The Charmed Life

Gaggan is Once Again Asia's Number One Restaurant

Manila's Gallery Vask climbs the list at No. 35.
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For the third consecutive year, Gaggan in Bangkok has been named Best Restaurant in Asia by S.Pellegrino and Acqua Panna. 

“It’s been absolutely crazy,” shares executive chef Gaggan Anand of his eponymous restaurant's success. “We have not changed, the food has not changed, but the guest’s expectations have changed.”

In 2014, the progressive Indian restaurant sat comfortably at the third spot on Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list, earning rave reviews from food writers around the globe and quickly becoming a must-eat dining destination among food enthusiasts. But that popularity could not have prepared him for the onslaught of attention that would come with the 2015 announcement of Gaggan topping the list. “Before, we were booked three weeks out in advance, but now it is two months,” he says. “This award is like a magnet—it’s bulletproof.”

Chef Gaggan Anand

In the six years his restaurant has been open, and in the 10 since he has lived in Bangkok, this Punjabi boy from Calcutta has exuded the same sense of enthusiasm about his craft. Crediting the restaurant’s popularity for its rise to number one, Gaggan shares how it has evolved over the years from a hybrid that offered an à la carte menu with his version of Indian curries to today’s innovative, degustation-only selection.

Also on the list of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants is Manila’s Gallery Vask, the only ranked Philippine establishment, up four places at 35th from last year's 39th. Led by chef Chele Gonzalez, Gallery Vask follows the principles of authenticity, sustainability, and purity of ingredients. Its menu showcases meticulously sourced local produce and other Filipino ingredients executed by employing innovative cooking techniques.

The Philippine's Gallery Vask team led by Chef Chele Gonzalez

The highest new entry is Singapore's Odette at No. 9. It is helmed by chef-patron Julien Royer, who was named “the one to watch” at the inaugural Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants awards in 2013 while he was still chef de cuisine at the popular Jaan, also in Singapore. Since then, Royer has kept busy living up to the expectations that the accolade came with. In 2015, in collaboration with the hospitality company Lo & Behold Group, he opened Odette at the National Gallery Singapore, naming the restaurant after his grandmother.

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Odette's chef-patron Julien Royer

As the only independent dining guide in the region, Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants has become a popular resource for diners. Initially covering cities like Tokyo, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Seoul, and Singapore, the list, now on its third year, has since expanded and currently includes Cambodia and the Philippines. “Asian countries can no longer discount culinary tourism,” says Evelyn Chen, the list’s regional academy chair for Southeast Asia. “It is a trend to reckon with and I believe the list has a part in shaping it.”  

Gaggan is located at 68/1 Soi Langusuan, Ploenchit Road Lumpini, Bangkok, Thailand; +662.652.1700; eatatgaggan.com. Odette is located at 1 St. Andrews Road, #01- 04,  National Gallery Singapore; +65.6385.0498; odetterestaurant.com. Gallery Vask is located at Fifth floor, Clipp Center, 11th Avenue corner 39th Street, Bonifacio Global City; 0917.546.1673; galleryvask.com



 

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Alicia Colby Sy
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