Asia’s 50 best restaurants in 2017

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.

Meet Gaggan Anand, the ‘world’s best’ Indian chef

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.”

The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2016 – the list of winners

Asia’s 50 best restaurants in 2017

1. Gaggan, Bangkok

2. Restaurant Andre, Singapore

3. Amber, Hong Kong

4. 8 1/2 Otto e Mezzo, Hong Kong

5. Nahm, Bangkok

6. Narisawa, Tokyo

7. Nihonryori Ryugin, Tokyo

8. Ultraviolet, Shanghai

9. Odette, Singapore

10. Burnt Ends, Singapore

11. Den, Tokyo

12. L’Effervescence, Tokyo

13. Suhring, Bangkok

14. Florilege, Tokyo

15. Mingles, Seoul

16. Les Amis, Singapore

17. Lung King Heen, Hong Kong

18. Quintessence, Tokyo

19. Bo.Lan, Bangkok

20. Waku Ghin, Singapore

21. Issaya Siamese Club, Bangkok, Thailand

22. Locavore, Bali, Indonesia

23. Corner House, Singapore

24. Raw, Taipei

25. Jungsik, Seoul

26. Sushi Saito, Tokyo

27. Tippling Club, Singapore

28. Le Mout, Taichung, Taiwan

29. Ministry of Crab, Colombo, Sri Lanka

30. Indian Accent, New Delhi

31. Eat Me, Bangkok, Thailand

32. Jade Dragon, Macau

33. Ta Vie, Hong Kong

34. Hajime, Osaka, Japan

35. Gallery Vask, Manila, Philippines

36. The Dining Room at The House on Sathorn, Bangkok

37. Le Du, Bangkok

38. La Yeon, Seoul, Korea

39. The Tasting Room by Galliot, Macau

40. L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon, Bangkok

41. L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon, Hong Kong

42. Jaan, Singapore

43. Mume, Taipei

44. Shinji by Kanesaka, Singapore

45. Ronin, Hong Kong

46. Wasabi by Morimoto, Mumbai, India

47. The Chairman, Hong Kong

48. Fu He Hui, Shanghai

49. Nihonbashi, Colombo, Sri Lanka

50. Takazawa, Tokyo

For more on the winners, visit the official Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants website.

Chris Dwyer is a Hong Kong-based food and travel writer and communications consultant. Follow him on Twitter at @chrismdwyer or visit