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Robuchon Regains Crown as Asia’s Top Restaurateur

Miele Guide to Asia's Finest Restaurants
The Miele Guide to Asia's Finest Restaurants. The guide was created in 2008. Source: Ate Integrated Communications via Bloomberg.

French chef Joel Robuchon took first and third places last night in the Miele Guide list of the Top 20 restaurants in Asia, toppling Singapore’s Iggy’s, which has won a record three times.

“The man many herald as the world’s greatest chef and his lieutenants in Asia have done it again,” the guide’s editors said in an e-mailed release. Robuchon has been a fixture in the list since the guide’s inception five years ago.

Iggy’s, the modern European establishment of Ignatius Chan, dropped to fourth, behind Robuchon au Dome (Macau); Waku Ghin (Singapore) and L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon (Hong Kong). Waku Ghin, a new entry, is the creation of Sydney’s Tetsuya Wakuda.

Miele’s Chef of Chefs awards went to the Australian David Thompson, who created Nahm at the Halkin hotel in London.

Nahm closed in December and will be replaced by a Basque restaurant, Ametsa With Arzak Instruction. (Arzak Instruction is a group of chefs including Juan Mari Arzak and his daughter Elena.) Ametsa is scheduled to open at the beginning of March.

Thompson, who is also a successful food writer, has gone on to open Nahm in Bangkok. He was chosen for the award by chef candidates from the previous edition of the guide.

Each of the 500 restaurants in the Miele Guide is selected after a voting process involving food-and-beverage industry professionals, food writers, restaurant critics and the public.

The winners were announced at Tamarind Hill, Singapore. The Miele Guide was created in 2008 after Asian establishments failed to make an impact in the World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards. The World’s 50 Best now plans to announce its own list of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants on Feb. 25 in Singapore.

(I work unpaid for the World’s 50 Best Restaurants and am not involved in the Asia event.)

The Miele Top 20 (with last year’s rankings in parentheses):

1  Robuchon au Dome, Macau, China (4)
2  Waku Ghin, Singapore (New entry)
3  L’Atelier HK, China (3)
4  Iggy’s, Singapore (1)
5  Mozaic, Bali, Indonesea (12)
6  Pierre Gagnaire a Seoul, Korea (8)
7  Caprice, Hong Kong, China (5)
8  Amber, Hong Kong, China (New Entry)
9  Otto e Mezzo Bombana, Hong Kong, China (13)
10 Les Amis, Singapore (19)
11 Restaurant Andre, Singapore (2)
12 Tippling Club, Singapore (10)
13 Sarong, Bali, Indonesia (18)
14 Mr. & Mrs. Bund by Paul Pairet, Shanghai, China (7)
15 One Harbour Road, Hong Kong, China (New entry)
16 Dakshin, Chennai, India (16)
17 Antonio’s, Cavite, Philippines (11)
18 Nihonryori, RyuGin, Tokyo, Japan (New Entry)
19 Metis Restaurant and Gallery, Bali, Indonesia (New Entry)
20 Bukhara, New Delhi, India (20)

(Richard Vines is the chief food critic for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. He is U.K. and Ireland chairman of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards. Opinions expressed are his own.)

Muse highlights include Manuela Hoelterhoff on arts, Martin Gayford on London art exhibitions and John Mariani on wine.

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