How Hong Kong restaurants rank among Asia’s top 50

Amber advances in Asian restaurant ranks as regional foodies gather in Bangkok

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 01 March, 2016, 12:30am
UPDATED : Thursday, 21 April, 2016, 4:22pm

Amber at the Landmark Mandarin Oriental, the fine-dining restaurant by Dutch chef Richard Ekkebus, climbed two spots to number four on this year’s Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list.

Results of the annual ranking were announced yesterday in Bangkok, the first time the awards ceremony was held in Thailand. It was previously held in Singapore.

Ekkebus is a favourite among fellow food and beverage professionals – last year, he received the Chef’s Choice award, which is voted on solely by his peers.

“Winning is a testimony to the quality of the team and the restaurant,” the chef said. “Amber has been around for 10 years, going on 11, and it’s still prominent. We’re reaping the awards of hard and consistent work, and of never being complacent. I can only do it with the help and support of a great team.”

Progressive Indian restaurant Gaggan, in Bangkok, retained the top spot it held last year. At a press conference after the awards ceremony, its chef Gaggan Anand said, “Winning two consecutive years has given me confidence. My restaurant has changed from 2015 to what it is today.”

Originally from Calcutta, India, the chef, who married a Thai and now makes Bangkok his home, said: “Winning in my own city makes it better. Now I can go home and have fun with my team and family.

“The best thing about the awards is that it lets the world know about new restaurants. In 2013 nobody knew me, only people in Bangkok knew me, but then I came in at number 10. Then in 2014, I was number 3, and 2015 number 1.

“Now I see the awards as a gathering of family of chefs. It’s not a competition, it’s a guide, it lets me discover so many young chefs.”

However, Anand also announced that his eponymous restaurant will be closing in 2020. “That’s the last year of Gaggan. In 10 years I don’t want to be cooking anymore. In 2020 I want to do something else.”

Among the individual awards, Margarita Fores of the Philippines was named Asia’s Best Female Chef while Cheryl Koh from Singapore was voted Asia’s Best Pastry Chef.

Who decides?

Asia’s 50 Best is a spin-off of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants. For Asia’s 50 Best, more than 300 voters divided evenly between six regions (Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan; India and the sub-continent; Southeast Asia - South; Southeast Asia - North; China and Korea; and Japan) – pick the seven “best” restaurants which they’ve eaten at over the past 18 months. There are no restrictions on what “best” means to the voters, other than that they’re not allowed to pick restaurants they work at or have a financial interest in.

How Hong Kong restaurants place in the 50 best list

4 – Amber

10 – Lung King Heen

13 – 8/12 Otto e Mezzo Bombana

27 – The Chairman

33 – Tenku Ryugin

34 – Fook Lam Moon

40 – l’Atelier de Joel Robuchon

41 – Bo Innovation

48 – Ta Vie