Updated: Mar 31
Young, successful Thai chef, Thitid Tassanakajohn, aka Chef Ton of Le Du, led his restaurant to the top spot to be awarded The Best Restaurant in Asia, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna after being on Asia's 50 Best Restaurants lists since 2017.
For those who heard the name Le Du for the first time, this restaurant is a Thai restaurant that supports local farmers. The name Le Du is a pun on the Thai word "ฤดู", meaning "season, " reflecting an emphasis on Thai culinary creations out of seasonal bounties.
However, Le Du wasn't the only restaurant owned by Chef Ton that got on the list this year. Nusara climbed up to 3rd place this year. This restaurant is a homage to his beloved grandmother, who inspired him to be the chef he is today.
There are nine restaurants from Bangkok on the list, including Gaggan Anand (No.5), Sorn (No.9), Sühring (No.22) and Raan Jay Fai (No.38). POTONG and Baan Tepa, both female-led restaurants, debuted at No.35 and No.46 respectively. Gaggan Anand's Mexican-Indian eatery, Ms. Maria & Mr. Singh, at No.33, is another new entry.
Singapore's restaurants also hold nine coveted spots, with Odette ranking No.6. The restaurant, helmed by chef Julien Royer, has ranked in the top ten every year since 2017. Taking home Asia's Best Pastry Chef Award, sponsored by Valrhona, was pastry chef Louisa Lim, making it a double win for the restaurant. Lim's imaginative confections, which exude a delicate harmony of flavours, are a significant draw to the Odette experience. With an impressive twenty-nine-spot rise, LG Han's 'new Singaporean' dining destination Labyrinth placed at No.11 and won the Highest Climber Award. Meta placed at No.17 on the list, and taking up four straight spots were Burnt Ends (No.24), Euphoria (No.25), Cloudstreet (No.26) and Les Amis (No.27). Meanwhile, Zén (No.21), with its beautifully executed immersive Neo-Nordic culinary experience, took home the Gin Mare Art of Hospitality Award. A new entry, Born, made its mark at No.36.
Seven spots on the list belonged to Tokyo. Sézanne moves up fifteen places to No.2. Den, last year's Best Restaurant in Asia, placed No.4. Florilège, whose chef-owner Hiroyasu Kawate also wins the Inedit Damm Chefs' Choice Award, ranked No.7. Narisawa (No.10) celebrated being on the Asia's 50 Best Restaurants list for eleven consecutive years since its debut in 2013 at No.1. Sazenka sat at No.12 and Ode at No.20. L'Effervescence, whose Executive Chef Shinobu Namae was awarded the Icon Award, ranked at No.44.
There are five Hong Kong restaurants on the list, including The Chairman (No.13), Neighbourhood (No.29), WING (No.37), Mono (No.41) and Caprice (No.49). A total of four Seoul restaurants appeared on the list, including chef Sung Ahn's MOSU, which climbed twelve places to No.15, and Onjium, which ascended seven spots to No.23. Other notable restaurants included Mingles (No.28) and BORN & BRED (No.47).
Macau and Shanghai each got two spots. In the former, Haute vegetarian restaurant Fu He Hui is at No.18. At No.34 was Da Vittorio. Macau's opulent Wing Lei Palace climbed up seven places to No.39. Sichuan Moon re-entered the rankings at No.43. Nordic dining destination Refer broke into the list at No.50 and is Beijing's sole representative at the awards. Shenzhen was represented by Ensue (No.31), with its dynamic young female sommelier Della Tang also crowned the Beronia Asia's Best Sommelier 2023.
Debuting on the list at No.30, Avartana in Chennai claimed the Highest New Entry Award. Mumbai and Delhi both had a restaurant each: Masque at No.16 and Indian Accent at No.19. Manila's Toyo Eatery re-entered the ranking at No.42 and also won the Flor de Caña Sustainable Restaurant Award. Chef-Owner Jordy Navarra advocates conservation and preservation and believes no linear or cookie-cutter approach to sustainability exists. He prefers working with small-scale producers and respects traditions, cultures, and terroirs as part of the sustainability loop. Metiz, with a menu that spotlights the terroir of the Philippines, joins the list for the first time at No.48.
Osaka's La Cime was at No.8. Villa AiDA from Wakayama retained its position at No.14, and Kyoto's Cenci moved up eleven places to No.32. Anan Saigon was Ho Chi Minh's solo entry at No.40. At the same time, Taipei's MUME re-entered the list at No.45.
A big round of applause for all the restaurants that made it to the list. Again, congratulations to Le Du and Chef Ton!