From Thailand to Korea and places in between, here are 20 of the best restaurants in Asia, serving a wide variety of cuisines.
Restaurant, Indian, $$$
Gaggan offers ‘progressive Indian cuisine,’ which means that modern cooking techniques are used to create those dishes everyone knows and loves but with a new, exciting result. The brainchild of Chef Gaggan Anand, the restaurant is located in the heart of Bangkok within a colonial-style house, creating a beautiful environment in which to sample such delights as ‘Who Killed the Goat?’, lamb chops cooked sous vide.
If you want to try delicious Japanese fare that has been brought up to incredible new and modern levels, then Narisawa should be placed high on your dining list. Located in the bustling city of Tokyo, this restaurant is the work of Chef Yoshihiro Narisawa, who is renowned for his innovative techniques and use of only the best seasonal ingredients. The culinary team creates a new menu every day, ensuring something new each time you visit.
Founded in 2012 by French chef Paul Pairet, Ultraviolet by Paul Pairet is a restaurant that is sure to make a lasting impression with its innovative cuisine and ‘fully immersive dining experience.’ Ultraviolet features one table with ten seats in a room with no décor, just lights, music, sounds and, of course, scents, the experimental food is the star of this show. Described as a ‘sensory play,’ guests are served 20 exquisite courses perfectly prepared, creating a night you won’t forget. Reservations are obligatory.
Nihonryori RyuGin impresses discerning diners again and again with its delicious modern Japanese cuisine. Chef-owner Seiji Yamamoto and his culinary team focus on the bounty of Japan, making each ingredient shine and allowing guests to savor it in all its glory. Winter, spring, summer or fall, you’ll find something new at RyuGin as the menus change with the seasons. They are open for dinner only.
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Restaurant, French, $$$
Owner-chef André Chiang has his own philosophy when it comes to what he wants guests to take away and learn from his cuisine. This idea is called ‘Octaphilosophy,’ and as can be deduced from the name, there are eight specific things, unique, pure, texture, memory, salt, south, artisan, and terroir. Restaurant André epitomizes all of these and more. Inspired by his Taiwanese heritage, his upbringing in Japan, his training in France, and, of course, his home in Singapore, Chef André’s menu is eclectic and delectable.
Light-filled by day and elegant and moodily lit by night, Amberis a stunning restaurant specializing in a fusion of French techniques with ingredients from Hong Kong and beyond. The interior space is truly something spectacular with a chandelier made of 4,320 suspended bronze rods, giving the place a subtle amber glow. At the helm is the Dutch-born culinary director Richard Ekkebus who, along with the talented culinary team, creates mouthwatering dishes such as sea urchin set in lobster gelée.
Located at the Hotel Metropolitan by COMO, nahm offers authentic yet creative Thai cuisine bursting with flavors from spice to smoke to bitterness and more, all working together in perfect harmony. Chef-owner David Thompson and his team pay attention to every detail when producing their edible art. The interior is equally impressive with its sleek, modern décor and views of the outdoor pool. From the décor to the food, and whether you’re an epicurean or a novice of Thai cuisine, nahm will not disappoint. It is open weekdays for lunch and nightly for dinner.
Named after Federico Fellini’s 1963 film 8 1/2, 8 1/2 Otto E Mezzo Bombana, as you may have guessed, specializes in delicious Italian cuisine, with a contemporary spin. The culinary genius Chef Umberto Bombana, also known as the ‘King of White Truffles’, opened 8 1/2 in 2010 to the delight of foodies looking to sample mouthwatering recipes made with the best seasonal ingredients available. You might find dishes such as the homemade cavatelli shellfish ragout and sea urchin on the menu, along with many other delectable choices.
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Bar, Restaurant, Dessert, $$$
Chef-owner Tetsuya Wakuda created Waku Ghin, an exciting restaurant serving modern Japanese cuisine within a beautiful environment. With an abundance of silver tones ,’Ghin’ means silver, which happens to be the chef’s signature color, the restaurant comprises small dining rooms each with a dining bar and induction grill, where guests can savor a 10-course meal. Dessert, however, is served elsewhere, in a larger space that has lovely views of Marina Bay.
Offering a fine-dining experience, Jungsik, located in Seoul, specializes in New Korean cuisine, meaning chef-owner Jungsik Yim utilizes techniques from not only Korea but also from around the world. Procuring the finest seasonal ingredients from local purveyors, the chef and his team create an array of beautifully plated dishes, such as octopus with octo mayo.
Within a minimalist-chic decorated space, complete with a Murano crystal and silver chandelier, Jaan serves delectable French cuisine with modern flair. Located in a high-rise, 70 floors up, the restaurant also offers guests an absolutely stunning view of the city below. Notable options from the various seasonal tasting menus include the free-range hen’s egg with spring pea, chorizo Iberico and buckwheat, and the hand-dived scallop with Farmer’s harvest and Joselito ham.
Take several hours out of your day and enjoy a culinary treat at L’Effervescence, where French cooking techniques and seasonal local Japanese ingredients combine to produce exquisite modern French fare. Chef-owner Shinobu Namae opened the restaurant in 2010 and has received incredible accolades over the years. One standout dish from the offerings includes the ‘Just Like Apple Pie,’ which is a combination of boar, cherry leaf, and celeriac.
Opened by a group of four men in 1994 in the center of the Orchard Road shopping area, Les Amis specializes in luscious contemporary French cuisine, with many products sourced from France. At the helm is Chef Sebastien Lepinoy, who spent well over a decade at L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon (also on this list). He and the other talented members of his crew create exquisite dishes such as Japanese tenderloin with green asparagus and ‘poivrade’ sauce and pigeon breast stuffed with foie gras and wrapped in Colonnata lard and savoy cabbage.
Founded in 2008 by Chef Hajime Yoneda, the eponymous Hajime is a unique restaurant, as the chef explores many natural themes through his cuisine. Themes include earth, space, and nature and how they balance each other. For Chef Hajime, it is all about thought and how much he puts into his dishes, which ultimately makes each recipe truly special. Offering three tasting menus, standard, short (for people who don’t have a lot of time or are not super hungry) and vegetarian, they cater to everyone.
Specializing in classic Cantonese cuisine, Fook Lam Moon was established in 1948 as a catering service, with its first brick-and-mortar establishment opening in 1972, expanding to several more locations over the years. From the very beginning, only the highest quality ingredients were used, just like today. Within a lovely, polished interior, guests can savor the flavors of roast suckling pig and wok-fried frog leg’s with lobster, black beans, and chili sauce.
Tucked inside what used to be a house, a place a wealthy banker used to call home, FU1015 is intimate, providing an atmosphere that does, indeed, feel warm and inviting like a home. The menu features authentic Shanghai food, just like the head chef, Tony Lu, grew up eating, and the dishes are meant to be shared. The restaurant is known for its abalone tarts and sea cucumber along with the marinated hairy crab with yellow rice wine, the latter of which is only available between October and December.
L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon offers guests tantalizing classic French cuisine in tapas-style portions all within a stunning interior of red and black décor. At the helm is Executive Chef David Alves, and he and his team create delicious options such as Le Pigeon, which is slow-cooked French pigeon with foie gras and smoked bacon along with chicken bouillon and petit raviolis, and La Cerise, a sweet concoction of cherry mousse in a white chocolate tube with gingerbread ice cream.
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Restaurant, European, $$$
Founded by sommelier and restaurateur Ignatius Chan, Iggy’s opened in 2004, and Ignatius has been a fixture on the floor from day one, proving that he cares about his business and the people who visit. Tucked inside the Hilton on Orchard Road in Singapore, the restaurant offers guests international cuisine made with Japanese ingredients, with highlights such as capellini with Sakura ebi, konbu and shellfish oil and côte de boeuf with Kyoto vegetables.
Another restaurant from the Fu empire (see Fu1015 a few spots above), Fu He Hui offers discerning diners a spread of vegetarian Shanghainese cuisine that will even have carnivorous eaters not missing the meat. Featuring only a tasting menu, you don’t have to make any decisions here; you can sit back and relax and enjoy the courses as they come. The interior is beautifully adorned with neutral colors and natural elements such as stone and wood, enhancing the overall dining experience.
Located inside the Four Seasons Hotel, Lung King Heen specializes in authentic Cantonese cuisine. Meaning ‘View of the Dragon,’ the restaurant’s culinary team, headed by Chef Chan Yan Tak, who was the first Chinese chef to earn three Michelin stars, procures the finest and freshest local ingredients for mouthwatering dishes such as the barbecued suckling pig, crispy pork ribs with osmanthus and pear, and baked whole abalone puff with diced chicken. Between the food, the incredible service, and the beautiful views of the harbor, this culinary experience will be one to remember.