Last Updated: March 25, 2020
Amidst the gloom of the current COVID-19 pandemic, a ray of light shone on some of Asia’s best in the F&B industry.
Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2020‘s announcement, unfortunately, wasn’t made with great fanfare, given it was broadcast in a live-stream across the region with no live audience. Nonetheless, there were some notable appearances—we’re looking at Japan’s whopping 12 entrants—with Singapore’s finest clinching a total of seven places.
As William Drew, Director of Content of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, spoke, his words could not be truer, “This time, more than ever, the restaurant sector needs support. Recognising the hard work and talent of teams and individuals remains valid. Showing a sense of community and mutual respect also feels important.”
“So today is about supporting Asia.”
With Odette helming the top spot this year, Chef Julien Royer commented on how he hasn’t had much time to think about this coveted title, given his team’s hyperfocus on overcoming the hurdles that the F&B industry is facing. “Last night [Monday night], for the first time in the history of Odette, we had the lowest number of covers in the restaurant—19 diners. So, tomorrow we are gathering with the team to discuss what we can do to improve business, especially during the weekdays,” he expressed.
Just four spots away is Burnt Ends, who has managed to retain its place in the top 10 while scaling up five places to #5. French fine-dining institution, Les Amis, was just one place shy of the top 10, and is now at #11—although it is a great feat, considering they were at #33 just last year.
Jaan by Kirk Westaway is placed at a humbling #21 (a prideful climb of 11 places from last year), while a new face, Zen, has debuted at #28. Let’s not forget another win for Singapore, as Corner House kicked it up a few notches to #42 this year.
Sadly, we also saw Nouri take a hard hit as it ranked at #49 this year—down 11 places from 2019. We also saw the unfortunate exit of Waku Ghin from the list completely.
It is certainly difficult to truly relish in the wins that our local F&B stars have achieved, given the challenging climate we are all facing now. However, let’s not lose hope, and together we’ll be able to ride out this adversity with a regained sense of community.