The Miele Guide to Asia’s Top 20 RestaurantsBy Margaux Salcedo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Filipino restaurateurs have raised the Philippine flag in the international restaurant scene once again.
For the nth time, Tonyboy Escalante’s Antonio’s made it to the Top 20 of the Miele Guide at Number 17. It continues to be mentioned in the same breath as Robuchon au Dome (Macau) and L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon (Hong Kong), which were crowned first and third placers respectively in this year’s Top 20 list.
Antonio’s joins other restaurant superstars in Asia, such as Nihon Ryori RyuGin of Tokyo, Pierre Gagnaire a Seoul in Korea, Sarong and Mozaic in Bali, and Iggy’s in Singapore, which has been the number one in Asia several times.
The Miele Guide, Asia’s first independent and authoritative dining guide for the region’s finest restaurants, announced its list last January in Singapore at a cocktail attended by Asia’s most respected chefs, restaurateurs and food industry experts.
It was thrilling to see our very own restaurateurs such as Malou Fores of Mamou and and Chiqui Mabanta of Corner Tree Café stand side by side international resto superstars like Daniel Boulud and Tetsuya Wakuda.
For the section on the Philippines, the top five includes Mamou, Abe, Tsukiji and Cebu’s Cafe Marco.
Now to answer questions on how the restaurants make the list: There are four rounds before a restaurant makes it. First, an invited panel of Asia’s most influential restaurant critics help create a shortlist of Asia’s best restaurants. Then this is opened to the public via online public voting at www.themieleguide.com. All members of the public with a valid e-mail address are eligible to vote. But even better, voters have the option of nominating restaurants that are missing from the critics’ shortlist.
After the online voting, a select jury of respected foodies and food and wine professionals based across Asia are invited to cast their votes. And in the final round, the Miele Guide’s in-house team, joined by contributing editors stationed across Asia, dine anonymously at the top-ranked restaurants to verify the annual ranking of Asia’s top 20 restaurants.
Here’s the latest list of Asia’s Best…
The Miele Guide’s Top 10
1. Robuchon au Dome, Macau
2. Waku Ghin, Singapore
3. L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon, Hong Kong
4. Iggy’s, Singapore
5. Mozaic, Bali, Indonesia
6. Pierre Gagnaire a Seoul, Seoul, Korea
7. Caprice, Hong Kong
8. Amber, Hong Kong
9. 8 1/2 Otto e Mezzo Bombana, Hong Kong
10. Les Amis, Singapore
And here are the Top 5 in the countries we Filipinos like to frequent (Note: Hong Kong and Macau’s Top 5 made it to Asia’s Top 10):
1. Waku Ghin
3. Les Amis
4. Restaurant Andre
5. Tippling Club
1. Zanotti II Ristorante Italiano
2. Eat Me Restaurant
3. La Normandie
5. Acqua Restaurant (in Phuket)
1. Mr & Mrs Bund-Modern Eatery by Paul Pairet, Shanghai
2. M on the Bund, Shanghai
3. El Willy, Shanghai
4. Temple Restaurant, Beijing
5. 8 1/2 Otto e Mezzo Bombana, Shanghai
1. Nihon Ryori RyuGin
3. L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon
4. Elio Locando Italiana
5. The White Fox
Another Filipino gets a Miele scholarship
Following the footsteps of Ilonggo Roberto Antonio “TJ” Abello III is Karen Liz Obero, who was just awarded a Miele Guide Scholarship at the prestigious At-Sunrice, where she will undergo a 17-month Culinary Arts program.
The Miele Guide Culinary Scholarship Programme gives out two scholarships every year-one is offered to citizens or permanent residents of Singapore, while the other is offered to citizens or permanent residents of the remaining 16 Asian countries featured in the guide.
Su-Lyn Tan, Miele Guide founder, personally interviewed Karen for this scholarship and was struck by Karen’s determination in pursuing her dreams. Since she was a little girl running in the family’s banana plantations in Davao, Karen has loved to cook. Her dream is to run a farm-to-table restaurant that will promote Filipino food to the world.
That’s why even if she currently works in Finance at the International Organisation for Migration in Sudan, Karen has decided to drop everything to become a Miele scholar.
She can take inspiration from another Filipina accountant who dropped everything to pursue her dream of becoming a cook and has been, for the past few decades, a true bastion of Filipino culinary talent: Margarita Fores. •