Awards: World’s Best 50 Restaurants Adds Two from SE Asia

Confit of ocean trout at Singapore restaurant Waku Ghin.
Confit of ocean trout at Singapore restaurant Waku Ghin.

Above: Confit of ocean trout at Waku Ghin.

Southeast Asia contributed two new winners to the recently announced World’s Best 50 Restaurants awards: Waku Ghin in Singapore and Nahm in Bangkok.

Tetsuya at his new eatery, Waku Ghin.

Tetsuya at Waku Ghin.

Waku Ghin opened in 2010 in Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands complex (Casino Level 2, Marina Bay Sands, 10 Bayfront Ave.; 65/6688-8507). It came in at No. 39 in the rankings. Headed by Japanese-born Australian chef Tetsuya Wakuda, this Singapore restaurant offers a Japanese menu with European influences. A standout dish cited by the awards: marinated shrimp with sea urchin and oscietre caviar.

David Thompson, Nahm’s Australian chef, on one of his a forays to Nang Lern Market.

David Thompson at a market.

The Bangkok restaurant Nahm is located in the city’s Metropolitan hotel (27 South Sathorn Rd., Tungmahamek, Sathorn, Bangkok; 66-2/625-3388) and came in at No. 50. Headed by Australian chef David Thompson, it serves modern Thai fare. A standout dish: coconut and turmeric curry of blue swimmer crab. See our recent interview with Thompson where he professes his love for durian.

The Asia-Pacific region contributed just seven winners to the top 50. Unlike Waku Ghin and Nahm, the others were repeat winners from last year:

No. 26: Singapore restaurant Iggy’s
No. 27: Tokyo restaurant Narisawa
No. 28: Tokyo restaurant Nihonryori RyuGin
No. 29: Sydney restaurant Quay
No. 44: Hong Kong restaurant Amber

The awards, announced in London, were dominated by European restaurants, which accounted for 15 of the top 20 winners. (The top spot went for the third year in a row to Copenhagen’s Noma.) The annual awards, founded in 2002, are organized by the UK trade publication Restaurant and sponsored by S.Pellegrino.

This year the organizers announced plans for a new set of awards focused specifically on Asia. Called Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants, the awards will be tied to a February 2013 event in Singapore.

Of the seven Asia-Pacific winners in the World’s 50 Best Restaurants, which have you tried? Let us know in the comments section below, or tell us on Facebook or Twitter.

Waku Ghin photos by Lauryn Ishak; David Thompson photo by Jason Michael Lang

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