Asia’s 50 Very best Restaurants 2021 award ceremony celebrates region’s culinary creativeness (and resilience)

Pamela G. Knowles

Just after staying compelled on the internet by the pandemic last calendar year, Asia’s 50 Finest Dining establishments returned to the bodily globe this week with a glitzy awards ceremony in the Grand Ball Home of the The Kahala Hotel & Vacation resort Yokohama on Thursday.

Hong Kong’s The Chairman took the leading spot, beating out 2020 winner Odette (Singapore, No. 2) to be topped The Finest Restaurant in Asia.

The ceremony, which was attended by a scattering of Japanese cooks and visitors, was a scaled-down model of festivities from a long time earlier, and centered on a movie presentation ceremony that was streamed reside on YouTube.

Nine dining establishments from Japan produced the 50 Very best listing. Tokyo’s Den, led by proprietor-chef Zaiyu Hasegawa, retained its No. 3 place to choose up The Very best Restaurant in Japan award for a fourth yr working. Other returnees to the record from Japan involved La Cime (Osaka, No. 8), Sazenka (Tokyo, No. 12), Ode (Tokyo, No. 27), La Maison de la Nature Goh (Fukuoka, No. 30) and Nihonryori RyuGin (Tokyo, No. 35). Tokyo’s Florilege and Narisawa both taken care of their spots inside of the major 10, at No. 7 and No. 9, respectively.

Tokyo’s L’Effervescence returned to the list at No. 19 and also picked up the Best Climber Award possessing climbed the rankings from No. 48 in 2020. Chef Shinobu Namae was just one of the handful of visitors at the ceremony in a position to acquire his award in man or woman.

No. 1: Danny Yip, of Hong Kong’s The Chairman took the top spot and was crowned The Most effective Restaurant in Asia | COURTESY OF ASIA’S 50 Finest Places to eat

Den’s Hasegawa, who also attended in individual to claim The Finest Restaurant in Japan award, explained to the group, “While this yr has been pretty difficult, and we’ve experienced much less individuals at the cafe, I’d like to thank you for the support and the opportunity to do points in another way.” He extra that he was “excited to see Japanese chefs also staying identified outdoors of Japan,” referencing Hokkaido-born Ryogo Tahara, the chef at Taipei’s two-Michelin-starred Logy (No. 24).

Alongside the typical 50 Best listing, two new lists ended up declared at the 2021 award ceremony.

This 12 months noticed the debut of the 51-100 list, which provided a more 9 dining establishments from Japan, such as the revered Sushi Saito (No. 57), which was stripped of its Michelin stars in 2019 for getting inaccessible to the general general public, and the introduction-only Sugalabo (No. 85). The 51-100 checklist also provided a lot more dining establishments outdoors of Tokyo, such as two modern day Italian restaurants: Villa Aida (No. 64, Wakayama) and Cenci (No. 91, Kyoto).

Also introduced was the Essence of Asia record, an unranked assortment of 50 a lot more informal eating places across Asia, from Pakistan to Sri Lanka.

“At a time when places to eat require our guidance, this collection presents vacationers and gourmets with an priceless tutorial to some of Asia’s most authentic and assorted eating activities,” stated William Drew, director of content for Asia’s 50 Most effective Dining places. “The selection of institutions spans road sellers, time-honored establishments, philanthropic companies and groundbreaking newcomers.”

Game changer: Seventy-six-year-old Bangkok chef Supinya “Jay Fai” Junsuta, of Michelin-starred street food restaurant Raan Jay Fai (No. 62), won the 2021 Icon Award. | COURTESY OF ASIA’S 50 BEST RESTAURANTS
Match changer: Seventy-6-calendar year-previous Bangkok chef Supinya “Jay Fai” Junsuta, of Michelin-starred street food items restaurant Raan Jay Fai (No. 62), gained the 2021 Icon Award. | COURTESY OF ASIA’S 50 Best Places to eat

In an industry overwhelmingly dominated by gentlemen, it was exciting to see various female cooks decide on up big awards at the function. Seventy-six-12 months-outdated Bangkok chef Supinya “Jay Fai” Junsuta, of Michelin-starred avenue foods cafe Raan Jay Fai (Bangkok, No. 62), won the 2021 Icon Award, which honors “culinary icons who have built an fantastic contribution to the restaurant business.” The Asia’s Finest Pastry Chef award went to Angela Lai, the patissier at Tairroir (Singapore), whilst DeAille Tam of Obscura (Shanghai) attained the title of Asia’s Ideal Feminine Chef.

Alas, COVID-19 was never considerably from center stage, owning solid a prolonged and devastating shadow above the hospitality industry in the earlier 12 months. Just about every of the profitable chefs referenced the pandemic in their speeches, and the voting procedure for the awards was altered to replicate the incapability of numerous places to eat to open up entirely, or for the judging panel to dine at nominated institutions.

Having said that, regardless of the ongoing pandemic, the ceremony was overwhelmingly upbeat, a reminder that when the pandemic is over, there is a earth of culinary innovation and amazing cooking throughout the continent waiting for our return.

Read the complete list at

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