Bangkok (CNN) — It was the sound of jaws dropping and hitting the floor, as much as corks popping.
A culinary hat trick. A gastronomic threepeat. Amidst literally millions of restaurants in Asia, one reigned supreme against them all, again: Gaggan.
At the fifth edition of Asia's 50 Best Restaurants awards, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna, for a wholly unprecedented third year running no restaurant could hold a candle to the innovative Indian cuisine it serves -- not in India, but in Bangkok, Thailand.
"I wish I could break the award in 50 pieces and share it with every chef in the room," chef/owner Gaggan Anand said, thanking his family, his team and the award sponsors. "I'm humbled. This is for my country where I came from, India. For Tara my daughter and my family. The 67 people in my restaurant are the best team I've ever worked with."
Gaggan's triumph followed voting by 318 independent experts led by six academy chairs across the region. The victory was sweet, but clearly not without challenges including time apart from his wife and new child.
"I just told the organizers that next time we should have a sponsor from a hospital," he joked.
Gaggan Anand's restaurant topped the Asia's 50 best restaurants awards for the third consecutive year.
Tattoo on the menu?
The Thai capital laid out the red carpet as the great and the good of Asia's food scene came together to celebrate the crowning of Gaggan as the continent's top restaurant.
Being a culinary starfest, the pressure was on to keep the attendees fed and watered, a task more than accomplished with everything from cheeses by Les Frères Marchand to fiery northern Thai curries by Bangkok's Maan Mueang restaurant.
The stunning final result drew audible gasps from hundreds in the room and doubtless thousands more watching live streams from around the world. The countdown of the top 10 was teased out, with three restaurants in the running for the top three spots, but in which order would they appear?
When the second place restaurant was announced as Singapore's Restaurant Andre, there could be no doubt that Gaggan reigned supreme -- yet again.
To the cranked-up sound of Paul McCartney's "Live and Let Die," he took to the stage, by now a familiar sight for those in the room.
The bubbles flowed, both water and grape based, as the evening reached a crescendo, continued in the early morning at after-parties for those really in the know. Gaggan said he may even end up with a permanent reminder of his three wins.
"If my team gets a tattoo to celebrate, I'll get one."
Asia's 50 best restaurants in 2017
26. Sushi Saito, Tokyo