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The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2019: Vea and Belon debut on this year’s long list

While the restaurant industry holds its breath in anticipation of the announcement of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2019 next Tuesday in Singapore, the global restaurant rankings list has just announced its long list of winners this year: #51–120, with an extra 20 spots doled out this year in celebration of the 120th anniversary of its long-time sponsor, San Pellegrino.

Hong Kong has struggled to make an impression in prior years, but today’s announcement gives cause for celebration for a handful of Hong Kong restaurants, including Belon (#96) and Vea (#120), which debut on the long list this year. Both have previously cracked the top 50 on Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants — Belon took home the Highest Climber Award last year and Vea debuted at #34 — but a nod on the World’s Best list opens the doors for chefs Daniel Calvert (Belon) and Vicky Cheng (Vea) for greater global recognition. It’s another jewel in the crown for Belon, which also picked up its first Michelin star this year, while Vea will have to hope it can maintain a presence on next year’s list, which presumably will be pared back down to just 100 spots.

Meanwhile, Lung King Heen remained on the back list (dropping from #88 to #80), while Richard Ekkebus’ Amber plummeted from #56 to #102 this year, just making the cut thanks to this year’s extended ranking. Ostensibly, this is a by-product of the Landmark Mandarin’s flagship restaurant having just reopened after a 4-month closure (World’s 50 Best voters cast 10 votes each for the best restaurants they’ve dined in during the past 18 months), so it’ll be interesting to see how Amber fares next year given Ekkebus’ new culinary direction. Finally, 8 1/2 Otto e Mezzo Bombana dropped off the list altogether after just making it at #93 last year.

The back 70 restaurants include a total of 16 restaurants in Asia, including a new entry from Jade Dragon in Macau (#103). Both Nihonryori RyuGin in Tokyo (#62) and David Thompson’s Nahm in Bangkok (#69) have dropped off the top 50 list this year, but it remains to be seen whether this will open up room for any newcomers from Asia (last year’s list included a total of seven restaurants in the region).

This year’s results are of particular interest as The World’s 50 Best Restaurants announced in January a new rule that former no. 1 winners will no longer be eligible for placement on the annual 50 best list, thereby precluding restaurants such as Osteria Francescana and Eleven Madison Park from taking top honours this year (Noma is still eligible for placement in its new iteration). Whether or not Gaggan Anand’s eponymous restaurant in Bangkok has a chance of inching its way to the top this year (before it officially closes in 2020) remains to be seen.

Stay tuned here for the announcement of the top 50 on 25 June and in the meantime, take a look at the long list for 2019 below (restaurants in Hong Kong are in boldface):

51. Reale, Castel del Sangro, Italy

52. Mikla, Istanbul, Turkey

53. Arzak, San Sebastian, Spain

54. D.O.M., Sao Paulo, Brazil

55. Maeemo, Oslo, Norway

56. Relae, Copenhagen, Denmark

57. Nobelhart and Schmutzig, Berlin, Germany

58. Sud 777, Mexico City, Mexico

59. Burnt Ends, Singapore

60. Indian Accent, New Delhi, India

61. Uliassi, Senigallia, Italy

62. Nihonryori RyuGin, Tokyo, Japan

63. Florilege, Tokyo, Japan

64. The Ledbury, London, UK

65. Selfie, Moscow,Russia

66. Core by Clare Smyth, London, UK

67. Astrid y Gaston, Lima, Peru

68. Faviken, Jarpen, Sweden

69. Nahm, Bangkok, Thailand – Book Here

70. Saison, San Francisco, US

71. SingleThread, Healdsburg, US

72. Aqua, Wolsfburg, Germany

73. Mani, Sao Paulo, Brazil

74. Lasai, Rio de Janiero, Brazil

75. DiverXo, Madrid, Spain

76. Momofuku Ko, New York, US

77. Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare, New York, US

78. Lido 84, Gardone Riviera, Italy

79. Mingles, Seoul, Korea

80. Estela, New York, US

81. Quique Dacosta, Denia, Spain

82. Engima, Barcelona, Spain

83. Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, London, UK

84. Attica, Melbourne, Australia

85. Amass, Copenhagen, Denmark

86. Tegui, Buenos Aires, Argentina

87. Martin Berasategui, Lasate-Oria, Spain

88. Lung King Heen, Hong Kong, ChinaBook Here

89. 108, Copenhagen, Denmark

90. Alo, Toronto, Canada

91. Sushi Saito, Tokyo, Japan

92. Harvest, St. Petersburg, Russia

93. La Cime, Osaka, Japan

94. Aponiente, El Puerto de Santa Maria, Spain

95. Gaa, Bankok, Thailand

96. Belon, Hong Kong, China (New)

97. Vendome, Bergisch Gladbach, Germany

98. Anne-Sophie Pic, Valence, France

99. The Jane, Antwerp, Belgium

100. Oteque, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

101. Brae, Birregurra, Austria

102. Amber, Hong Kong, ChinaBook Here

103. Jade Dragon, Macau, China – Book Here

104. Cococo, St. Petersburg, Russiaa

105. Kadeau, Copenhagen, Denmark

106. Restaurant David Toutain, Paris, France

107. Il Ristorante Luca Fantin, Tokyo, Japan

108. L’Astrance, Paris, France

109. Alcalde, Guadalajara, Mexico

110. Neolokal, Istanbul, Turkey

111. Chambre Separee, Ghent, Belgium

112. St. John, London, UK

113. Vea, Hong Kong, China (New)

114. La Colombe, Cape Town, South Africa

115. Per Se, New York, US

116. St. Hubertus, San Cassiano, Italy

117. Epicure, Paris, France

118. Ernst, Berlin, Germany

119. Atomix, New York, US

120. Sugalabo, Tokyo, Japan

The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2019: Vea and Belon debut on this year’s long list

Leslie Yeh

Editor in Chief

Having worked as a lifestyle editor for almost 10 years, Leslie is thrilled to be writing about the topic she loves most: wining and dining. When she's not out pounding the pavement for the latest new restaurant opening or tracking food trends, Leslie can be found at home whipping up a plate of rigatoni vodka and binge-watching Netflix with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc in hand.

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