The rankings for the World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2019 were announced at a ceremony held in the Marina Bay Sands Convention Centre last night, which saw seven restaurants in Asia placing in the list — including Odette, chef Julien Royer’s two Michelin-starred French fine dining venue, and the only one on the list representing Singapore.
This was the first time the worldwide edition of the event has ever been held in Asia.
Within the region, the rankings for this year’s list are:
Gaggan (Bangkok), #4
Den (Tokyo), #11
Odette (Singapore), #18
Narisawa (Tokyo), #22
The Chairman (Hong Kong), #41
Sühring (Bangkok), #45
Ultraviolet by Paul Pairet (Shanghai), #48
This one’s a bit of a head-scratcher, though: Odette placed as number one in Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list this year, knocking off Bangkok’s Gaggan from its four-year run in the top spot. In the global list announced last night, Odette placed at #18.
With Gaggan’s spot at #4 in the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list, however, announcers at yesterday’s ceremony also gave it the title of “Best Restaurant in Asia” due to that ranking.
So which is it, 50 Best? Which of your questionable calibrations of the best restaurants supersedes the other? Please tell us, because we for one need to know whether Odette or Gaggan is the true heir to our iron chef throne.
Elsewhere in the Coco universe, high-end Cantonese restaurant The Chairman made its debut in the World’s 50 Best, at #41 on the list. It is the only restaurant from Hong Kong to be included and the only Chinese restaurant serving Chinese or Cantonese cuisine to make it to the top 50 list.
According to Apple Daily, the last time a Chinese restaurant was ranked in the top 50 was in 2004, and that accolade went to the Flower Drum Restaurant in Australia, which was then ranked at #49.
The other restaurant in Bangkok to be included on the list, Sühring (#45), specializes in German cuisine.
As for the remaining restaurants on the list, 25 are from Europe, six are from the United States, and six are from Latin America. Within the top 10, seven are from Europe.
According to the World’s 50 Best organization, the list was voted on by a “diverse Academy” comprising of more than 1,000 international chefs, food writers and “traveling gourmets.”
While the organization’s annual rankings carry plenty of clout among industry professionals and restaurant-goers alike, they have also faced intense public scrutiny over what critics say is a highly flawed selection and voting process, as well as a bias towards celebrating Western cuisines and male chefs.