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Entertainment, Food & Beverage

Tokyo eatery is Asia's top restaurant

Les Creations de Narisawa is No. 1 in first Asia's 50 Best Restaurants list
The Straits Times - March 4, 2013
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Tokyo eatery is Asia's top restaurant

IT IS well-known for its modern Japanese cuisine with farm-fresh ingredients and tables have to be booked a month in advance.

Last night, Tokyo's Les Creations de Narisawa was revealed to be the top eatery on the inaugural Asia's 50 Best Restaurants list, at an awards ceremony held at the Sands Grand Ballroom at Marina Bay Sands.

The evening climaxed with a gathering of culinary greats from the region giving a standing ovation to the winning restaurant.

On receiving top honours, chef-owner Yoshihiro Narisawa said in Japanese through an interpreter: "I am surprised but nothing changes in the restaurant. We continue to do our best for customers. This doesn't happen in one day; Japanese dining has continued to grow over the years and our strong dining culture has led to this day."

The restaurant was also named Best Restaurant in Japan.

Rounding up the top five restaurants are Tokyo's Nihonryori RyuGin, Bangkok's Nahm, Amber in Hong Kong and Singapore's Restaurant Andre.

Restaurant Andre also won an individual award for the Best Restaurant in Singapore.

Chef Andre Chiang said: "It's very emotional to see so many of my chef friends here tonight.

"But tomorrow it's back to work. Regardless of which Asian restaurants made it to the list, it shows that we are all moving in the right direction."

Other Singapore restaurants in the list included Les Amis at Shaw Centre, Jaan at Swissotel The Stamford and Osteria Mozza at Marina Bay Sands.

Chef-owner Janice Wong of 2am:dessertbar in Holland Village also received an individual award for Asia's Best Pastry Chef.

The top 50 list also highlighted many Indian restaurants in New Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore; including Dum Pukht, Wasabi By Morimoto and Bukhara.

Asia's 50 Best Restaurants - a spin-off of The World's 50 Best Restaurants list - is sponsored by S.Pellegrino and Acqua Panna, and organised by publisher William Reed Business Media. The world's list will be revealed in London in April.

More than 900 international leaders from the restaurant industry form The Diners Club World's 50 Best Restaurants Academy, which comprises 26 separate regions around the world. Each region has a 36-member panel of food critics, chefs and restaurateurs who have seven votes each.

At last night's event, guests and chefs mingled in a two-hour reception before the ceremony.

Chef Seiji Yamamoto, of Nihonryori RyuGin, said: "A lot of people have been coming to Japan and I'm constantly trying to evolve to make Japanese cuisine a shared identity all around the world."

Chef Anand Gaggan of Gaggan in Bangkok, Thailand, was excited to be in Singapore for the first time. So far, he has dined at Waku Ghin, The Tippling Club and Cut; and is looking to go to Restaurant Andre and Les Amis.

He said: "I only have five days when I need a month to try everything in Singapore.

"Now, Asia is the focus of culinary development and even European chefs are coming here. Everyone is knowledgeable about the dining scene here, which is great for us."


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