Home > Dining > Food > Dewakan catapults Malaysia into the coveted Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list 2019
Dewakan catapults Malaysia into the coveted Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list 2019

It was a big night for Chef Darren Teoh at Wynn Palace in Macau for the highly anticipated “Oscars” of the food world: Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2019. His restaurant Dewakan is placed 46 in the coveted list this year.

This is the first time a Malaysian restaurant has broken into the ranking system and comes perfectly timed after a team of Malaysian pastry chefs was crowned the world champions at the Coupe du Monde de la Patisserie 2019 in Lyon, France.

It stands as testament to the flourishing dining scene in Malaysia, especially with the rise of internationally acclaimed chefs and restaurants doing collaborations in Kuala Lumpur or opening restaurants here.

Chef Darren Teoh of Dewakan.

It seems Teoh’s tremendous hard work has finally paid off. He takes a progressive ethos to dining using ‘funky’ and naturalised ingredients uncommonly found in Malaysian kitchens, working extensively with local farmers and producers.
When asked how it felt to be on the list, he was quick to attribute it to the efforts of an entire supply chain. “It’s nice to be acknowledged for the work that’s being done by all in Malaysia, the farmers, the producers and other restaurants who are pushing it everyday as well as our guests and the guys at the restaurant now and before,” said Teoh. “It’s nice to represent that.”

Through years of foraging and research, Teoh has developed a deep understanding and appreciation of indigenous produce that has been forgotten over time. He reinterprets each ingredient with finesse, turning them into contemporary dishes that are not only beautiful on the plate but magical in the palate.

The chef is also looking to relocate his restaurant from Glenmarie Shah Alam to the city centre — a move that would make it far more accessible.

Dewakan Asia's 50 Best Restaurants 2019
Chef Darren Teoh of Dewakan receiving the award last night. (Photo courtesy of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2019, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna)

Other highlights of the night include newly-crowned, Odette (5th in 2018) who takes over the reign from Gaggan who has held the No.1 status for four consecutive years since 2015. Odette is now Singapore’s and Asia’s best restaurant, followed by Gaggan, Den, Sühring and Florilège completing the top five. Another big surprise is the best new entry Gaa (placed 16th) by Chef Garima Arora who also walks away as elit Vodka Asia’s Best Female Chef 2019.

Asia's 50 Best Restaurants
Photo courtesy of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2019, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna

The list, organised by the brains behind the World’s 50 Best Restaurants, honours the best and most progressive restaurants in the Asian region – putting winners in the headlines as well as being top targets for travelling gourmands. An anonymous judging panel of 318 industry experts nominate their choice of restaurants across Asia and they must have personally dined there within the last 18 months.

Here are all of 2019 winners.

  1. Odette, Singapore (Best in Singapore & Asia)
  2. Gaggan, Bangkok, Thailand (Best in Thailand)
  3. Den, Tokyo, Japan (Best in Japan)
  4. Sühring, Bangkok, Thailand
  5. Florilège, Tokyo, Japan
  6. Ultraviolet by Paul Pairet, Shanghai, China (Best in China)
  7. Mume, Taipei, Taiwan (Best in Taiwan)
  8. Narisawa, Tokyo, Japan
  9. Nihonryori RyuGin, Tokyo, Japan
  10. Burnt Ends, Singapore
  11. The Chairman, Hong Kong, China
  12. 8 ½ Otto e Mezzo Bombana, Hong Kong, China
  13. Mingles, Seoul, Korea (Best in Korea)
  14. La Cime, Osaka, Japan
  15. Belon, Hong Kong, China (Highest new climber)
  16. Gaa, Bangkok, Thailand (Best new entry)
  17. Indian Accent, New Delhi, India (Best in India)
  18. Il Ristorante, Tokyo, Japan
  19. Bolan, Bangkok, Thailand
  20. Le Du, Bangkok, Thailand
  21. Amber, Hong Kong, China
  22. Nahm, Bangkok, Thailand
  23. Sazenka, Tokyo, Japan
  24. La Maison de La Nature Goh, Fukuoka, Japan
  25. Sushi Saito, Tokyo, Japan
  26. L’Effervescence, Tokyo, Japan
  27. Jade Dragon, Macau
  28. Paste, Bangkok, Thailand
  29. Fu He Hui, Shanghai, China
  30. RAW, Taipei, Taiwan
  31. Shoun RyuGin, Taipei, Taiwan
  32. Jaan, Singapore
  33. Les Amis, Singapore
  34. Vea, Hong Kong (New)
  35. Ministry of Crab, Colombo, Sri Lanka (Best in Sri Lanka)
  36. Wing Lei Palace, Macau (New)
  37. Neighbourhood, Hong Kong, China
  38. Lung King Heen, Hong Kong, China
  39. Nouri, Singapore (New)
  40. Waku Ghin, Singapore
  41. TocToc, South Korea
  42. Locavore, Bali, Indonesia (Best in Indonesia)
  43. Toyo Eatery, Manila, Philippines (Best in the Philippines)
  44. Seventh Son, Hong Kong, China (New)
  45. Quintessence, Tokyo, Japan
  46. Dewakan, Malaysia (New & Best in Malaysia)
  47. Sugalabo, Tokyo, Japan (New)
  48. Sohn, Bangkok, Thailand
  49. Corner House, Singapore
  50. Ta Vie, Hong Kong, China

Additional reporting by Azimin Saini

Dewakan catapults Malaysia into the coveted Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list 2019

Martin Teo


Martin has a bent for history and food culture, especially of the Peranakan heritage. Since the pandemic, he finds joy in plant parenting and continues to expand his collection of Philodendrons, Anthuriums, and Syngoniums. On his free time, he finds time scouring through the latest cafes in search for the best croissant in the city.


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