Gaggan wins ‘Asia’s Best Restaurant’: My piece for CNN

  11.03.15    Thailand

Gaggan in Bangkok named Asia’s best restaurant

Shortly after accepting the prize at the award ceremony in Singapore, Chef Gaggan Anand called his mother, tears in his eyes, to let her know he’d won.

“She’s the owner of me,” he said. “I have her genes, it’s her talent and vision, she told me ‘you have to be a chef.’ I promise you that my mom cooks better food than me!”

Anand opened his eponymous restaurant in the Thai capital in 2010 with a mission and vision to “reinvigorate” Indian cuisine by exploiting contemporary techniques and adding molecular twists to traditional Indian dishes.


The 35-year-old was also the first Indian chef to undertake an internship with Ferran Adria’s team at the legendary el Bulli restaurant in Spain.

Anand said his win would have an impact on Indian cuisine.

“It will motivate a lot of chefs — and it’s a proud moment for our country, which has such a rich culinary heritage. The best thing is that someone, some young Indian chef, will now come and overtake me.”

The 2015 win for Gaggan follows the 2014 victory for rival Bangkok eatery Nahm, which this year dropped to seventh place in the prestigious awards.

Securing second spot for the second year running, as well as the award for best restaurant in Japan, was Tokyo’s Narisawa.

China’s best restaurant, Ultraviolet in Shanghai, featuring chef Paul Pairet’s “multi-sensory” experience, came in at number three.

It was a good night overall for China. It secured 16 of the top 50 restaurants, followed by Singapore and Japan with 10 and eight respectively.

The 2015 list also features eight new entries including first timers from the Philippines with Antonio’s and Cambodia’s Cuisine Wat Damnak.

The awards were based on votes from more than 300 chefs, restaurateurs and experts in six countries across Asia.

Asia’s top 10 restaurants

1. Gaggan (Bangkok)
68/1 Soi Langsuan, Ploenchit Road, Lumpini, Bangkok; +66 2 652 1700

2. Narisawa (Tokyo)
Minami Ayoyama 2-6-15, Minato-ku, Tokyo; +81 3 5785 0799

3. Ultraviolet (Shanghai)
c/o Bund 18, 6/F, 18 Zhongshan Dong Yi Lu, Shanghai; +86 21 6323 9898

4. Nihonryori Ryugin (Tokyo)
Ground Floor, 7-17-24 Roppongi, Minato, Tokyo; +81 3 3423 8006

5. Restaurant Andre (Singapore)
41 Bukit Pasoh Road, Singapore; +65 6534 8880

6. Amber (Hong Kong)
7/F, The Landmark Mandarin Oriental, The Landmark, 15 Queen’s Road, Central, Hong Kong; +852 2132 0066

7. Nahm (Bangkok)
Metropolitan Hotel, 27 South Sathorn Road, Tungmahamek Sathorn, Bangkok; +66 2 625 3333

8. Otto e Mezzo (Hong Kong)
Shop 202, Landmark Alexandra, 18 Chater Road, Central, Hong Kong; +852 2537 8859

9. Waku Ghin (Singapore)
Level 2-01, Atrium 2, The Shoppes, Marina Bay Sands, 10 Bayfront Avenue, Singapore; +65 6688 8507

10. Jungsik (Seoul)
11 Seolleungro, 158 Gil, Gangnam-gu, Seoul; +82 2 517 4654