Asia Pacific Best Restaurants List

Posted on May 12, 2006 by Aun

IMPORTANT UPDATE: voting is extended to 12 June 2006. If you are a non-blogger, you can email me your results anytime from now until Monday, 12 June 2006 (bloggers, please continue to post your nominations on 2 June 2006).

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Announcing the First Annual

I’ve been doing quite a bit of thinking about Restaurant magazine’s survey of the world’s fifty best restaurants and how few restaurants from Asia, Australia and the Pacific islands were represented in it. So, in a bold (and perhaps hubristic) move, I’ve decided to try and build a comprehensive listing of Asia-Pacific’s best restaurants.

This list, however, depends entirely on you, fellow bloggers, readers and friends. And in such, anyone and everyone is welcome to take part in this. I’ll make this caveat right away: any survey is only as good as the people who take part in it. And it’s only really credible if a lot of people take part. Also, no survey is perfect. Nor can it be truly definitive or objective. Zagat isn’t. Nor is Michelin. Both simply represent a statistical summation of what a percentage of the population feels (for the former, a wide range of people, for the latter a small group of anonymous “experts”). So too will this survey be a summation of what you guys tell me. That said, let’s try and put together one damn fine list! In general, all voters will be asked to nominate either 8 or 6 restaurants (depending on where you live), but via different criteria. Here’s how I propose that this will work:

For people in Asia-Pacific (which includes the Indian subcontinent, the Central Asian states, Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, China, East Timor, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Macau, Malaysia, North Korea, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands):

1. Nominate what you believe are the best 2 restaurants in your home city / country. Please write at least 1 sentence per restaurant explaining why you’ve made your decision.

2. Nominate what you feel is your favorite restaurant in your home city / country. (This may or may not be different than what you consider your city’s “best”. But for many, it will. For example, in Singapore, I might rank Crystal Jade La Mien Xiao Long Bao as my favorite restaurant, but it would not be what I would consider one of the city’s top two restaurants.) Please also write at least 1 sentence explaining why this is your favorite.

3. Please nominate what you believe are the 3 best restaurants from outside your own home city / country that are located within Asia-Pacific. Please write at least 1 sentence per restaurant explaining why you’ve made your decision.

4. Please nominate what are your 2 favorite restaurants outside your own home city / country that are located within Asia-Pacific. (Again, for example, I might pick Yu’u in Melbourne as a favorite but it would not make my “3 best” list.) Please write at least 1 sentence per restaurant explaining why you’ve made your decision.


scenes from some of Asia’s top tables

For voters living outside of Asia-Pacific:

1. Please nominate what you believe are the 4 best restaurants located within Asia-Pacific. Please write at least 1 sentence per restaurant explaining why you’ve made your decision.

2. Please nominate what are your 2 favorite restaurants located within Asia-Pacific. Please write at least 1 sentence per restaurant explaining why you’ve made your decision.

For bloggers:

Please post your survey results on 2 June 2006. You can include the logo I’ve created. There is a big version available here and a smaller version available here. Please also link back to Chubby Hubby. Also, and very importantly, please email me a copy of your post/results. I’ll need a soft copy so I can compile the results.

ALSO, if you wouldn’t mind talking about (i.e posting about) this survey on your blog, encouraging others to take part, I’d be eternally grateful.

For non-bloggers:

Please, please also take part in this. Email your results to me at aun@chubbyhubby.net by 2 June 2006 (EXTENDED TO 12 JUNE 2006) as well. We will need as many voters as possible to make this a comprehensive survey.

Compilation and publishing:

I will, by the end of June, publish on my blog a summary of the results. Ideally, we will be able to work together to come up with a great list. In addition, I will seek sponsorship to try and publish a book containing the full results, with edited descriptions, full addresses, etc of each restaurant on the survey. If successful, every person who takes part in this will get a free copy of the published book. (If by chance you represent a company that would want to sponsor the publication of this survey, please, please, please email me).

When you email me (this goes for both bloggers and non-bloggers), please include your full name and mailing address. That way if we do get sponsorship, I ensure that I will be able to mail you a copy (plus credit you if you desire).

So, let’s start judging. This will only work with your help. And I do so hope it works. Asia-Pacific has for far too long gone without a proper “best restaurants” standard. In the USA, there’s Zagat; in Europe, there’s Michelin. It’s time to build one for Asia-Pacific.

About Aun Koh

Aun has always loved food and travel, passions passed down to him from his parents. This foundation, plus a background in media, pushed him to start Chubby Hubby in 2005. He loves that this site allows him to write about the things he adores--food, style, travel, his wife and his bouncing baby boy!

What Others Are Saying

  1. umami May 12, 2006 at 6:18 pm

    I’m in. It is a good idea to distinguish between ‘favourite’ and ‘best’. Thanks

  2. Vanessa May 12, 2006 at 7:42 pm

    i can’t participate since i haven’t been anywhere near asia pacific yet, yes i know shame on me but next year, however i was thinking about how to make this a touch more equitable (can you see the statistician seeping out of me?). anyhow, you might want to get people to tell you how many times they’ve been to each restaurant they nominate and use that to weigh their results a bit so that you have a representation of consistency.

    best of luck crunching all those surveys!

  3. Monkey Gland May 13, 2006 at 5:40 am

    hmmm…this is gonna be tricky. Unfortunatly, I’ll be horribly wieghted in favour of restaurants in Oz. I mean Tetsuta’s is good and all, but BBQ King was always a favourite though I hear they have dropped the ball as of late. This calls for a good taste memory too as I haven’t been back in a couple of years. I may have to bow out gracefully and jump on the results for my return trip at Xmas.

  4. Nha May 13, 2006 at 7:49 am

    This is gonna be hard, esp. for my home city in Vietnam, some of my favorite places to eat aren’t necessarily a restaurant. They’re “streetfood” (for lack of better words) with no identification for the place. Anyway, I think you’ve made a great move, CH! Hopefully you’ll get lots of people to participate in this survey.

  5. lil May 14, 2006 at 7:23 pm

    oh this is such a brilliant idea! unfortunately it has been a while since i was home and i’m not sure if my favourites, and what i consider as bests, would still apply…

  6. zeenie May 15, 2006 at 1:05 am

    done! Great idea! =)
    http://zeenie.blogspot.com/2006/05/zeenies-contribution.html

  7. the zee May 15, 2006 at 6:06 pm

    I’d like to laud you for your move to come up with an Apac Best Restaurants List. Yes, indeed, it IS time Asia has a spot in the limelight too! While I would have loved to participate in the survey, I unfortunately am still a poor student, and have hardly visited the many good dining places in Singapore as yet. But I look forward to seeing the results of the compilation! Good luck with it.

  8. Lori May 18, 2006 at 3:26 pm

    Kudos to you, ChubbyHubby, for initiating such an undertaking! I’ll definitely be participating in this one. Asia shines as well.

  9. hugewhaleshark May 18, 2006 at 9:59 pm

    I’m in :)

  10. deccanheffalump May 23, 2006 at 1:18 am

    Looking forward to reading all the write ups. Count me in though it is going to be a tough choice.

  11. Anna May 29, 2006 at 11:04 am

    This is a great initiative and I have posted a link and some background on my own food related blog. It was only on Saturday morning that I was reading over the Restaurant Magazine’s article again and deploring the Europe/US centric view of “best restaurants in the world”. The restaurants selected were all high quality, and an excellent example of European and American fare, but I agree it does not reflect a global survey. Then last night I clicked through to your blog from spiceblog and discovered your great plan. Hopefully your poll can go some way to rectifying the neglect Asia-Pacific has suffered. Go Chubby, go!

  12. Darkenrahlin June 8, 2006 at 2:07 pm

    There is a new site up called http://the-good-food-guide.com which aims to collated information on restaurants from around the world. Check it out if you’re interested.. cheers.

  13. dennis July 3, 2006 at 11:05 am

    Please, please choose a shorter and catchier name for the list. “Asia Pacific Best Restaurants List” is stunningly uncreative and won’t do much for your marketing. Contrast it to the instant ring of “The Zagat Survey”.

  14. hugewhaleshark July 28, 2006 at 10:11 pm

    Errm, any chance of getting the results out soon, Chubby Hubby? Been a while, leh.

  15. neena August 13, 2006 at 11:49 am

    Great website. Would love a list of the best restaurants and places for social gatherings.

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