Hong Kong-based restaurant, The Chairman has taken the top spot on Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants for 2021, becoming the first Hong Kong restaurant to claim the No.1 spot and earning the coveted titles of The Best Restaurant in Asia.
Sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna, and The Best Restaurant in China. The 2021 list was announced today in a virtual ceremony. Now in its ninth edition, the 2021 list boasts 11 first-time entries, including a new restaurant in Vietnam, a country last represented on the list in 2013. Hong Kong claims 11 restaurants on the list, followed by Japan with nine and Singapore with eight.
Launched in 2009, The Chairman is best known for its “ingredient-driven Cantonese cuisine and single-minded commitment to authentic flavors,” said a press release, adding The Chairman first appeared on The World’s 50 Best Restaurant list in 2019, landing at No.41.
“In the last year, the restaurant sector has faced extraordinary challenges. At such a time, we are proud to support the restaurants in their recovery by showcasing the region’s creative talents, celebrating the industry’s pioneers and recognizing culinary excellence.”
Aside from The Chairman, Hong Kong is also represented by newcomer Mono (No.44) as well as re-entries Caprice (No.28) and Ta Vie (No.38).
Under the leadership and creative artistry of executive chef Vicky Cheng, Hong Kong’s Vea (No.16) is this year’s recipient of the Gin Mare Art of Hospitality Award. The remaining Hong Kong restaurants include Neighborhood (No.17), Belon (No.25), 8½ Otto e Mezzo Bombana (No.33), Amber (No.37), Lung King Heen (No.47) and Seventh Son (No.48).
Mainland China is represented by Fu He Hui (No.22), which maintains its seven-year run on the list, while Macau’s Wing Lei Palace also returns with the No.50 spot on the ranking.
Highlights from this year’s awards
- The Chairman is the first Hong Kong venue to be named The Best Restaurant in Asia, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna
- The 2021 list includes 11 new restaurants and two re-entries
- Hong Kong leads the list with 11 entries, followed by Japan with nine
- Labyrinth in Singapore wins the Flor de Caña Sustainable Restaurant Award
- Rising 29 places to No.19, L’Effervescence in Tokyo claims the Beronia Highest Climber Award
- Debuting on the list at No.5, Gaggan Anand, Bangkok, claims the Highest New Entry Award, sponsored by Aspire Lifestyles
- Angela Lai from Taïrroir, Taipei, is named Asia’s Best Pastry Chef
- Vea in Hong Kong is this year’s recipient of the Gin Mare Art of Hospitality Award
- Legendary Bangkok chef Supinya ‘Jay Fai’ Junsuta is the recipient of the Icon Award
- DeAille Tam of Obscura, Shanghai, is Asia’s Best Female Chef, sponsored by Cinco Jotas
- Meta in Singapore claims the coveted American Express One To Watch Award
- Mingoo Kang from Mingles in South Korea wins the peer-voted Inedit Damm Chefs’ Choice Award
Individual Country Awards
Retaining its No.3 place, Den wins the title of The Best Restaurant in Japan for a fourth successive year while Florilège and Narisawa both maintain their respective places within the top 10, at No.7 and No.9. Climbing an impressive 29 places to No.19, Tokyo’s L’Effervescence is the winner of this year’s Beronia Highest Climber Award.
Japan’s other returning favourites include La Cime (No.8), Sazenka (No.12), Ode (No.27), La Maison de la Nature Goh (No.30) and Nihonryori RyuGin (No.35).
After holding the No.1 spot for two consecutive years, Odette moves to No.2 while retaining the title of The Best Restaurant in Singapore.
Singapore counts three newcomers to the list. Cloudstreet, fronted by Sri Lankan chef Rishi Naleendra, makes its entrance on the list at No.31, while chef Jason Tan’s intimate 26-seater Euphoria bows at No.41. Chef LG Han’s Labyrinth makes its debut at No.40 and wins the Flor de Caña Sustainable Restaurant Award, selected by 50 Best’s sustainability audit partner Food Made Good Global for its sustainable sourcing policies and work to support the community during the recent pandemic.
Other Singapore restaurants to make the ranking are Les Amis (No.13), Burnt Ends (No.14), Zén (No.23) and Jaan by Kirk Westaway (No.42).
After closing his award-winning restaurant Gaggan in 2019, popular chef Gaggan Anand makes a dramatic return to the list. His namesake Bangkok restaurant, Gaggan Anand, enters at No.5, securing the Highest New Entry Award, sponsored by Aspire Lifestyles.
Among Thailand’s six entries this year, chef Thitid ‘Ton’ Tassanakajohn has double reason to celebrate. His high-profile Le Du (No.4) is named The Best Restaurant in Thailand for the first time, edging out last year’s title holder Sühring (No.6), while his latest venture, Nusara, debuts at No.20. Sorn (No.11) and Gaa (No.46) round out the Thailand entries.
Perennial favourite Mume rises three places to No.15 to hold the title of The Best Restaurant in Taiwan for a third year. Raw rises 15 places to No.21, closely followed by Logy, Florilège’s sister restaurant in Taipei, making a first-time entry at No.24. JL Studio (No. 26) and Shoun RyuGin (No.45) complete the representation in Taiwan.
Taipei is also home to Asia’s Best Pastry Chef. As pâtissier at Taïrroir, Singapore-born chef Angela Lai is a worthy recipient of the title, having delighted diners with her delicate creations for the last five years.
Climbing four places to No.10, Mingles is named The Best Restaurant in Korea for a sixth consecutive year, while Hansikgonggan places at No.43. South Korea counts two new entries to the list, namely 7th Door (No.34) and Born & Bred (No.36).
Other notable regional awards
Ministry of Crab in Colombo (No.29) retains the title of The Best Restaurant in Sri Lanka, while Toyo Eatery (No.49) keeps The Best Restaurant in Philippines honour for a third year.
Indian Accent (No.18) is awarded The Best Restaurant in India, while Masque in Mumbai, the 2020 recipient of the One To Watch Award, makes its debut on the list at No.32.
Entering the ranking at No.39, Anan Saigon, from award-winning chef Peter Cuong Franklin, secures the title of The Best Restaurant in Vietnam.
Other special award winners
Bangkok chef Supinya ‘Jay Fai’ Junsuta is this year’s deserving recipient of the Icon Award, while DeAille Tam of Obscura in Shanghai earns the title of Asia’s Best Female Chef, sponsored by Cinco Jotas.
For its modern interpretations of Korean culinary traditions, Meta in Singapore claims the American Express One To Watch Award. Celebrated Korean chef Mingoo Kang is this year’s recipient of the Inedit Damm Chefs’ Choice Award, the only award voted for by the chefs of the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2021 list to recognise a peer making a positive impact on the restaurant scene.
“In the last year, the restaurant sector has faced extraordinary challenges. At such a time, we are proud to support the restaurants in their recovery by showcasing the region’s creative talents, celebrating the industry’s pioneers and recognizing culinary excellence,” said William Drew, Director of Content for Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants.
“In conjunction with this year’s list of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants, along with the extended list of restaurants ranked from 51st to 100th, we were also thrilled to launch the Essence of Asia collection, an initiative that allowed us to champion local heroes and turn the spotlight on even more restaurants than ever before.”