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Gaggan takes out top spot in Asia's 50 Best Restaurant Awards for 2018

Gaggan has scooped the top prize at Asia’s Best Restaurant Awards. This is the fourth year in a row that Gaggan Anand’s signature Bangkok restaurant has taken the number one spot, retaining its duel-titles of Best Restaurant in Asia and Best Restaurant in Thailand. Not bad for a restaurant that debuted on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list as recently as 2014, and climbed to No.7 last year.

gaggan-MAIN Gaggan Anand. Photo: Getty

Creativity and reinvention is cited as the key to Gaggan’s success: the Indian-born chef continually updates his constantly evolving ‘progressive’ menu, initially presented to diners as a list of 25 food emojis, providing a touch of mystery. A 16-course tasting menu is also on offer, and dishes have previously come with names such as Alchemist’s Cake (lentil flour cake with curry leaves and coconut ice cream), Mom’s Love (hot carrot mousse with saffron) and Viagra (freshly shucked oysters in a spicy marinade served with ice cream).

gaggan-03 Gaggan Anand. Photo: Getty

gaggan mango snowball Gaggan's 'Mango Snowball' from the restaurant's 2015 menu. Photo: Instagram/gaggan_anand

However, those wishing to create ‘treasured memories out of the emotion of eating’, as the restaurant puts it, had better get their skates on: Anand says he wants to shut up shop in 2020 to focus instead on a small restaurant in Fukuoka, Japan, in addition to his existing restaurants such as the Meatlicious steakhouse, also located in Bangkok.

Other winners this year, chosen by a panel of more than 300 influential food writers, chefs, restaurateurs and gastronomes, include the Osaka-based French restaurant La Cime (Highest New Entry Award, debuting on the list at No. 17) and Tokyo’s L’Effervescence, whose French cuisine includes roast pigeon in parsnip puree and fillet of flounder in a pureed-mussels sauce, and which won the inaugural Sustainable Restaurant Award in Asia for the highest environmental and social responsibility rating.

asia awards All the winners. Photo: Supplied

There were eight new entries this year, with Japan taking the lion’s share of awards for 11 restaurants, while Hong Kong and Thailand claimed nine each. Paste’s Bongkoch “Bee” Satongun won Asia’s Best Female Chef trophy, while Yoshihiro Narisawa collected the Chefs’ Choice Award for his French cooking techniques, sustainable practices and honouring of Japanese culinary traditions.

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