The list is created from The Diners Club World’s 50 Best Restaurants Academy, an influential group of over 900 international leaders in the restaurant industry, each selected for their expert opinion of the international restaurant scene.
The Academy comprises 26 separate regions around the world. Each region has its own panel of 36 members including a chairperson to head it up. The panel is made up of food critics, chefs, restaurateurs and highly regarded ‘foodies’, each of them having seven votes. Of the seven votes, at least three of which must be used to recognise restaurants outside of their region. At least 10 panellists from each region change each year.
The results are published online as soon as they have been announced to the assembled chefs and academy members in February in Singapore for Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants and in London in April for The World’s 50 Best Restaurants.
Some regions span more than one country. The decision as to how the world is divided up is left to the regional chairs and is debated and reassessed annually. The divisions are designed to fairly represent the global restaurant scene at the current time.
Cities coming the most often in this selection are Tokyo, Singapore, hong Kong, Shanghai or Bangkok. However, one restaurant was distinguished in Colombo, one in Hangzhou, one in Macau, one in Bangalore and one in Bali…
The top 12 restaurants selected in Asia by The Diners Club World’s 50 Best Restaurants Academy for 2013 are the following:
Narisawa, Tokyo Yoshihiro Narisawa’s elegant, minimalist restaurant and suited staff serving delicate, nature-focused dishes using seasonal ingredients drawn from Japan’s rich pantry are just some of the elements that have earned Narisawa his dedicated following. But it’s his wild imagination and sense of drama that have pushed this restaurant to the very top of the class.
Nihonryori Ryugin, Tokyo Seiji Yamamoto’s defiant perfectionism and attention to detail are the hallmarks of his Roppongi destination. While the 18-seat restaurant’s interiors may appear unremarkable – even verging on old-fashioned – Yamamoto’s precise and labour-intensive cuisine is anything but. What he calls “pursuing the possibility of Japanese cuisine” is translated as respect for tradition, teamed with the latest in kitchen gadgetry – pushing the boundaries of Japanese cooking while staying true to its roots.
Nahm, Bangkok Few chefs know Thai food like David Thompson. The Australian-born scholar of Thai cuisine roared to gastronomic heights when his London restaurant, Nahm, became the first Thai restaurant to be awarded a Michelin star. For his second Nahm – a smart space with bare wooden tables and raw brick pillars mimicking the temples of the ancient Siam city of Ayutthaya, located on the ground floor of the Metropolitan Hotel in Bangkok – Thompson scoured century-old cookbooks of former Thai matriarchs. In them he found obscure but big-flavour dishes, many of which hadn’t been seen for years.
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