The restaurants of two Sydney chefs – David Thompson and Tetsuya Wakuda - have been named in the inaugural S. Pellegrino list of Asia's 50 Best Restaurants.
Thompson's Bangkok restaurant Nahm was ranked No. 3 on the list and awarded Best Restaurant in Thailand, while Wakuda's Singapore restaurant Waku Ghin came 11th in the prestigious awards.
Thompson made his name at Sydney's Darley Street Thai before running Sailors Thai in The Rocks and then moving to London in 2001 to open Nahm – the first Thai restaurant in Europe to be awarded a Michelin star. The chef and scholar of Thai cuisine closed the celebrated restaurant in December last year, citing the lack of availability of Asian produce in the UK.
Nahm Bangkok, which opened in 2010 in the Metropolitan Hotel, debuted at number 50 on the World's 50 Best Restaurants list in 2012. This year's list will be announced in April. The Asian top 50 is based on votes cast during the voting period for the World's 50 Best Restaurants.
Wakuda's Waku Ghin – described on the World's 50 Best Restaurant's website as “part theatre, part cooking lesson” – is the chef's second restaurant. Meaning 'arise' (waku) and 'silver' (ghin) in Japanese, Waku Ghin was ranked 39th in last year's world's best list.
The restaurant's main dining room in Singapore's Marina Bay Sands complex seats just 25 people and serves a 10-course tasting menu – including its signature marinated shrimp with sea urchin dish.
Wakuda's Sydney restaurant Tetsuya's missed out on a top 50 position in S. Pellegrino's world rankings last year, coming in at No. 76 (the list ranks 100 restaurants, not the 50 indicated in the name) after dropping out of the top 50 (to No.58) in 2011. It was the first time Tetsuya's had failed to claim a place among the top 50 since the prestigious awards began in 2002. Its highest ranking was 4th in 2005.
Sixteen Chinese restaurants made it onto Asia's 50 Best Restaurant list, including Amber (named Best Restaurant in China), Lifetime Achievement Award Winner Paul Pairet's Mr & Mrs Bund (no. 7), and Hong Kong's 8 ½ Otto E Mezzo Bombana (no. 6).
Japan's Narisawa restaurant has secured the top spot, winning the double header of Best Restaurant in Asia and Best Restaurant in Japan for chef Yoshihiro Narisawa's “wild imagination and sense of drama”. Singapore also scored well with 10 restaurants in the list, followed by seven from India.
- with Nina Rousseau