Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2023: Le Du First Thai Cuisine To Top The List

Asia's 50 Best Restaurants 2023 Group shot

As the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants celebrates its 10th year anniversary, it is the first time in its history a Thai cuisine restaurant makes the list, Le Du. This is a year of reconnection as people in industry were able to gather at a live event at this magnitude since pre-pandemic times. This year also sees a phenomenal win by Japan with 17 restaurants in the top 100, followed by Thailand and Singapore, both with 15 each. We breakdown the numbers and share our thoughts on this year’s list.

“It is an extremely heartening experience to see so many familiar faces at our first full-scale live awards event in Asia since the pandemic. We salute all the restaurants who have made it onto the list, reflecting the brilliance and diversity of the dining scene across Asia. We also offer our heartiest congratulations to Le Du: Chef Ton and the team’s ability to combine their passion for Thailand’s culinary heritage, respect for homegrown ingredients and flair for modern cooking techniques is what makes the restaurant a true winner.” — William Drew, Director of Content for Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants.

Asia's 50 Best Restaurants 2023 No.1 shot

Le Du in Bangkok, Best Restaurant in Asia

Le Du headed by Chef ThiTid “Ton” Tassanakajohn has nabbed the top spot with his use of Thai ingredients, elevated and leaning French. Their menu champions the use of local ingredients which they directly source from local farmers and fishermen, supporting local communities. Chef Ton’s passion and approach to local cuisine coupled with his willingness to share and collaborate has earned him the respect of his peers in the region, which no doubt has contributed in making Le Du number one.

“It means so much to me and my team back home, and to all the farmers and fishermen. At Le Du, we only use local ingredients and I always believe that since day one, actually it’s our 10 year anniversary as well, which happens to be the same as Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants. When I started Le Du 10 years ago using only local produce, people thought I was stupid and crazy, that no one was going pay that money to eat local Thai ingredients which they considered cheap and not high quality. People said I would go out of business in 6 months. I insisted that was the way to go, not only to represent Thai cuisine, but also the people that work so hard and do good things, to grow beautiful produce, to catch the fish and prawns, I really feel so happy that I can represent not only Thai cuisine but Thai ingredients and everyone that surrounds it.” — ThiTid “Ton” Tassanakajohn, Head Chef and Owner of Le Du, Bangkok.

Johnanne Siy Is Asia’s Best Female Chef

Of all the awards given this year, the strongest statement came from Johanne Siy of Lolla in Singapore, an Asian-inspired Modern European restaurant. The winner of Asia’s Best Female Chef’s statement which instantly brought on cheers by the room resonated with many, succinct but pushes something poignant. Her approach of not letting her gender play a role, a form of true equality, in her career is one that is highly respectable and commendable, a chef that doesn’t let her gender be a setback or used as an excuse. What an astounding role model to all people in the industry.

“I’m very grateful and honoured to be awarded the Asia’s Best Female Chef 2023, however, my goal is to make this award obsolete.” — Johanne Siy, Head Chef of Lolla Singapore.

Asia's 50 Best Restaurants 2023, Awards Ceremony

What Will It Take For A Country Like Malaysia To Climb The List?

Although three Malaysian restaurants made the 51-100 List, with Dewakan (No. 74), Eat & Cook (No. 79) and Nadodi (No. 94), it seems like an uphill battle for countries such as ours, as well as smaller influence countries such as Indonesia and Vietnam, although Vietnam seems to be the sleeping dragon that is awakening. When it comes to cuisine, we strongly believe Malaysia with its melting pot of represented cultures and diversity is able to put on a plate well. Perhaps more attention should be paid to this issue of an overall equal representation, which is  something that is highly desirable.

Slowly And Hopefully, A Seat At The Table

With awards such as these, we hope that people may open their minds more to trying out new experiences such as what a country like Malaysia has to offer. For far too long the smaller influence countries have not been able to truly showcase what they can do. We can only hope to see more diversity within the region in the near future.

For a complete breakdown of the winners including a summary of restaurants from each country, see below.

Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2023

  1. Le Du, Bangkok, Thailand (No. 4 in 2022)
  2. Sézanne, Tokyo, Japan (No. 17 in 2022)
  3. Nusara, Bangkok, Thailand (No. 10 in 2022)
  4. Den, Tokyo, Japan (No. 17 in 2022)
  5. Gaggan Anand, Bangkok, Thailand
  6. Odette, Singapore (No. 8 in 2022)
  7. Florilège, Tokyo, Japan (No. 3 in 2022)
  8. La Cime, Osaka, Japan (No. 6 in 2022)
  9. Sorn, Bangkok, Thailand (No. 2 in 2022)
  10. Narisawa, Tokyo, Japan (No. 15 in 2022)
  11. Labyrinth, Singapore (No. 40 in 2022)
  12. Sazenka, Tokyo, Japan (No. 11 in 2022)
  13. The Chairman, Hong Kong, China (No. 5 in 2022)
  14. Villa Aida, Wakayama, Japan (No. 14 in 2022)
  15. Mosu, Seoul, Korea (No. 27 in 2022)
  16. Masque, Mumbai, India (No. 21 in 2022)
  17. Meta, Singapore (No. 20 in 2022)
  18. Fu He Hui, Shanghai, China, (No. 12 in 2022)
  19. Indian Accent, New Delhi, India (No. 22 in 2022)
  20. Ode, Tokyo, Japan (No. 13 in 2022)
  21. Zén, Singapore (No. 37 in 2022)
  22. Sühring, Bangkok, Thailand (No. 7 in 2022)
  23. Onjium, Seoul, Korea (No. 30 in 2022)
  24. Burnt Ends, Singapore (No. 41 in 2022)
  25. Euphoria, Singapore (No. 56 in 2022)
  26. Cloudstreet, Singapore (No. 44 in 2022)
  27. Les Amis, Singapore (No. 23 in 2022)
  28. Mingles, Seoul, Korea (No. 16 in 2022)
  29. Neighborhood, Hong Kong, China (No. 9 in 2022)
  30. Avartana, Chennai, India (No. 79 in 2022)
  31. Ensue, Shenzhen, China (No. 19 in 2022)
  32. Cenci, Kyoto, Japan (No. 43 in 2022)
  33. Maria & Mr. Singh, Bangkok, Thailand
  34. Da Vittorio, Shanghai, China (No. 28 in 2022)
  35. Potong, Bangkok, Thailand
  36. Born, Singapore
  37. Wing, Hong Kong, China (No. 34 in 2022)
  38. Raan Jay Fai, Bangkok, Thailand (No. 46 in 2022)
  39. Wing Lei Palace, Macau, China (No. 47 in 2022)
  40. Anan Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam (No. 65 in 2022)
  41. Mono, Hong Kong, China (No. 32 in 2022)
  42. Toyo Eatery, Manila, Philippines (No. 94 in 2022)
  43. Sichuan Moon, Macau, China
  44. L’Effervescence, Tokyo, Japan (No. 71 in 2022)
  45. Mume, Taipei, Taiwan (No. 54 in 2022)
  46. Baan Tepa, Bangkok, Thailand (No. 86 in 2022)
  47. Born & Bred, Seoul, Korea
  48. Metiz, Makati, Philippines
  49. Caprice, Hong Kong, China (No. 24 in 2022)
  50. Refer, Beijing, China (No. 67 in 2022)
  51. Joo Ok, Seoul, Korea (No. 18 in 2022)
  52. Bukhara, New Delhi, India (No. 66 in 2022)
  53. Ta Vie, Hong Kong, China (No. 60 in 2022)
  54. Yong Fu, Hong Kong, China
  55. 7th Door, Seoul, Korea (No. 26 in 2022)
  56. Thevar, Singapore (No. 92 in 2022)
  57. Logy, Taipei, Taiwan (No. 38 in 2022)
  58. Jade Dragon, Macau, China (No. 89 in 2022)
  59. Jin Sha, Hangzhou, China (No. 51 in 2022)
  60. L’évo, Toyama, Japan
  61. Ando, Hong Kong, China
  62. Estro, Hong Kong, China
  63. Lolla, Singapore (No. 75 in 2022)
  64. Sugita, Tokyo, Japan
  65. Ultraviolet by Paul Pairet, Shanghai, China (No. 39 in 2022)
  66. Americano, Mumbai, India (No. 80 in 2022)
  67. Esquisse, Tokyo, Japan
  68. Eatanic Garden at Josun Palace, Seoul, Korea
  69. Ministry of Crab, Colombo, Sri Lanka (No. 35 in 2022)
  70. 8 1/2 Otto e Mezzo Bombana, Hong Kong, China (No. 100 in 2022)
  71. Côte by Mauro Colagreco, Bangkok, Thailand
  72. Wana Yook, Bangkok, Thailand
  73. Lerdtip Wanghin, Bangkok, Thailand (No. 87 in 2022)
  74. Dewakan, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (No. 50 in 2022)
  75. Nihonryori RyuGin, Tokyo, Japan
  76. Fu1015, Shanghai, China
  77. Ling Long, Beijing, China
  78. The Table, Mumbai, India (No. 86 in 2022)
  79. Eat and Cook, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (No. 81 in 2022)
  80. The Pizza Bar on 38th, Tokyo, Japan
  81. Gaa, Bangkok, Thailand (No. 33 in 2022)
  82. Samrub Samrub Thai, Bangkok, Thailand (No. 31 in 2022)
  83. Nae:um, Singapore
  84. Jaan by Kirk Westaway, Singapore (No. 55 in 2022)
  85. Claudine, Singapore
  86. Summer Pavilion, Singapore
  87. Adachi Sushi, Taipei, Taiwan (No. 52 in 2022)
  88. Obscura, Shanghai, China (No. 76 in 2022)
  89. Meet the Bund, Shanghai, China
  90. Été, Tokyo, Japan (No. 42 in 2022)
  91. Hommage, Tokyo, Japan
  92. Golden Flower, Macau, China (No. 84 in 2022)
  93. Ekaa, Mumbai, India
  94. Nadodi, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (No. 62 in 2022)
  95. August, Jakarta, Indonesia
  96. Liberte, Kaohsiung, Taiwan (No. 72 in 2022)
  97. Sushi Hare, Hong Kong, China (No. 98 in 2022)
  98. Nahm, Bangkok, Thailand
  99. Xin Rong Ji, Hong Kong, China (No. 77 in 2022)
  100. Vea, Hong Kong, China (No. 63 in 2022)

And The Winners Are…

Best Restaurant in Asia: Le Du, Bangkok, Thailand
Best Restaurant in Hong Kong: The Chairman, Hong Kong, China
Best Restaurant in India: Masque, Mumbai, India
Best Restaurant in Japan: Sézanne, Tokyo, Japan
Best Restaurant in Korea: Mosu, Seoul, Korea
Best Restaurant in Macau: Wing Lei Palace, Macau, China
Best Restaurant in Mainland China: Fu He Hui, Shanghai, China
Best Restaurant in the Philippines: Toyo Eatery, Manila, Philippines
Best Restaurant in Singapore: Odette, Singapore
Best Restaurant in Thailand: Le Du, Bangkok, Thailand
Best Restaurant in Taiwan: Mume, Taipei, Taiwan
Best Restaurant in Vietnam: Anan Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam 

Hong Kong has 6 restaurants in top 50, 7 restaurants in top 100, total 13 restaurants.
India has 3 restaurants in top 50, 4 restaurants in top 100, total 7 restaurants.
Indonesia has 0 restaurant in top 50, 1 restaurant in top 100, total 1 restaurant.
Japan has 10 restaurants in top 50, 7 restaurants in top 100, total 17 restaurants.
Korea has 4 restaurants in top 50, 3 restaurants in top 100, total 7 restaurants.
Macau has 2 restaurants in top 50, 4 restaurants in top 100, total 6 restaurants.
Malaysia has 0 restaurants in top 50, 3 restaurants in top 100, total 3 restaurants.
Mainland China has 4 restaurants in top 50, 6 restaurants in top 100, total 10 restaurants.
The Philippines has 2 restaurants in top 50, 0 restaurants in top 100, total 2 restaurants.
Singapore has 9 restaurants in top 50, 6 restaurants in top 100, total 15 restaurants.
Sri Lanka has 0 restaurants in top 50, 1 restaurants in top 100, total 1 restaurant.
Thailand has 9 restaurants in top 50, 6 restaurants in top 100, total 15 restaurants.
Taiwan has 1 restaurant in top 50, 3 restaurants in top 100, total 4 restaurants.
Vietnam has 1 restaurants in top 50, 0 restaurants in top 100, total 1 restaurant.

Inedit Damm Chef’s Choice Award: Hioryasu Kawate of Florilège, Japan
Icon Award: Shinobu Namae of L’Effervescence
Asia’s Best Female Chef: Johanne Siy of Lolla Singapore
Valrhona Asia’s Best Pastry Chef Award: Louisa Lim of Odette, Singapore
Beronia Asia’s Best Sommelier Award: Della Tang of Ensue, Shanghai, China
Aspire Lifestyles Highest New Entry Award: Avartana, Chennai, India
Highest Climber Award: Labyrinth, Singapore
American Express One To Watch Award: August, Jakarta, Indonesia
Gin Mare Art Of Hospitality Award: Zén, Singapore
Flor de Caña Sustainable Restaurant Award: Toyo Eatery, Manila, Philippines

For our thoughts on Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants, see Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants.
For our thoughts on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, see The World’s 50 Best Restaurants.
For all 50 Best related content, see 50 Best.

Nicholas Ng

Nicholas Ng is a restaurant critic and drinks writer and is the editor of independent publication Food For Thought. He has been a freelance journalist for the 15 years and has previously worked as a lawyer and in digital marketing. He currently is the Principal Consultant of A Thought Full Consultancy, a food and beverage marketing consultancy.

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