Gaggan wins top spot (again) on Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list

Hong Kong chefs Richard Ekkebus of Amber and Umberto Bombana of 8 1/2 Otto e Mezzo Bombana won third and fourth, respectively

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 22 February, 2017, 2:07am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 22 February, 2017, 5:46am

For the third year in a row, Gaggan, the progressive Indian restaurant in Bangkok, Thailand, won top honours on Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list for 2017. In a ceremony held on February 21 at the House on Sathorn in Bangkok, chef Gaggan Anand accepted the award, beating out Andre Chiang of Restaurant Andre in Singapore, for top spot.

Hong Kong came in strong on this year’s list. Amber, the restaurant at the Landmark Mandarin Oriental in Central, climbed up one spot from last year’s list, coming in at third, while 8 1/2 Otto e Mezzo Bombana, came in fourth place, up nine from the 2016 list. Umberto Bombana, chef of Otto e Mezzo, also received the Diners Club International Lifetime Achievement Award, while May Chow of Little Bao in Central won Asia’s Best Female Chef.

A post shared by Gaggan (@gaggan_anand) on Feb 21, 2017 at 8:31am PST

In a press conference after the ceremony, Anand said that Ferran Adria, the ultra-creative chef of El Bulli, the now-closed restaurant in Roses, Spain, had been a huge influence on him.

“When I’m with Ferran I feel humbled,” he said. “El Bulli is my nirvana, my knowledge. The spherical yogurt [a dish that’s been on his menu since he opened Gaggan, in 2010] is my way of doing [modernist cuisine]. It made me realise what I could do with Indian food.”

Chef Richard Ekkebus of Amber was pleased that his restaurant was in the top three. “I’m really humbled by the awards, it’s a testimony to my team,” he said.

Ronin in Central was a new entry on the list, coming in at 45, as were Macau’s Jade Dragon (32) and The Tasting Room by Galliot (39).

Other Hong Kong restaurants on the list are Lung King Heen at 17, Ta Vie (33), L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon (41) and The Chairman (47).

During the press conference after the event, Andre Chiang of Restaurant Andre went up to Anand and the two chefs embraced.

“This is what these awards are about,” said Anand, who — in the last year — had a baby daughter and opened The Lab, a 10-seat annex to Gaggan.

“It’s not about being number one or number two.

“This is the last year of Asia’s 50 Best in Bangkok, so let’s have a party. Let’s celebrate.”