Photo: Kenneth SZ Goh

Singapore restaurants had a lackluster showing on the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2024 list, with four out of the Republic’s nine restaurants seeing their rankings slip. The drop was felt evidently despite it claiming the most number of spots — 9 on the list among the 19 participating cities.

The most notable drop among home-grown restaurants belonged to chef Han Liguang’s neo-Singapore restaurant Labyrinth, which received the Highest Climber Award last year. It tumbled almost 20 spots from No. 11 to No. 30 this year.

Meanwhile, Odette remained Singapore’s highest ranked restaurant at No. 10, though it dropped four places from No. 6 last year.

Fellow French fine diner Les Amis fell 11 spots from No. 27 to No. 38, as did contemporary Korean restaurant Meta, which saw a similar drop from No. 17 to No. 28.

But it was not all gloomy news for Singapore, as it still managed to maintain nine restaurants in the list – the same as last year.

Seroja, chef Kevin Wong’s sustainable-first temple to cuisine from the Malay Archipelago, made a strong debut on the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list when it leapfrogged to No. 31, an achievement which earned it the Highest New Entry Award. Zen and Cloudstreet bowed out of the Top 50 list this year.

Speaking to The Peak in Seoul, Wong says: “There’s a F&B community around Asia that is supportive of our restaurant, coupled by the support of mentors and guests, and most importantly, our team, who has done excellent work. We truly believed in our product even when times were hard at the beginning.”

Restaurant Born also made a strong showing when it ascended from its debut spot of No. 36 last year to No. 25. On his coup, Malaysia-born chef Zor Tan says, “We are beyond delighted to have achieved outstanding results this year, surpassing our performance from the previous year. Our team’s hard work and dedication have truly paid off, and we look forward to continuing this upward trajectory in the future.”

Another strong showing came from barbeque institution Burnt Ends, which took the No. 15 spot, jumping 9 places up from last year. Other Singapore entrants included Restaurant Euphora (No. 20), chef Jason Tan’s ode to the onion, and Lolla (No. 43), a new debutant specialising in modern Mediterranean cuisine by chef Johanne Siy.

Japan takes the top 2 spots

French-Japanese restaurant Sezanne in Tokyo came up tops on the list. It was ranked No. 2 last year. Fellow Tokyo restaurant, Florilege came in at No. 3 — jumping up four slots from last year. Last year’s No. 1 winner, Bangkok’s  Le Du dropped 11 spots to No. 12, although some consolation came in the form of sister restaurant Nusara (No. 6) received the Art of Hospitality Award.

Meanwhile, Seoul – acting as host city for the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants award ceremony for the first time – also had a respectable showing with four restaurants. These included: Mingles (No. 13), a refined Korean restaurant with inspirations from Hong Kong; traditional Korean cookery, 7th Door (No. 17); Onjium (No. 21), a similar adherent to culinary traditions; and seasonality-driven Mosu (No. 41). Sung Anh of Mosu also received the peer-voted Chefs’ Choice Award.

Moving up a whopping 32 spots is Hong Kong’s modern Chinese restaurant Wing by chef Vicky Cheng, which is at No. 5 and the recipient of the Highest Climber Award.

The awards ceremony was attended by around 800 F&B professionals, including chefs, restauranteurs and members of the media.

A strong showing on the long list

Chef Edward Chong of Peach Blossoms. (Photo: Parkroyal Collection Marina Bay)

Restaurants from Singapore have a robust presence on the extended 51 – 100 list, which was announced on March 26. The Republic tied with Tokyo to have eight restaurants each on the list. 

Making its debut on the long list are contemporary Chinese restaurant Peach Blossoms (No. 74), which is helmed by Malaysian chef Edward Chong. He has steered the stalwart hotel restaurant into a more modern realm, with a degustation menu that incorporates influences from Europe and beyond. 

At No. 81 is Mustard Seed, a cosy Singaporean restaurant by chef Gan Ming Kiat that started out as a private-dining pop-up. The Serangoon Gardens restaurant serves tasting menus that are anchored by Singaporean flavours and techniques and presentation inspired by kaiseki cuisine. 

The other Singapore representatives on the list are Jaan by Kirk Westaway (No.53), Zén (No. 57), Thevar (No.72), Nae:Um (No.73), Summer Pavilion (No.75) and Cloudstreet (No.82). Most of the restaurants have improved their standing on this year’s list.

Host city, Seoul has three restaurants that debut the list, they are Solbam (No.65), followed by contemporary Korean restaurant Kwonsooksoo (No.89) and. Alla Prima (No.91), an innovative Mediterranean-influenced restaurant.

Haoma (No. 90), a Neo-Indian fine dining restaurant in Bangkok, was awarded with the Sustainable Restaurant Award recognising its chef Deepanker Khosla’s efforts in eco-conscious dining.

Most of the newcomers on the long list are also part of the 50 Best Discovery platform, which spotlights up-and-coming dining establishments. 

Celebrating F&B personalities

Chef Pichaya ‘Pam’ Soontornyanakij of Potong. (Photo: Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants)

Besides the list, some chefs and restaurants were honoured on stage at the award ceremony. 

Lambre in Beijing, which offers a novel plant-based menu inspired by the Tibetan Buddhist meditative system, received the One to Watch award, while Hong Kong chef and restaurateur Danny Yip of The Chairman, which climbed from No. 13 to No. 4 this year , was lauded with the Icon Award. It celebrates individuals who have made significant contributions to the world of gastronomy.

Thailand’s Pichaya ‘Pam’ Soontornyanakij of progressive Thai-Chinese restaurant Potong was crowned Asia’s Best Female chef. She has also started a scholarship programme called WFW (Women for Women) that supports female students in rural areas of Thailand to achieve their dream of becoming chefs.

The title of Asia’s Best Pastry Chef went to Tokyo-based Mineko Kato, while Taipei’s Kevin Lu, who holds court at Japanese-Taiwanese restaurant Logy (No. 22 on the list), earned Asia’s Best Sommelier.

The Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list is compiled by over 318 food and beverage industry professionals, including food writers and critics, chefs, restaurateurs and worldly diners across six regions in Asia. Each voter in the gender-balanced panel, which casted their votes based on their personal experiences in the restaurant, must have visited the restaurant that they have voted for at least once in the last 18 months. This year, voters can nominate 10 restaurants, including up to seven from their home country, and the option of voting for three restaurants that are located outside of their home countries in Asia. 

The World’s 50 Best Restaurants ceremony will take place in Las Vegas on June 5.

Full List: Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2024

1. Sézanne (Tokyo)

2. Florilège (Tokyo)

3. Gaggan Anand (Bangkok)

4. The Chairman (Hong Kong)

5. Wing (Hong Kong)

6. Nusara (Bangkok)

7. Sühring (Bangkok)

8. Den (Tokyo)

9. La Cime (Osaka)

10. Odette (Singapore)

11. Sorn (Bangkok)

12. Le Du (Bangkok)

13. Mingles (Seoul)

14. Narisawa (Tokyo)

15. Burnt Ends (Singapore)

16. Neighbourhood (Hong Kong)

17. Potong (Bangkok)

18. 7th Door (Seoul)

19. Fu He Hui (Shanghai)

20. Euphoria (Singapore)

21. Onjium (Seoul)

22. Logy (Taipei) 

23. Masque (Mumbai)

24. Toyo Eatery (Manila)

25. Born (Singapore)

26. Indian Accent (New Delhi)

27. Mono (Hong Kong)

28. Meta (Singapore)

29. Samrub Samrub Thai (Bangkok)

30. Labyrinth (Singapore)

31. Seroja (Singapore)*

32. Caprice (Hong Kong)

33. JL Studio (Taichung)

34. Mume (Taipei)

35. Villa Aida (Wakayama)

36. Ling Long (Shanghai)*

37. Ando (Hong Kong)*

38. Les Amis (Singapore)

39. Sazenka (Tokyo)

40. 102 House (Shanghai)

41. Mosu (Seoul)

42. Baan Tepa (Bangkok)

43. Lolla (Singapore)*

44. Avartana (Chennai)

45. Goh (Fukuoka)*

46. August (Jakarta) *

47. Cenci (Kyoto)

48. Anan Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City)

49. Chef Tam’s Seasons (Macau)

50. Meet the Bund (Shanghai) *

(* denotes new entries for 2024)

For the full list of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2024, visit here.

Additional reporting by Alvin Lim