Asia's 50 Best Restaurants 2021: the list in pictures

Giulia Sgarbi - 25/03/2021

The list of Asia's 50 Best Restaurants 2021, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna, was revealed on Thursday 25th March via a virtual awards ceremony. The announcement aims to support restaurants in their recovery by showcasing the region’s creative talents and to inspire and excite foodies about the gastronomic delights that await them locally or further afield. 

Explore the list – featuring 11 new entries, including a new restaurant in Vietnam, a country last represented in 2013, and two re-entries – in 50 photos, all the way down to the establishment voted No.1, The Best Restaurant in Asia 2021, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna

No.50 Wing Lei Palace, Macau, China
Celebrating seasonality and the purity of flavour found in singular ingredients, Chef Tam Kwok Fung changes his menu at Wing Lei Palace daily. Regardless, he still counts a number of signature dishes: don’t miss the steamed blue lobster, shelled and reassembled, served atop a sauce made from egg white and 20-year-aged Shaoxing wine. 

No.49 Toyo Eatery, Manila, Philippines
Opened in 2016, Toyo Eatery is founded on the philosophy of rediscovering national identity through the Philippines’ products, cuisine and culture. Often using traditional cooking methods, chef Jordy Navarra has created tasting menus ranging from three to 11 dishes, and the restaurant also offers à la carte options. 

No.48 Seventh Son, Hong Kong, China
At Seventh Son, a steady stream of elegant Cantonese dishes arrive in an opulent gold-laced setting, celebrating the history of southern Chinese cuisine. The feast will always feature dim sum, seafood-focused small plates and groaning sharing platters. 

No.47 Lung King Heen, Hong Kong, China
This restaurant in the Four Seasons Hotel was the first Chinese restaurant to be awarded three Michelin stars. Its runaway success was a result of its fresh look at local cuisine, combined with the jaw-slackening views of Victoria Harbour. 

No.46 Gaa, Bangkok, Thailand
Melding flavours from India and Thailand, chef Garima Arora builds progressive dishes with ingredients dictated by the seasons. Guests sign up for a 10- or 14-course tasting menu, which can be accompanied by natural wines, fermentation-rich cocktails, or a whole juice pairing. Arora describes her culinary style as “modern eclectic cuisine”. 

No.45 Shoun RyuGin, Taipei, Taiwan
An offshoot of legendary Japanese chef Seiji Yamamoto’s flagship Nihonryori RyuGin, Shoun RyuGin specialises in kaiseki crafted not with Japanese but Taiwanese produce. 

No.44 Mono, Hong Kong, China – New Entry
Within a few months of opening in late 2019, Mono morphed from contemporary French restaurant to champion of new Latin American cuisine. Born in Venezuela, of Colombian, Argentinian and Italian heritage, chef Ricardo Chaneton delivers a thrilling take on the food of his home continent. 

No.43 Hansikgonggan, Seoul, South Korea
In an unpretentious, light-filled room with stunning views over the rooftops of Seoul, chef Cho Hee-sook’s food epitomises hansik (Korean) cuisine. Using seasonal ingredients and a variety of cooking techniques, the team creates dishes that preserve the original flavour of the product, as per hansik technique, for a menu of intricate plates with maximum flavour. 

No.42 Jaan by Kirk Westaway, Singapore
Since taking over Jaan, chef Kirk Westaway has been working towards a cuisine that reflects his own culinary principles and history, and in 2018 he revealed a menu shaped by his passion for British dining. 

No.41 Euphoria, Singapore – New Entry
Opened in November 2020, Euphoria is the latest addition to Singapore’s ever-evolving gastronomic scene. Located in a heritage former shophouse on Singapore’s Tras Street, it seats just 26 and takes the concept of vegetable-led haute cuisine to new heights. 

No.40 Labyrinth, Singapore – New Entry
Opened in 2014, Labyrinth serves neo-Singaporean cuisine that reinvents local fare for the 21st century. A meal here offers both a discovery of Singapore’s hawker flavours and a taste of the city’s terroir, with the team tapping into its little-known bounty as much as possible. Labyrinth earned the Flor de Caña Sustainable Restaurant Award 2021. 

No.39 Anan Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam – New Entry
A pioneer of modern Vietnamese and Asian cuisine, Peter Cuong Franklin is one of the most recognisable faces on the country’s growing gastronomic scene. At Anan Saigon, he combines his deep knowledge of Southeast Asian street-food flavours with contemporary international techniques. 

No.38 Ta Vie, Hong Kong, China – Re-Entry
Pure, simple and seasonal is the mantra of chef-patron Hideaki Sato. Produce comes first, with beautifully pared-back yet technically brilliant dishes that coax the most out of every ingredient. 

No.37 Amber, Hong Kong, China
After a four-month closure, Amber reopened in May 2019 with a stunning new dining room featuring undulating curves and a bright new culinary philosophy that favours the essence and truth of each ingredient. The menu caters easily to dietary needs with every dish dairy- and gluten-free and low in salt and sugar. 

No.36 Born & Bred, Seoul, South Korea – New Entry
Born & Bred is located in a four-storey building that encompasses a butcher shop and casual café, an à la carte dining hall where meat can be ordered by weight and cut and four private dining rooms. But the real show goes down in the basement-level speakeasy. It’s here that one embarks on the seasonal, multi-course hanwoo adventure comprised of Korea’s highest-grade beef, often under the guidance of owner Jung Sang-won. 

No.35 Nihonryori RyuGin, Tokyo, Japan
Seiji Yamamoto’s seasonally-driven, 12-course omakase (chef’s choice) tells the story of Japan’s best ingredients at their peak of ripeness. Depending on the season, diners will spin through a menu of ayu (sweetfish) in the summer; matsubagani crabs in the fall; and fugu during the winter. 

No.34 7th Door, Seoul, South Korea – New Entry
Ageing and fermentation, the cornerstones of traditional Korean gastronomy, are central at 7th Door, which opened in 2020. Kim aims to take diners through ‘the seven tastes of food’, including the basic five senses alongside the taste of fermentation and ageing, with the seventh being the chef’s vision for drawing out the essence of all the ingredients in Korea's larder. 

No.33 8 1/2 Otto e Mezzo Bombana, Hong Kong, China
8 ½ Otto e Mezzo’s tasting menu starts with roasted blue lobster and moves on to homemade tagliolini, short rib and beef tenderloin and Challand duck, finishing with blonde cannelloni or poached cherries with pistachio gelato. The restaurant was christened in tribute to Italian film director Federico Fellini’s 1963 movie 8½, where a film director retreats into his memories and fantasies. 

No.32 Masque, Mumbai, India – New Entry
What sets Masque apart is the combination of a tasting menu-only concept, a focus on seasonal and local Indian ingredients and a striking dining room set inside one of Mumbai’s former cotton mills. 

No.31 Cloudstreet, Singapore – New Entry
Cloudstreet’s tasting menu draws on chef Rishi Naleendra’s professional coming-of-age years in Australia as well as his Sri Lankan heritage. His signature dish of Western Australian marron served in a thick pool of Sri Lankan yellow curry flecked with millets and topped with celery and fennel is exemplary of the restaurant’s culinary philosophy – contemporary with a nod to the chef’s motherland. 

No.30 La Maison de la Nature Goh, Fukuoka, Japan
Hidden down a small alleyway off Fukuoka’s Nishinakasu street, La Maison de La Nature Goh is a quiet, stylish restaurant serving omakase (or ‘chef’s choice’) – a six or seven-course menu created by talented chef-owner Takeshi ‘Goh’ Fukuyama. 

No.29 Ministry of Crab, Colombo, Sri Lanka
Set in a preserved 400-year-old Dutch Hospital in Colombo with a minimalist but huge open kitchen, Ministry of Crab is a haven for crustacean fans, celebrating the Sri Lankan crab in everything from the food to the crab-claw plants that serve as the restaurant’s only décor. 

No.28 Caprice, Hong Kong, China – Re-Entry
Caprice is destination dining that’s worth getting dressed-up for. A glass-floored catwalk, dazzling crystal chandeliers, panoramic harbour views and smooth service from a fleet of immaculately groomed staff make every meal a memorable occasion. 

No.27 Ode, Tokyo, Japan
Chic but casual, Ode’s decor is a meditation on the colour grey, from the front door to the ceiling, walls and countertop that runs the length of chef Yusuke Namai’s open kitchen. The same monochrome colourway even extends to some of the dishes on his multi-course omakase menus. 

No.26 JL Studio, Taichung, Taiwan
Opened in 2017, JL Studio marries South-East Asian flavours and spices with the best of fresh Taiwanese ingredients. Traditional Singaporean dishes are deconstructed and reinvented in modern form, with fresh flavours, creative presentations and unique twists. 

No.25 Belon, Hong Kong, China
Named after the bulbous European oyster traditionally found in Brittany, Belon mixes the vibrancy of the Hong Kong strip with a bustling Parisian bistro in the Soho district. Using an array of fine local ingredients, Belon showcases pared-back technique, with former Coi and The Fat Duck chef Matthew Kirkley newly at the helm. 

No.24 Logy, Taipei, Taiwan – New Entry
A spin-off from Asia’s 50 Best top-ten mainstay Florilège, Logy celebrates local Taiwanese ingredients while remaining true to the roots of its Tokyo sister. A fixed-price tasting menu changes regularly, but the chawanmushi (an egg custard traditionally found in Japan) with crab and wild celery sorbet in a hot beef consommé has become something of a signature. 

No.23 Zén, Singapore
Zén is the Singapore stablemate of the much-vaunted Stockholm restaurant Frantzén – hence the name – which features prominently on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list. Expect Nordic snacks of beer-poached crustacean with trout roe topped with dill-scented sour cream. 

No.22 Fu He Hui, Shanghai, China
Dinner at this tasting menu-only restaurant is an education in China’s diverse fungi, some of which you are very unlikely to have encountered before. 

No.21 Raw, Taipei, Taiwan
Since its opening in late 2014, 60-cover Raw has become one of the hottest spots in Taipei, with striking interior design and an innovative menu. All of Raw’s dishes are based on a few simple ingredients and incorporate some interesting pairings where East meets West. 

No.20 Nusara, Bangkok, Thailand – New Entry
The newest venture from entrepreneurial chef Thitid ‘Ton’ Tassanakajohn sees the man behind Asia’s 50 Best stalwart Le Du return to his roots with a more traditional menu of authentic Thai dishes. 

No.19 L'Effervescence, Tokyo, Japan
This sparkling restaurant is all about harmonious flavours, plated with deep consideration. Off-the-plate offerings are equally exceptional, with stand-out service that amplifies the experience. It rose 29 places in the list from 2020 to 2021, earning the Beronia Highest Climber Award. 

No.18 Indian Accent, New Delhi, India
Now in its seventh consecutive year as The Best Restaurant in India, Indian Accent continues to excel through a combination of creative modern dishes and warm hospitality. However, it never rests on its laurels. Season after season Chef Manish Mehrotra’s inventive tasting menus add an international accent to his country’s cuisine by mixing in global ingredients and techniques. 

No.17 Neighborhood, Hong Kong, China
Despite sitting amid the flamboyant antique shops and art galleries of Hollywood Road, Neighborhood is as discreet as they come. Found in a little courtyard, this French-Italian restaurant comes courtesy of restaurateur David Lai and serves food that resonates with simplicity and style. 

No.16 Vea, Hong Kong, China
At Vea, ‘Chinese x French’ is the philosophy that underpins the cooking. This means sea cucumber and fish maw live alongside truffles and caviar. 2021 also sees Vea’s immaculate front-of-house team rewarded with the Gin Mare Art of Hospitality Award. 

No.15 Mume, Taipei, Taiwan
Mume is named for Taiwan’s national flower, the plum blossom, and its cuisine pays tribute to the diversity of the country’s terroir. 

No.14 Burnt Ends, Singapore
A four-tonne, two-oven brick kiln designed by chef-owner Dave Pynt, who won the Chefs' Choice Award in 2017, dominates the busy open kitchen. Almost everything here – from quail eggs to an 80-day dry aged rib – is touched by the kiln's heat and smoke, or by the custom grills, which are Burnt Ends’ heart and soul. 

No.13 Les Amis, Singapore
Les Amis became the trend-setting fine dining restaurant in Singapore when it opened in 1994. Classic Sebastien Lepinoy dishes include cold angel hair pasta with kombu, caviar and black truffle; and line-caught sea bass from Saint Gilles Croix de Vie in France, served with a traditional Americaine sauce. 

No.12 Sazenka, Tokyo, Japan
Chef Tomoya Kawada cooks Chinese cuisine infused with a Japanese sensibility, rooted in the two countries’ shared culture of tea drinking. His elegant restaurant, located inside a former diplomat’s residence in Tokyo’s upmarket Minami-Azabu district, has just 12 seats, plus two private rooms. 

No.11 Sorn, Bangkok, Thailand
Expect Southern Thai flavours incorporating tastes of bordering Malaysia but using almost exclusively Thai ingredients, presented with white-glove service in a stately refurbished old house at Sukhumvit Soi 26. 

No.10 Mingles, Seoul, South Korea
Since opening in April 2014 in Seoul’s buzzy Cheongdam-dong district, Mingles has impressed local and international diners with refined Korean cookery that weaves in inspiration from Hong Kong and Europe. Here, one can explore unsung local ingredients from acorn jelly to bellflower root in a clean, earthy-toned space. In 2021, chef Mingoo Kang was voted by his peers as the winner of the Inedit Damm Chefs’ Choice Award. 

No.9 Narisawa, Tokyo, Japan
After close to two decades as one of Tokyo’s finest dining destinations, chef Yoshihiro Narisawa’s eponymous restaurant in Tokyo’s upmarket Aoyama district needs little fanfare. Having topped the inaugural Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list in 2013, Narisawa has been a constant fixture ever since. 

No.8 La Cime, Osaka, Japan
La Cime’s name comes from the French word for ‘peak’ or ‘summit’ and from the very outset it set its sights high. Since opening in 2010 in downtown Osaka, it has steadily risen in popularity to become a highpoint of dining for gastronomes visiting the Kansai region of Western Japan. 

No.7 Florilège, Tokyo, Japan
Plush counter seating runs three sides of a large open kitchen where chef Hiroyasu Kawate and his crew work, allowing guests to watch as they prepares tasting menus of creative French cuisine. 

No.6 Sühring, Bangkok, Thailand
When twins Thomas and Mathias Sühring debuted their namesake restaurant – presenting a fresh interpretation of traditional German fare via a menu of sophisticated, lighter-style bites – the 2016 launch was met with immediate approval. At Sühring, the duo embraces local, seasonal products and luxury ingredients, which they plate with a minimalist aesthetic. 

No.5 Gaggan Anand, Bangkok, Thailand – Highest New Entry
Gregarious Kolkata-born chef Gaggan Anand closed his Bangkok restaurant in August 2019. In November of the same year, he opened a new incarnation of the eatery with a subtly different name in a new, foliage-clad site in the south east of Bangkok. The Gaggan Anand restaurant debuts on the list at No.5, earning the Highest New Entry Award 2021, sponsored by Aspire Lifestyles. 

No.4 Le Du, Bangkok, Thailand
It might sound French, but the name Le Du actually derives from the Thai word for 'season'. As the name suggests, seasonal Thai ingredients are the focus here through a tasting menu of regional dishes interpreted through a modern, French-leaning lens. 

No.3 Den, Tokyo, Japan
Chef Zaiyu Hasegawa’s ever-creative take on the elevated cuisine of his homeland is innovative, at times humorous, and always satisfying. But what makes Den so unique among Japanese restaurants – and so popular – is how relaxed and welcoming it feels. 

No.2 Odette, Singapore
Chef Julien Royer’s food, combined with best-in-class hospitality, is what makes Odette special. The 37-year-old Frenchman sources the highest quality products from specialist artisans across the world – from Europe to Asia and Australia. After two years in the top spot in the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list, Odette takes the No.2 position in 2021, while retaining the title of The Best Restaurant in Singapore. 

No.1 The Chairman, Hong Kong, China
While Chinese cookery is often wedded to longstanding recipes from the past, The Chairman follows an original ingredient-driven – and concept-inspired – path. Traditional skills shape carefully sourced seasonal ingredients, but ultimately yield wholly new contemporary Cantonese dishes. The explosive result has earned The Chairman the No.1 spot in Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2021, winning the joint honours of The Best Restaurant in Asia, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna – a first for a Hong Kong restaurant – and The Best Restaurant in China. 

Now recap the full list in the video:

The list of Asia's 50 Best Restaurants 2021, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna, was announced on March 25, 2021, via a virtual awards ceremony. To stay up to date with the latest news, follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube