Mar 29, 2020
AROUND THIS TIME LAST YEAR, Asia’s 50 Best chefs and restaurateurs were celebrating a year of culinary greatness at mega-opulent Wynn Palace in Macau. Parties were held, hugs were passed around, champagne glasses were liberally filled and clinked.
These annual festivities were set to take place again this March in Saga Prefecture, Japan, but were canceled in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Instead, the winners were announced via a video livestream.
As governments impose curfews, limit capacities of establishments and in some places close restaurants and bars entirely, most of the top chefs’ celebrations were held during quieter services, at home with family, or, in few restaurants’ cases, while packing boxes for takeaway and delivery.
Here at T+L SEA, we spend a lot of time thinking, talking and writing about food. We’ve fallen hard for the French toast at Singapore’s Zen (No. 28 on the list), waxed lyrical about the sea cucumber at VEA in Hong Kong (No. 12), and regularly dream of the entire menu at Bangkok’s Sorn (No.16). So, as some chefs across the region–from award-winners to neighborhoods faves–have been having to close their doors with no assurance of when they’ll be able to open again or grapple with nearly empty restaurants, our hearts break.
We know: fine dining and takeout have never been synonymous. But desperate times call for desperate measures, and, in this case, it’s an opportunity for chefs to get creative while still supporting farmers, fishermen, suppliers and their staff.
So, our guide to this year’s Asia’s 50 Best simply presents the current status of each restaurant, letting you know how you can still get a taste of the 2019 foodie favorites as we all try to sit a little further apart. T+L Tip: If you order takeaway or delivery, do make the most of it. Order wine, actually take the food out of the boxes, and don’t forget to tip generously.
Ed. Note: Given how truly dynamic the situation is, we’ll be updating the list continuously.
Updated March 27, 2020
1. Odette, Singapore—Open as usual, though, barring entry to anyone who has traveled overseas within the last 14 days.
2. The Chairman, Hong Kong—Closed until further notice.
3. Den, Tokyo—Opened as usual.
4. Belon, Hong Kong— Open at half capacity, and offering delivery by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
5. Burnt Ends, Singapore—Adjusted opening hours, and offering delivery options through Deliveroo.
6. Sühring, Bangkok—Closed until further notice.
7. Florilège, Tokyo—Open as usual.
8. Le Du, Bangkok—Although the restaurant is closed, chef Ton Tassanakajohn is offering delivery for special dishes, including his signature river prawn dish. His sister restaurants Baan (baanbkk.com; +66 2655 8995) and Mayrai (instagram.com/mayraybkk; +66 814324050) are also available for delivery.
9. Narisawa, Tokyo—Open as usual.
10. La Cime, Osaka, Japan— Open as usual.
11. Les Amis, Singapore—Open as usual, and offering their roasted chicken with white asparagus from Provence for takeaway.
12. Vea, Hong Kong—Open as usual.
13. Indian Accent, New Delhi—Closed until further notice.
14. Mingles, Seoul—Open as usual.
15. Gaa, Bangkok—Closed until further notice.
16. Sorn, Bangkok—The restaurant is closed, however, the team is working at sister restaurant Baan Ice (+66 9254 62099) where they are churning out Southern Thai dishes for delivery or takeaway.
17. Il Ristorante Luca Fantin, Tokyo— Open as usual.
18. Mume, Taipei—Open five days a week instead of the usual seven.
19. Neighborhood, Hong Kong—Open as usual.
20. Fu He Hui — Shanghai
21. Jaan by Kirk Westaway, Singapore—Open as usual
22. Wing Lei Palace, Macau—Open as usual.
23. Sichuan Moon, Macau—Closed until further notice.
24. Nihonryori RyuGin, Tokyo—Open as usual.
25. Seventh Son, Hong Kong—Open as usual.
26. JL Studio, Taichung, Taiwan—Open as usual.
27. TocToc, Seoul—Open as usual.
28. Zen, Singapore—Open as usual.
29. Sazenka, Tokyo— Open as usual.
30. Ministry of Crab, Colombo, Sri Lanka—Closed until further notice.
31. Amber, Hong Kong—Open as usual.
32. 8 ½ Otto e Mezzo Bombana, Hong Kong—Open as usual.
33. Lung King Heen, Hong Kong—Open as usual.
34. Hansikgonggan, Seoul—Open as usual.
35. Ode, Tokyo—Open as usual.
36. Raw, Taipei—Open as usual.
37. Locavore, Bali, Indonesia—The restaurant is closed but the Locovore team is delivering at sister restaurants Locavore To Go, Nusantara, and Butcher Parts through Go-Jek, Grab Food, or by calling +62 82144 956226.
38. Paste, Bangkok— Closed until further notice.
39. Bo.Lan, Bangkok—The restaurant is closed but has come up with a rotating menu of special delivery meal sets as well as sets from sister restaurant Err (+66 2622-2292). If you would like to use your own kitchen, the team is also putting together boxes of organic vegetables, ethical proteins, and ready-to-use items from their network of farmers.
40. La Maison de La Nature Goh, Fukuoka, Japan—Open as usual.
41. Ultraviolet by Paul Pairet, Shanghai—Open as usual.
42. Corner House, Singapore—Open as usual.
43. Shoun RyuGin, Taipei—Open as usual.
44. Toyo Eatery, Manila—Closed until further notice.
45. Bukhara, New Delhi—Open as usual.
46. Sushi Saito, Tokyo—Open as usual.
47. 80/20, Bangkok—The restaurant is closed but has a daily menu available for delivery, including a list of discounted wine bottles. Order through their Instagram account @8010bkk or by calling +66 99118 2200.
48. L’Effervescence, Tokyo— Open as usual.
49. Inua, Tokyo— Open as usual.
50. Nouri, Singapore—Open as usual, with a new “Nouri Comes to You” option where one of their team members will design a personalized dinner experience in your kitchen for up to 10 people.