Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants

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Stop press: Here, in Amazing Thailand, Indians shine at the Food Oscars. This is known as a delicious coincidence: A few days ago, Hollywood Oscars and Asias food Oscars were celebrated almost simultaneously. Here in Bangkok, superstar chefs have flown in from all parts of the world to attend the prestigious Asias 50 best restaurant awards. While champagne sparkled the evening, the most delightfully innovative food did the rounds. The air was thick with excitement and suspense.


Every square inch of the Awards ceremony hall at the W, Bangkok bristled with star-power. The Minister of Tourism, deputy Prime Minister, Celebrated chefs, restaurateurs and industry VIPs were in attendance.Asias 50 best restaurants in it’s fourth edition this year continues to grow in influence and magnetizes the best. This year, with 13 nations represented, the 2016 list includes restaurants from more countries than ever before, showcasing a rich variety of dining experiences across Asia.

Amid huge applause and hugs, the pony tailed genius Gaggan walked  up to receive his award. He retains the dual titles of The Best Restaurant in Asia, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna and The Best Restaurant in Thailand, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna. Ive had many a fabulous meal at his  eponymous Bangkok restaurant. Here Chef Gaggan Anand draws inspiration from the street food of his home town of Kolkata, reinterpreting traditional Indian cuisine with modernist cooking techniques. His approach is inventive, adventurous and highly individual, yet respectful of India’s culinary legacy.


Chef Manish Mehrotra and Rohit Khattar’s Indian Accent (New Delhi)   was awarded the best restaurant in India (2nd year consecutively). Indian Accent rises 13 places to No.9 this year. Chef Mehrotra’s masterly evolution of Indian cuisine works magic in the delhi restaurant and has just opened in New York. Here once again I had the most delightfully delicious interpretation of Indian food which retains it’s authentic flavors.


The iconic Bukhara  with it’s timeless appeal and menu that has stood the test of time for three decades was awarded among Asia’s 50 best. Helmed by the dynamic Manjit Singh Gill and JP Singh, over the years Bukhara has played host to global heads of state, royalty, filmstars and more. And in an international scenario where innovation is leading the way, it is a credit to our heritage that Bukhara is on this global list.


What sets this fine dine Japanese restaurant apart from the others is the amazingly creative and fabulous vegetarian menu. Of course the exquisite sushi and sashimi and black cod and other non vegetarian dishes are as impeccable as ever. Several Japanese chefs wield their magic along with Executive chef Amit Chowdhary. Competing with the Japanese restaurants of Japan and still holding it’s own is a matter of pride for us.


Blazing the way, rewarding the restaurant industry and being THE foodies guide, Asia’s 50 best has come a long way. It is helmed by the dynamic and dapper Charles Reed (whose London based “The worlds 50 best” was  set up 14 years ago). Devilishly handsome and efficient managing director Tim Brooke Webb,  is joined now by the lovely and brilliant Helene Pietrini. William Drew, the ever-helpful and equally brilliant Group Editor of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants along with the creative and hard working Laura price, Maria Olite and the entire dream team cooked up a fabulous Asian Oscars.

P.S. Asias 50 best is held in such high global esteem that the worlds best (crowned at The worlds 50 best in London for 2015) Joan Roca of El Cellar can Roca also flew in from Spain, for the awards. He along with Ashley Palmer Watts from London’s Dinner and Peter Gilmore from Australia are exploring Thailand as part of #Asias50bestexplores. But that’s another  amazing story.



Recipe: Chicken Pillows

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Chef: Shashi Mahesh

Cuisine: Continental

Category: Main Course

Serves: 4

Cooking time: 45 minutes                                                                    Prepn/Marin: 20 minutes


4 Boneless chicken breasts

250 gms. Fresh mushrooms, finely chopped

½ Onion, finely chopped

½ Cup Celery, finely chopped

1 ¼ Cup White wine

½ Cup Water

1 tbsp. Parsley, chopped

1 Chicken stock cube

2 tbsp. Curds

As required Salt and pepper

For frying oil


Remove skin from chicken breasts and lightly pound meat to flatten.

Place mushrooms in a frying pan with 1 tbsp. of oil and sauté along with finely chopped onions and celery. Add ¼ cup wine and seasoning. Simmer till liquid has evaporated.

Divide the mixture into four and spread on chicken breasts.Roll carefully and secure with a string. Fry chicken in oil till golden brown on all sides and place in an oven proof dish.

Add remaining wine, parsley, water, stock cube and seasoning to the frying pan and bring to the boil. Reduce the quantity a little and pour over the chicken. Cover and bake in the oven for 40 minutes at 180 C.

Drain liquid from casserole into a sauce pan. Return chicken to oven to keep hot. Boil liquid until reduced to half. Remove from fire and stir in the curd, pour sauce over chicken, garnish with parsley and serve hot.

Review: The 29-Twenty Nine

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Food (vegetarian only) from 29 states of India. All in one new Kemps corner restaurant !

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Recipe: Chicken in Rum with Pineapple

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Chef: Shashi Mahesh

Cuisine: Continental

Category: Main Course

Serves: 6-8

Cooking time: 20 minutes                                                    Prepn/Marin: 5 minutes


1 x8 pieces Chicken

½ Cup Rum

2 tbsp. Lemon juice

½ tsp. Tabasco

As required Salt and pepper

1 tin (large) Pineapple

½ Cup Olive oil

½ Cup Butter

6 cloves Garlic (chopped)


Rub the cut chicken pieces with salt and pepper.

Melt butter and oil in a pan and fry the chicken pieces until brown. Then add chopped garlic and fry

till golden. Lower the heat and add l/t cup rum, Tabasco, lemon juice and syrup from

the pineapple tin.

Cook on low heat till the chicken is tender

Before serving add remaining ¼ cup of rum and cook for about 2-3 minutes more.

Serve with glazed pineapple slices

To glaze : Sprin4e with some brown sugar and fry lightly in a little butter.

Review: Star Anise

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Star Anise, or (to put it more accurately) “Star Anees” is the kind  of passion driven, stand alone, small café that I love to cheer on.

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Chicken Escalopes Stuffed with Peanuts & Spinach Coulis Served with Bacardi Cococream

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Chef: Milind Sovani

Cuisine: Continental

Category: Main Course

Serves: 4

Cooking Time: 15 minutes                                                                     Prepn/Marin: 15 minutes



4                                                                                             Chicken breasts

200ml.                                                                                 Coconut cream

2 bunches                                                                           Spinach

100 gms.                                                                             Peanuts

50 gms.                                                                                Mozzarella cheese

4                                                                                             Jalapeno peppers

60ml.                                                                                    Bacardi Rum


For Seasoning

As required                                                                        Salt and pepper

A pinch of                                                                           Nutmeg powder

3 tbsp.                                                                                  Butter



Take a boneless whole chicken breast with a wing bone. Slit on side to create a pouch for stiffing. Repeat for the rest.

For the Stuffing

Blanch spinach and roughly chop it. Saute the spinach in a little butter. Add peanuts, salf, pepper nutmeg and mix.

Stuff each chicken breast with the stuffing.

Cook these escalopes in a little butter on both sides in a pan.

For the Sauce

Heat butter in pan, add the jalapeno peppers (cut into small cubes), toss. Add rum and reduce.

Add coconut cream, salt and pepper. Finally add grated cheese. This will thicken it. Reduce the sauce till it is creamy.

Place the chicken escalope in the serving platter and pour the sauce towards the tips of every escalope.

Garnish and serve .

Review: Asian Street Kitchen

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The only pure vegetarian Pan Asian restaurant is The Asian Street Kitchen (ASK). And it’s been magnetizing regulars ever since it opened.

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Recipe: Chicken Corn and Cheese Souffle

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Chef: Vimla Philips

Cuisine: Continental

Category: Main Course

Serves: 8

Cooking Time: 30 minutes                                                            Prepn/Marin: 15 minutes



150 gms                                                                              Chicken, cooked and diced fine

50 gms.                                                                                Butter

1 ½ tbsp.                                                                             Refined Flour

150 ml                                                                                 Milk

3                                                                                             Eggs

80 gms.                                                                                Cheese, grated

As required                                                                        Salt and pepper

100 gms.                                                                             Corn, boiled in salted water and drained



Melt the butter over a moderate flame. Add flour and cook over low heat till the flour gets a light golden colour, Gradually add milk stining continuously till the sauce thickens.

Separate the egg whites and egg yolks. Beat the yolks one at a time into the sauce.

Stir in the chicken, corn, cheese and season with the salt and pepper.

Whip the egg whites till stiff, and gently fold them into the sauce.

Pour the mixture into a buttered souffl6 dish and bake 375F for 25 to 30 minutes or until well risen and the top is golden brown.

Serve with fresh salad.

Review: 145

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Open “noon to moon”145 (the street address of this brand new Kalaghoda restaurant, which replaces Cheval) is a  response to  the diners’ appetites for comforting, affordable food.

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