Thailand secured the most number of entries at the 2023 Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants Awards, including the very top spot taken by an eatery in Bangkok.
Thai modern kitchen Le Du by renowned chef Thitid “Ton” Tassanakajohn climbed three places from its fourth position last year to be crowned Asia’s Best Restaurant in the 11th edition of the annual honors.
Tassanakajohn, who was inspired by his mother’s and grandmother’
s cooking, pursued a career in culinary arts after studying at the Culinary Institute of America. In the U.S., he worked at renowned establishments, such as the former World’s Best Restaurant Eleven Madison Park in New York.
According to the award platform’s website, Tassanakajohn’s restaurant reached the top of the list because it “showcases refined modern Thai cuisine based on the country’s extraordinary agricultural heritage and centuries-old culinary techniques – and its unique style of food has wowed critics and diners from across the continent.”
The latest list features nine restaurants from Bangkok in total, including one of Le Du’s latest venues, Nusara, at the third spot. Chef Gaggan Anand’s restaurant Gaggan Anand, which has topped the list for a record four times, settled for the fifth spot, while chef Supaksorn “Ice” Jongsiri’s traditional Southern Thai restaurant Sorn ranked ninth.
Singapore also captured nine spots, while Tokyo earned seven on the 2023 list. Tokyo restaurants Sèzanne and Den (last year’s first place), took the second and fourth spots, respectively.
The awards, which were based on a list compiled by over 300 food writers, critics, chefs and restaurateurs from Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants Academy, were given to the winners at a ceremony held at Singapore’s Resorts World Sentosa on Tuesday.
“I’m so honored that I’m standing among the (best) chefs in Asia in this room and this is more than a dream come true,” said Tassanakajohn in his trophy acceptance speech. “50 Best is something very special to my heart and not just because of the ranking but because of everyone in this room. That is the most important thing. I’m so lucky to be included in this family with you all, with all my chef friends, my brothers and sisters.”
Winners of the event’s special awards included Jakarta restaurant August, which won the “One to Watch Award” and Manila’s Toyo Eatery, which won the “Sustainable Restaurant Award.”
Individual awards went to Philippines-born head chef Johanne Siy of Singapore restaurant Lolla, who won “Asia’s Best Female Chef Award” and Louisa Lim of Odette, Singapore, who won “Asia’s Best Pastry Chef Award.”