Gaggan in Bangkok Is Crowned the Best Restaurant in Asia

For the fourth year in a row, Gaggan Anand's eponymous restaurant tops the 50 Best Restaurants in Asia list.

roast quail gaggan Photo: courtesy Gaggan

It isn’t just the tire-maker-turned-gourmet-guide Michelin that’s in the restaurant rating game these days. Another organization has emerged on the scene and grown in scope the last few years. The World’s 50 Best organization has moved beyond just ranking the top restaurants around the globe, it now has regional lists as well. Last fall, the group crowned the top 50 restaurants in Latin America. Today, they declared Gaggan in Bangkok, Thailand, the restaurant by chef Gaggan Anand, to be the very best restaurant in Asia for the fourth year in a row.

Den in Tokyo, run by chef Zaiyu Hasegawa, who fans of the Netflix show Ugly Delicious will recognize from the fried chicken episode, takes second place. The modern French restaurant Florilege in Tokyo is third, Thomas and Mathias Sühring’s German spot in Bangkok is fourth, and French restaurant Odette in Singapore rounds out the top five. Japan features the most entries on the top 50 with 11, with Thailand and Hong Kong trailing closely behind with nine each.

While it’s quite the laurel for a restaurant, this list is certainly not without its flaws. Unlike Michelin, which creates its ratings by actually eating at restaurants around the world, the World’s 50 Best organization takes a much different, and perhaps controversial, approach. The group convenes a panel of 300 experts across Asia “made up of food writers and critics, chefs, restaurateurs and highly regarded ‘gastronomes,'” it says. That has allowed gender bias to permeate these lists for years, rarely recognizing women-led restaurants as great.

This list is mostly the restaurant industry reflecting on itself and its own values right now. Is Gaggan truly the best restaurant in all of Asia. Perhaps, but more importantly for this list, the restaurant intelligentsia believes it is. So, have fun reading the complete list below, but realize there are some real limitations in how it’s made.

  1. Gaggan – Bangkok, Thailand
  2. Den – Tokyo, Japan
  3. Florilege – Tokyo, Japan
  4. Sühring – Bangkok, Thailand
  5. Odette – Singapore
  6. Narisawa – Tokyo, Japan
  7. Amber – Hong Kong, China
  8. Ultraviolet By Paul Pairet – Shanghai, China
  9. Nihonryori Ryugin – Tokyo, Japan
  10. Nahm – Bangkok, Thailand
  11. Mingles – Seoul, Korea
  12. Burnt Ends – Singapore
  13. 8 1/2 Otto E Mezzo Bombana – Hong Kong, China
  14. Le Du – Bangkok, Thailand
  15. Raw – Taipei, Taiwan
  16. Ta Vie – Hong Kong, China
  17. La Cime – Osaka, Japan | Highest New Entry
  18. Mume – Taipei, Taiwan | Highest Climber
  19. Indian Accent – New Delhi, India
  20. L’effervescence – Tokyo, Japan
  21. Locavore – Bali, Indonesia
  22. The Chairman – Hong Kong, China | Highest Climber
  23. Waku Ghin – Singapore
  24. Lung King Heen – Hong Kong, China
  25. Ministry of Crab – Colombo, Sri Lanka
  26. Jungsik – Seoul, Korea
  27. Sushi Saito – Tokyo, Japan
  28. Il Ristorante Luca Fantin – Tokyo, Japan
  29. Les Amis – Singapore
  30. Fu He Hui – Shanghai, China
  31. Paste – Bangkok, Thailand
  32. Neighborhood – Hong Kong, China
  33. Eat Me – Bangkok, Thailand
  34. Hajime – Osaka, Japan
  35. Jade Dragon – Macau, China
  36. Corner House – Singapore
  37. Bo.Lan – Bangkok, Thailand
  38. Quintessence – Tokyo, Japan
  39. Issaya Siamese Club – Bangkok, Thailand
  40. Belon – Hong Kong
  41. Ronin – Hong Kong, China
  42. Toc Toc – Seoul, Korea
  43. The Dining Room at the House of Sathorn – Bangkok, Thailand
  44. Jaan – Singapore
  45. Nihonbashi – Colombo, Sri Lanka
  46. Caprice – Hong Kong, China
  47. Shoun Ryugin – Taipei, Taiwan
  48. La Maison De La Nature Goh – Fukuoka, Japan
  49. Wasabi By Morimoto – Mumbai, India
  50. Whitegrass – Singapore

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