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Top Picks: Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2020

April 02, 2020

The eighth edition of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants was unveiled last month—celebrating the achievements over the past year of fab restos in 10 different countries. At LUXE, we're steered by the recs of our in-the-know resident editors, whose picks often overlap with those on Asia’s 50 Best. Not sure where to dig in first? We’ve listed 15 of our favourite restaurants in Asia that made the LUXE cut too. 


Tokyo


#9 Narisawa

Creamy salon beloved by Michelin, World's 50 Best, aficionados and laymen alike, Narisawa's nature-inspired, French-meets-Nippon menu and dreamy culinary saucery reps local and regional ingredients plus a limited but lovely range of Japanese wines to pair. Elegant and mature. Book ahead, set menu only. narisawa-yoshihiro.com


#29 Sazenka

Modest, charcoal-hued 12-seat Sino-Japanese salon helmed by RyuGin alum Tomoya Kawada. Secure one of two private dining rooms if you can and prepare for a culinary adventure travelling from Guangdong to Sichuan. Resist (if you can) the sake and dive on into the teas – you can thank us later. sazenka.com


#49 Inua

Noma alum chef Thomas Frebel fell head over yukata for Japan's terroir when he popped over to Tokyo with the lauded supertable in 2015. Fast forward a few years and he's now helming the much-hyped Inua. Marrying offbeat local ingredients (bee larvae?!) with Scandi techniques (foraging, fermentation and the like) to gloriously palate-expanding ends, 13 seasonal courses will whisk you from Okinawa to Hokkaido and back again. Book it. inua.jp/en


See also: Taste Your Way Around Tokyo


Seoul


#14 Mingles 

Sleek, minimal stone n' wood mash up of Korean, French, nature and new wave. Ex-Nobu Kang's daily sets – bang! Res only. restaurant-mingles.com/v3


Singapore


#1 Odette

Located in the spectacular National Gallery, Odette’s dreamy, creamy interior is reminiscent of 1930s Hollywood, but Julien Royer's clever interpretations of classic Gallic are bang up to date. Named after Royer’s grand-mère, Odette has nabbed three Michelin stars and the number 1 slot on Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants in 2020; the frequently changing set 4, 6 or 8-course menus feature a few of his greatest hits alongside new creations, all made with top-notch ingredients, but natch. odetterestaurant.com


#5 Burnt Ends

Fire up the barbie, Bruce, at this achingly hip, uber-mod Aussie wood grill with just 18 counter seats set brow-singeingly close to the flames. Smoked, slow-roasted and grilled into submission, the daily changing flesh fiesta promises dead set deliciousness and meat sweats for all. No res except at early sittings, but go with your crew and you can bag the private room. You beauty! burntends.com.sg


#50 Nouri

Progressive pan-handler Ivan Brehm's slick yet homely dining room continues to wow foodies and Mrs Michelin alike. Expect complex plates which draw on Brehm's eclectic Euro-Brazilian-Mid-East heritage and globetrotting – he'll happily share the story behind each dish and ingredient. nouri.com.sg


See also: Michelin Guide Singapore: Five Restaurants We Rate


Bangkok


#15 Gaa

Mumbai-born journo-turned-chef Garima Arora's experimental mashup of Thai, Indian and Japanese flavours bagged a Michy star within 18 months of opening. The warm, russet-hued diner (situ’d opposite her alma mater Gaggan) is a relaxed setting for the locally provenanced 10- or 14-course tasting menus. Veggie/vegan also available. gaabkk.com


#47 80/20

It might have a spruce new interior and menu, but the forward-leaning eco cred remains. 9-course tasting menus spotlight 100% local ingreds (some from the resto's own organic farm), marrying trad Thai flavours and mod ingredients. Book ahead. 8020bkk.com


Bali


#37 Locavore

Not-to-be-missed, zesty farm-to-tabler spotlighting pretty prez and kaleidoscopic flaves. The only imported ingredient is chef Eric – everything else is locally grown or line-caught. Forgot to book? Pick up a picnic at next door Locavore to Go. locavore.co.id


Find out more: Eat Like A Chef: Ray Adriansyah & Eelke Plasmeijer from Locavore, Bali


Hong Kong


#4 Belon

This dashing baby blue Parisian bistro is upstaged only by Chef Calvert's seasonally-led and artfully plated classics. Delectable plates including the roast chicken with pommes anna are made from scratch daily. belonsoho.com


#12 Vea

Snag a ripper frow seat at this bold, brassy open kitchen cum centre stage for Vicky Cheng's dazzling eight-course mod French degustations. Get nicely sauced with a vino or cocktail pairing, or else sip pre/post in the zinger lounge adjoining. vea.hk


#31 Amber

Ekkebus' bold, reimagined v2.0 bids adieu to its rich Gallic heritage and marches forward with visionary serving visionary ingredient-led gluten and dairy-free fare in svelte, sinuous surrounds. Healthy eating never tasted so good. Amber Hong Kong


#32 8 1/2 Otto e Mezzo Bombana

The first Italian restaurant outside of Italy to gain three Michelin stars, Umberto's taupe banker-swanker wows with sublime picks from land and sea, including cavatelli with shellfish ragout and sea urchin, seasonal white truffle risotto, and Taijima short rib. Unable to secure a coveted table? Come for cocktails at the bar and enjoy the complimentary morsels issuing forth from the kitchen. ottoemezzobombana.com


Shanghai


#41 Ultraviolet by Paul Pairet 

An all-out ultra-feast of swirling visuals, diffused aromas, ambient sounds and avant-garde tastes for 10 extremely lucky guests at one table. Book this showstopper well in advance. uvbypp.cc


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