Bangkok’s Le Du the toast of Thailand after scooping ‘Best Restaurant in Asia’ award

Le Du owner and head chef Thitid 'Ton' Tassanakajohn

Bangkok’s Le Du was the toast of Thailand last night after being crowned “The Best Restaurant in Asia 2023” at the exclusive culinary award ceremony, climbing three places to No.1 from No.4 last year.

According to new rankings released by the 50 Best Organizations, Japan is the top destination in Asia for gastronomes this year, with 17 of the “best” 100 restaurants on the list, followed by Thailand and Singapore tied for second with 15 each. Hong Kong, last year’s top destination, recorded 13 establishments on the list.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the “Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants” list, which includes restaurants from 19 cities, with seven new establishments on the list. Bangkok’s Le Du on Silom Soi 7 was named “The Best Restaurant in Asia 2023,” moving up three spots to take the top honour, reported CNBC.

This year’s ranking saw some changes, with Japan’s Den, which was No. 1 in 2022, dropping three spots to No. 4, while Bangkok’s Sorn fell from No.2 to No.9. The “Highest Entry” award went to Avartana from India, which debuted on the list at No. 30.

Le Du is a one-Michelin-starred restaurant that first entered the list in 2017 at No.37. The establishment, which opened in 2013, is owned by head chef Thitid ‘Ton’ Tassanakajohn, who gives Thai food a modern twist through a French-leaning lens. His menus focus on the use of seasonal and local ingredients, reflecting his belief in the superiority of Thai produce.

Tassanakajohn told CNBC after the award ceremony last night that taking the coveted spot feels “unreal.”

“I didn’t expect it at all. Ten years ago, when I opened the restaurant, [people] said, I will never make it because I only use local produce and you have to use imported ingredients.

“I’m so happy to represent Thailand and bring Thai ingredients to the forefront of Asia.”

Bangkok's Le Du the toast of Thailand after scooping 'Best Restaurant in Asia' award | News by Thaiger

The “50 Best” organization compiles a yearly list of the top restaurants based on the opinions of over 300 industry experts. These experts include food writers, critics, chefs, and restaurant owners from various parts of the world. The panel is made up of an equal number of male and female members. Each member is allowed to nominate ten restaurants, with a limit of seven from their home country.

Asia’s top 50 restaurants

The list of “Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants” for 2023:

  1. Le Du (Bangkok, Thailand)
  2. Sezanne (Tokyo, Japan)
  3. Nusara (Bangkok, Thailand)
  4. Den (Tokyo, Japan)
  5. Gaggan Anand (Bangkok, Thailand)
  6. Odette (Singapore)
  7. Florilege (Tokyo, Japan)
  8. La Cime (Osaka, Japan)
  9. Sorn (Bangkok, Thailand)
  10. Narisawa (Tokyo, Japan)
  11. Labyrinth (Singapore) — Highest Climber Award (from No. 40 in 2022)
  12. Sazenka (Tokyo, Japan)
  13. The Chairman (Hong Kong)
  14. Villa Aida (Wakayama, Japan)
  15. Mosu (Seoul, Korea)
  16. Masque (Mumbai, India)
  17. Meta (Singapore)
  18. Fu He Hui (Shanghai, China)
  19. Indian Accent (New Delhi, India)
  20. Ode (Tokyo, Japan)
  21. Zen (Singapore)
  22. Suhring (Bangkok, Thailand)
  23. Onjium (Seoul, South Korea)
  24. Burnt Ends (Singapore)
  25. Euphoria (Singapore)
  26. Cloudstreet (Singapore)
  27. Les Amis (Singapore)
  28. Mingles (Seoul, South Korea)
  29. Neighbourhood (Hong Kong)
  30. Avartana (Chennai, India) — Highest New Entry Award
  31. Ensue (Shenzhen, China)
  32. Cenci (Kyoto, Japan)
  33. Ms. Maria & Mr. Singh (Bangkok, Thailand)
  34. Da Vittorio (Shanghai, China)
  35. Potong (Bangkok, Thailand)
  36. Born (Singapore)
  37. Wing (Hong Kong)
  38. Raan Jay Fai (Bangkok, Thailand)
  39. Wing Lei Palace (Macau)
  40. Anan Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam)
  41. Mono (Hong Kong)
  42. Toyo Eatery (Manila, Philippines)
  43. Sichuan Moon (Macau)
  44. L’Effervescence (Tokyo, Japan)
  45. Mume (Taipei, Taiwan)
  46. Baan Tepa (Bangkok, Thailand)
  47. Born & Bred (Seoul, Korea)
  48. Metiz (Makati, Philippines)
  49. Caprice (Hong Kong)
  50. Refer (Beijing, China)

Six other Thai restaurants made the top 100 list, they included:

  1. Cote by Mauro Colagreco (Bangkok, Thailand)
  2. Wana Yook (Bangkok, Thailand)
  3. Lerdtip Wanghin (Bangkok, Thailand)
  4. Gaa (Bangkok, Thailand)
  5. Samrub Samrub Thai (Bangkok, Thailand)
  6. Nahm (Bangkok, Thailand)
  7. Bangkok's Le Du the toast of Thailand after scooping 'Best Restaurant in Asia' award | News by Thaiger

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Bob Scott

Bob Scott is an experienced writer and editor with a passion for travel. Born and raised in Newcastle, England, he spent more than 10 years in Asia. He worked as a sports writer in the north of England and London before relocating to Asia. Now he resides in Bangkok, Thailand, where he is the Editor-in-Chief for The Thaiger English News. With a vast amount of experience from living and writing abroad, Bob Scott is an expert on all things related to Asian culture and lifestyle.