Highest Climber Award 2018

This year's Asia's 50 Best Restaurants sees Mume (above left) and The Chairman (right) as joint Highest Climbers, each rising an impressive 25 places up the list.

Mume, Taipei, Taiwan (No.18)

New Nordic takes on Taiwanese ingredients

What’s in the name? The restaurant is named for Taiwan’s national flower, the plum blossom, and its cuisine similarly pays tribute to the diversity of the country’s terroir.

Who’s behind it? A trio of chefs helms the restaurant, but not one of them hails from Taiwan. Richie Lin was born in Hong Kong, Long Xiong is a US native and Kai Ward is Australian.

The cuisine: Despite their diverse ethnic backgrounds, the chefs have made it their common goal to highlight the produce of their adopted hometown via a unique brand of New Nordic cuisine. As you journey through the tasting menu, the chefs will help you discover the fruits of Taiwan’s land and sea, such as local white asparagus and caviar.

Signature dish: The quinoa tostada makes an appearance on the menu every single day but its companion ingredients will vary according to the season. It was beef tartare with Taiwanese shrimp roe once, but now cubed local ox tongue with avocado puree and charred pineapple is the highlight. Also watch out for the summer salad, an assembly of almost 30 different local ferns, herbs and leaves dressed with fermented black beans in grapeseed oil.

No. 28 Siwei Rd
Da’an District
Taipei City+886 2 2700 0901

The Chairman, Hong Kong, China (No.22)

Contemporary Cantonese featuring fresh Hong Kong ingredients

The location: Hunting down this two-storey restaurant tucked in the corner of Kau U Fong on the undulating laneway of Central is a feat but let’s just say diners will be richly rewarded.

What to order: The perennial favourite among foodies is chef Kwok Keung Tung’s steamed flowery crab in aged Shaoxing wine and chicken oil with flat rice noodles.

Their ethos: The Chairman does more than pay lip service to its locavore intention. Its chickens and pigs are sourced locally from New Territories, the seafood is purchased from local fishermen who brave the South China Sea for their daily catch of live shrimps and fish; the restaurant even owns a small organic farm in Sheung Shui where they plant vegetables that, in future, will cater to a portion of the restaurant’s needs.

The owner: Danny Yip is a low-profile food cognoscenti who much prefers to let the restaurant and its cuisine do the talking. He used to own restaurants in Canberra, Australia, before he returned to Hong Kong to open The Chairman in 2009.

The Chairman
18 Kau U Fong
Hong Kong
+852 2555 2202

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