore)
57. Shoun RyuGin (Taipei, Taiwan)
58. Esora (Singapore)
59. Karavalli (Bangalore, India)
60. Your Life (Hong Kong)
61. Pru (Phuket, Thailand)
62. Nadodi (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
63. Vea (Hong Kong)
64. Godenya (Hong Kong)
65. Anan Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam)
66. Bukhara (New Delhi, India)
67. Refer (Beijing, China)
68. Xin Rong Ji (Beijing, China)
69. TIE — Comorin, Gurugram (India)
69. TIE — Chele Gallery (Manila, Philippines)
71. The Effervescence (Tokyo, Japan)
72. Freedom (Kaohsiung, Taiwan)
73. Dum Pukht (New Delhi, India)
74. Antonio’s (Tagaytay, Philippines)
75. Lolla (Singapore)
76. Obscura (Shanghai, China)
77. Xin Rong Ji (Hong Kong)
78. Sushi Saito (Tokyo, Japan)
79. Avartana (Chennai, India)
80. Americano (Mumbai, India)
81. Eat and Cook (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
82. Bastard (Hong Kong)
83. Amber (Hong Kong)
84. Golden Flower (Macau)
85. The Table (Mumbai, India)
86. Baan Tepa (Bangkok, Thailand)
87. Lerdtip Wanghin (Bangkok, Thailand)
88. Flight (Hong Kong)
89. Jade Dragon (Macau)
90. Topaz (Phnom Penh, Cambodia)
91. Quince (Bangkok, Thailand)
92. Thevar (Singapore)
93. Coriander (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
94. Toyo Eatery (Manila, Philippines)
95. Lameloise House (Shanghai, China)
96. Cat (Hong Kong)
97. The Eight (Macau)
98. Sushi Hare (Hong Kong)
99. The LM Side (Taichung, Taiwan)
100. 8 ½ Otto and Mezzo Bombana (Shanghai, China)

Singapore restaurants take a hit

About half of the Singapore restaurants on both lists have seen their rankings drop this year.

Meta – short for metamorphosis – was the only restaurant in Singapore that saw its ranking climb 40 places to 20th place. The one-star Michelin restaurant won the “One to Watch” award last year.

Chef Sun Kim recommends trying his take on Korean barbecue. “It’s a dish that I hold close to me because it gives me a feeling of nostalgia,” he told CNBC.

Sun Kim, the chef of Meta in Singapore, named No. 20 on the list of “Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants”.

Source: Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2022

By contrast, Kirk Westaway’s Jaan saw his ranking drop for the third straight year, dropping from No. 21 to No. 42, and finally to No. 55 this year. Euphoria also fell 15 places to 56th place.

Burnt Ends, an Australian barbecue restaurant, fell 27 places from No. 14 to No. 41.

Lolla is Singapore’s highest ranked new entry this year at No. 75.

A representative for the Mediterranean restaurant told CNBC that the person behind its success is chef Johanne Siy, who joined less than two years ago. Siy was named ‘Chef of the Year’ at last year’s World Gourmet Awards.

How the list is made

That’s how voting works, according to the 50 Best organization.

The restaurants are chosen by more than 300 industry leaders, called “the academy”. They are writers, critics, chefs and food restaurateurs from across the region. The academy changes regularly and has a 50-50 gender balance, and each voter must have visited a restaurant they vote for at least once in the last 18 months.

The “Fallen Fruit” dish from Lolla, a restaurant in Singapore ranked No. 75 on Asia’s Top 100 list.

Source: Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2022

In 2022, the voting rules were changed due to restrictions on international travel. Each member nominates eight restaurants, including up to six from their home country, but with no obligation to vote for restaurants outside their home country.

After two years of live-streamed events, this year’s awards show was held live in three cities: Bangkok, Macau and Tokyo. The events were also broadcast on Facebook and YouTube.

The 50 Best organization publishes several lists to highlight excellence in the food industry, including “The World’s 50 Best Bars” and regional lists such as “Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants”.

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