Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2021: Hong Kong’s The Chairman Takes Top Spot

Even though COVID-19 rages on one year after Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2020 were announced, lockdowns have been lifted in some parts of the region. In Singapore, the tide has even turned for some F&B businesses, where a captive population are spending their disposable income on food and drink experiences. And with travel bubbles back on the table for discussion, here are the results of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2021 as you dream up future dining and travel plans.

Gaggan Anand

After two years in the top spot, Chef Julien Royer’s Odette slips to second place, giving way to The Chairman in Hong Kong. Japan’s showing remains strong with four restaurants in the top 10, while Thailand boasts three establishments including celebrity chef Gaggan Anand‘s eponymous restaurant. It snagged the Highest New Climber Award by coming in at No. 5, sandwiched between Le Du and Sühring. Mingles in Seoul – also the best restaurant in South Korea – round up the top 10.

Labyrinth

Hong Kong makes a statement with 11 restaurants on the list, making it the numero uno food capital in Asia, including crowd favourites like hospitality-driven Vea (No. 12), neo-Parisian bistro Belon (No. 25), and Seventh Son (No. 48), a Cantonese restaurant famed for its suckling pig. Overall, Singapore fares pretty well with eight restaurants this year, with Chef Rishi Naleendra’s Cloudstreet making its first appearance at No. 31 and Labyrinth (No. 40) by Chef Han Li Guang taking home the Sustainable Restaurant Award.

Elsewhere in Southeast Asia, Toyo Eatery (No. 49) in Manila continues to be the best restaurant in the Philippines while modern Vietnamese restaurant Anan Saigon (No. 39) in Ho Chi Minh City stakes its claim as the best restaurant in Vietnam.

Toyo Eatery
Here’s the full list of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2021. Names bolded denote that the establishment is the best restaurant in its country:
  1. The Chairman, Hong Kong
  2. Odette, Singapore
  3. Den, Tokyo
  4. Le Du, Bangkok
  5. Gaggan Anand, Bangkok
  6. Sühring, Bangkok
  7. Florilège, Tokyo
  8. La Cime, Osaka
  9. Narisawa, Tokyo
  10. Mingles, Seoul
  11. Sorn, Bangkok
  12. Sazenka, Tokyo
  13. Les Amis, Singapore
  14. Burnt Ends, Singapore
  15. Mume, Taipei 
  16. Vea, Hong Kong
  17. Neighbourhood, Hong Kong
  18. Indian Accent, New Delhi
  19. L’Effervescence, Tokyo
  20. Nusara, Bangkok (new)
  21. Raw, Taipei
  22. Fu He Hui, Shanghai
  23. Zén, Singapore
  24. Logy, Taipei (new)
  25. Belon, Hong Kong
  26. JL Studio, Taichung
  27. Ode, Tokyo
  28. Caprice, Hong Kong
  29. Ministry of Crab, Sri Lanka
  30. La Maison de La Nature Goh, Fukuoka
  31. Cloudstreet, Singapore (new)
  32. Masque, Mumbai (new)
  33. 8 1/2 Otto e Mezzo Bombana, Hong Kong
  34. 7th Door, Seoul (new)
  35. Nihonryori RyuGin, Tokyo
  36. Born & Bred, Seoul (new)
  37. Amber, Hong Kong
  38. Ta Vie, Hong Kong
  39. Anan Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City (new) 
  40. Labyrinth, Singapore
  41. Euphoria, Singapore (new)
  42. Jaan by Kirk Westaway, Singapore
  43. Hansikgonggan, Seoul
  44. Mono, Hong Kong (new)
  45. Shoun Ryugin, Taipei
  46. Gaa, Bangkok
  47. Lung King Heen, Hong Kong
  48. Seventh Son, Hong Kong
  49. Toyo Eatery, Philippines 
  50. Wing Lei Palace, Macau
Meta

For the first time, Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants also released the 51-100 list in a bid to double the love and recognition in the region. Singapore takes four spots with contemporary Korean restaurant Meta coming in at No. 60 and clinching the One To Watch Award. Chef Ivan Brehm’s Nouri slipped out of the top 50 to No. 73 while Esora and Peranakan favourite Candlenut bow at No. 77 and No. 94 respectively.

The annual list of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants and the corresponding 51-100 list are created from the votes of the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants Academy, comprising over 300 members made up of food writers and critics, chefs, restaurateurs and regional culinary experts, with a 50/50 gender balance. The year’s vote was adjusted to account for restricted travel opportunities, placing a greater focus on local dining experiences.

For more information, visit the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants website. 

Top Image: The Chairman


Chief Editor

Emily heads the editorial team on City Nomads by being a stickler for details, a grammar Nazi, and a really picky eater. Born and bred in Singapore, she loves cats, the written word, and exploring new places. Can be bribed with quality booze across the board.