Essence of Asia debutes to support local heroes

Following a year of extraordinary challenges, this new collection honours hospitality’s unsung heroes.

To support the recovery of the hospitality sector, Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants – in association with S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna – announced "Essence of Asia", an unranked collection of restaurants that representsthe spirit of Asian gastronomy.

The collection comprises establishments in 49 cities across 20 countries and territories, stretching from

Pakistan across to Japan. Integral to Asia’s culinary ecosystem, these restaurants honour culinary traditions, reinvent indigenous cuisines and revive centuries-old recipes, all while playing a key role within their communities. This unranked selection will complement the ninth edition of the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna, which will be revealed on Thursday, 25th March. The Essence of Asia collection was created based on recommendations from the chefs of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2020 and 2021, 50 Best’s Academy Chairs, as well as trusted gourmets in the region. Embodying Asia’s rich diversity, the collection includes:

- Street food vendors, such as Pho Gia Truyen in Hanoi, Wattana Panich in Bangkok and Siam Road

Char Koay Teow in Penang

- Much-loved local institutions like Australia Dairy Company in Hong Kong, Li Qun Roast Duck in

Beijing, Shree Thaker Bhojanalay in Mumbai, The Sugar Palm in Siem Reap and Keng Eng Kee in

Singapore- Community-focused establishments, including Earth Kitchen in Manila, a restaurant dedicated to supporting local farmers and indigenous communities in the Philippines, and Sincere Blue in Tokyo, a collaboration between chef Shinsuke Ishii and Chefs for the Blue, a group committed to

promoting sustainable seafood.

- Progressive restaurants reinventing or elevating indigenous cuisines, from Restaurant Kin in

Singapore and Akame in Taiwan to 102 House in Foshan, China.

Presented in association with S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna, the full list of restaurants that make up the Essence of Asia collection is below:


Haji Biryani, Dhaka

Kasturi, Dhaka


Nesat Seafood House, Phnom Penh

Lum Orng Farm To Table, Siem Reap

The Sugar Palm, Siem ReapMainland China

Li Qun Roast Duck, Beijing

Chen Mapo Tofu, Chengdu

102 House, Foshan

Longjing Manor, Hangzhou

Fuchun (Yuyuan Road), Shanghai

Lihuayuan, Wuhan

Hong Kong

Australia Dairy Company

Dignity Kitchen

Kau Kee

Pei Ho Counterparts


Yin Yang Coastal


Bengaluru Oota Company, Bangalore

Mum’s Kitchen, Goa

Ahdoo’s, Kashmir

Shree Thaker Bhojanalay, Mumbai

Swati Snacks, Mumbai

Rustom’s, New Delhi


Babi Guling Pande Egi, Bali

KooD, Bali

Pagi Sore, Jakarta

Lupis Mbah Satinem, YogyakartaJapan

Natsukashiya, Amami Ōshima

Honke Owariya, Kyoto

Pasania, Osaka

Eatrip, Tokyo

Sincere Blue, Tokyo

Sushi Dai, Tokyo


Tamarind, Luang Prabang

Doi Ka Noi, Vientiane


Henri’s Galley

IFT Educational Restaurant

La Famiglia


Artisan Handmade Bread, Ipoh

Kedai Kopi Yee Fung, Kota Kinabalu

Bijan, Kuala Lumpur

Siam Road Char Koay Teow, Penang


Rangoon Tea House, Yangon

Shan Kitchen, Yangon

Shwe Sa Bwe, YangonNepal

Newa Momo Nepal, Kathmandu

Tukche Thakali Kitchen, Kathmandu


N’ecos, Karachi

Waris Nihari, Lahore


Farmer’s Daughter, Baguio

Earth Kitchen, Manila

Hapag, Manila

Bale Dutung, Pampanga


Botanico at The Garage

Jin Ji Teochew Braised Duck & Kway Chap

Keng Eng Kee

Mr. and Mrs. Mohgan’s Super Crispy Roti Prata

Naked Finn

Restaurant Kin

South Korea

Nangpoonbopsang, Jeju

Base Is Nice, Seoul

Guemdwaeji Sikdang, Seoul

Miro Sikdang, Seoul

Sri LankaCafé Kumbuk, Colombo

Paradise Road: The Gallery Café, Colombo

Mettha’s Traditional Home Cooked Meals, Unawatuna


Akame, Pingtung

Yu Li Cultural Bookstore and Community Kitchen, Taichung

Huang’s Lu Rou Fan, Taipei

Plants, Taipei


100 Mahaseth, Bangkok

Barefood Bangkok, Bangkok

Na café at Bangkok 1899, Bangkok

Wattana Panich, Bangkok

Locus Native Food Lab, Chiang Rai

Samuay & Sons, Udon Thani


Pho Gia Truyen, Hanoi

Ngoc Suong Seafood & Bar, Ho Chi Minh City

Pizza 4P’s, Ho Chi Minh City

Madam Khanh - The Banh Mi Queen, Hoi An

The conversation around Essence of Asia continues with #50BestTalks, an online series of exclusive interviews featuring some of the region’s leading chefs and thought leaders. With two appointments on the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants Facebook page, #50BestTalks will see celebrated chefs Gaggan Anand and Margarita Forés go on culinary explorations of their respective cities – Bangkok and Manila – to visit Essence of Asia restaurants and give viewers a unique insight into their work and the fascinating stories behind their signature dishes. Tune in at 16:00 Singapore/HK time on Thursday 18th March and Saturday 20th March to follow the action live.

The ninth annual Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants awards ceremony will be broadcast on Thursday, 25th March, from 4.30pm (HK/SG; 5.30pm JPN), to a global audience via Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants Facebook, the 50 Best Restaurants TV YouTube channel and Zoom.

Photos: Krista Stucchio, Markus Winkler on