The top 50 restaurants in the world may have been Euro-centric, but there were a few notable Asian restaurants that made it to the list. This year, six restaurants made the top 50.
Singapore’s Iggy’s was ranked no. 26 in the world. Two restaurants from Tokyo, Narisawa and Nihonyori RyuGin, made no. 27 and no. 28 respectively. Tetsuya Wakuda’s Waku Ghin in Singapore also received recognition at no. 39. Hong Kong’s Amber is no. 44. And a new entry from Thailand, Nahm, made no. 50.
The following did not make the top 50, but did make the top 100 cut: Hong Kong led the Asian representation with chef Alvin Leung’s Bo Innovation going up 12 notches from last year’s voting, to be ranked now at no. 52. The Four Seasons Caprice went up 22 notches to hit no. 54.
Also, a new entrant from Hong Kong, Lung King Heen, made no. 93. Singapore’s very elegant Les Amis was ranked no. 53, while Restaurant Andre, whose namesake chef is one of the most innovative in our region, went up 32 notches to no. 68.
Macau’s Robuchon a Galera made a comeback, at no. 82. A new entry from Shanghai, Mr. and Mrs. Bund, made no. 95.
This was definitely an improvement from 2008 (the year I joined the jury). Back then, there was no Asian on the top 50. India’s Bukhara ranked highest at no. 55. Singapore’s Iggy’s—now at no. 26—back then was at just no. 77. Hong Kong’s Pierre Gagnaire was no. 88 and Zuma was no. 99. Macau’s Robuchon a Galera was no. 98.
Foodie power couple Aun Koh and Su-Lyn Tan, the originals at the Worlds 50 Best awards, were not quiet about their disappointment with the lack of Asian restaurants in the rankings. They lost sleep over it.
They became staunch advocates of increasing Asian representation and recognition in the world gourmet scene, and The Miele Guide was conceived. The Guide lists Asia’s “best” 500 restaurants and ranks the Top 20 in the region.
That started everyone talking not just about Iggy’s but also about Mozaic in Bali, Caprice in HK, and, even Antonio’s—the restaurant in the Philippines that kept making the Top 20.
With enough noise made from the Miele Guide—plus the surge of celebrity chefs in the region—more Asian restaurants are slowly being recognized by the rest of the world. Proof of this—next year, Restaurant Magazine is launching its Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list.
But first, let’s get the world to recognize more Filipino restaurants. The Miele Guide 2012/2013 is accepting votes at www.mieleguide.com. Do look for your favorite restaurants—in the Philippines or in other parts of Asia—and vote.
You don’t need to vote for a fancy restaurant. A couple of years back, the goose resto in Hong Kong Yung Kee made top 10. Then there’s the come-as-you-are L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon. As long as the place has exquisite, excellent, exciting food, even without a dress code, that favorite resto may deserve to be recognized.
I’m sure Tonyboy Escalante is getting lonely as the only one in the top 10, so please get another Pinoy resto or two (or three!) to join him. Shortlisted restaurants are at mieleguide.com/restaurants. Voting closes on May 25 (tomorrow!) so log on and vote for your fave resto/s ASAP! Let’s tell the world why restaurants are more fun in the Philippines!
Visit www.margauxlicious.com, www.twitter.com/margauxsalcedo, www.facebook.com/margauxsalcedo.