The biggest night of the year in the Asian gastronomic world has come and gone: the announcement of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2018, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna. The much-anticipated list was revealed on Tuesday at an exclusive awards ceremony at Wynn Palace’s Grand Theatre in Macau, attended by top chefs, media and VIP guests.

Taking the top spot for an impressive fourth year in a row is Gaggan, Bangkok’s self-styled ‘progressive Indian restaurant’. While this may come as no surprise to most people, the eponymous chef Gaggan Anand recalled in the press conference after the awards ceremony that when Gaggan first came in first place in 2015, “Everyone thought it was a fluke.”

Gaggan Anand

“The second year, people thought we had bribed [people],” the chef-owner continued. “The third year, we won it. This year, we don’t have to prove we won it.”

While Gaggan retains the crown, the award ceremony saw a major shake-up of its top ranks this year, with modern kaiseki eatery Den and modern Japanese-French fusion restauarant Florilege, both in Tokyo, taking second and third spots respectively, with Bangkok’s Sühring from German twins Thomas and Mathias Sühring and Singapore’s two-Michelin-starred French establishment Odette also breaking the top five for the first time.

Including Gaggan, Bangkok secured a total of nine spots on the list. The only newcomer was Paste, headed by chef Bongkoch ‘Bee’ Satongun, which debuted at #31. Nahm dropped from #5 to #10, Issaya Siamese Club from #21 to #39, while Le Du, after debuting at #37 in 2017, rose to #14 this year.

Taking the baton from last year’s winner, May Chow from Hong Kong as the elit® Vodka Asia’s Best Female Chef this year is chef Bongkoch ‘Bee’ Satongun of Michelin-starred Thai Restaurant Paste in Bangkok, who has made a name for herself by by adding her own unique and creative twists to authentic, traditional Thai recipes.

chef Bongkoch ‘Bee’ Satongun

“Bee is a pioneering chef, not only among women, but in the culinary community overall. Her nonconformist approach and masterful combinations will inspire the industry for years to come” noted Frances Gaillard, International Marketing Director for Stoli Group, overseeing elit® Vodka.

Here are all of this year’s winners, with Bangkok restaurants noted in bold:

  1. Gaggan, Bangkok, Thailand (Best in Thailand)
  2. Den, Tokyo, Japan (Best in Japan)
  3. Florilège, Tokyo, Japan
  4. Sühring, Bangkok, Thailand
  5. Odette, Singapore (Best in Singapore)
  6. Narisawa, Tokyo, Japan
  7. Amber, Hong Kong, China (Best in China)
  8. Ultraviolet by Paul Pairet, Shanghai, China
  9. Nihonryori RyuGin, Tokyo, Japan
  10. Nahm, Bangkok, Thailand
  11. Mingles, Seoul, Korea (Best in 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 (Best in Taiwan)
  16. Ta Vie, Hong Kong, China
  17. La Cime, Osaka, Japan (New)
  18. Mume, Taipei, Taiwan
  19. Indian Accent, New Delhi, India (Best Restaurant in India)
  20. L’Effervescence, Tokyo, Japan
  21. Locavore, Bali, Indonesia (Best in Indonesia)
  22. The Chairman, Hong Kong, China
  23. Waku Ghin, Singapore
  24. Lung King Heen, Hong Kong, China
  25. Ministry of Crab, Colombo, Sri Lanka (Best in Sri Lanka)
  26. Jungsik, Seoul, Korea
  27. Sushi Saito, Tokyo, Japan
  28. Il Ristorante – Luca Fantin, Tokyo, Japan (New)
  29. Les Amis, Singapore
  30. Fu He Hui, Shanghai, China
  31. Paste, Bangkok, Thailand (New)
  32. Neighborhood, Hong Kong, China (New)
  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, China (New)
  41. Ronin, Hong Kong, China
  42. TocToc, Seoul, Korea (New)
  43. The Dining Room at The House On Sathorn, Bangkok, Thailand
  44. Jaan, Singapore
  45. Nihonbashi, Colombo, Sri Lanka
  46. Caprice, Hong Kong, China (Re-entry)
  47. Shoun RyuGin, Taipei, Taiwan (New)
  48. La Maison de la Nature Goh, Fukuoka, Japan (Re-entry)
  49. Wasabi By Morimoto, Mumbai, India
  50. Whitegrass, Singapore (New)

For more information on this year’s list, visit www.theworlds50best.com

Photo credit: Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna