Cover Chef-owner Zaiyu Hasegawa of Den, named The Best Restaurant in Asia 2022

Den in Tokyo is named the Best Restaurant in Asia 2022 for the first time, marking only the second time that a restaurant from Japan has claimed the top position on the annual list

The announcement of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2022 list saw Den in Tokyo take the top position, as last year's winner The Chairman in Hong Kong fell to fifth place. Rounding out the top five were two restaurants in Bangkok—Sorn (#2) and Le Du (#4), and fellow Tokyo restaurant Florilège (#3). 

Den has risen steadily up the ranks of Asia's 50 Best since its debut in 2016 at #37 to last year's ranking at #3. It is one of the 11 restaurants from Japan that dominate this year's list, though this is only the second time that a restaurant from Japan has claimed the title of the Best Restaurant in Asia—the last time was Narisawa in 2013. 

Representation on the list was also high from Thailand with nine restaurants featured, including new entries Nusara (#10), Blue by Alain Ducasse (#25), Sushi Masato (#29), Samrub Samrub Thai (#31) and Raan Jay Fai (#46). Singapore followed closely behind with seven restaurants including new entry Meta (#20), which received the One To Watch award in 2021; and Hong Kong with six including new entry Wing (#34).

South Korea had five restaurants on this year's list, of which three—Joo Ok (#18), Mosu (#27) and Onjium (#30)—were new entries. Ensue (#19) in Shenzhen was a newcomer for China, alongside Da Vittorio in Shanghai, while Megu (#49) in New Delhi was a fresh face on the list for India.

Related: How Hong Kong's The Chairman Restaurant Redefines Chinese Fine Dining

A number of other awards were announced during the ceremony, which was broadcast online for the third year running due to the global pandemic.

Asia’s Best Pastry Chef went to Maira Yeo from Cloudstreet (#44) in Singapore, recognising her "precision, artistry balance and flavour".

The coveted Chefs’ Choice Award went to David Lai of Hong Kong's Neighborhood (#9), who was called "a maverick" and "a true chef’s chef, who doesn’t seek out the limelight but has championed ingredient-driven, sustainable cooking."

Former Best Restaurant in Asia (2019 and 2020) Odette (#8) in Singapore was honoured with The Art of Hospitality Award, while Mume (#54) in Taipei received the Sustainable Restaurant Award for its celebration of the bounty of Taiwan with its focus on local ingredients and for the community outreach that is "baked into Mume's DNA". 

"Let's make better choices together" said Mume co-founder Richie Lin, "and build a more sustainable restaurant industry together."

A number of awards were announced in the run-up to the release of the Asia's 50 Best Restaurants 2022 list, and these awardees were also honoured in the virtual ceremony. They included Natsuko Shoji, whose restaurant Été debuted on the list at #42 and who was named Asia's Best Female Chef; Jeong Kwan, the "doyenne of temple cuisine" from South Korea, who received the Icon Award; and Eat and Cook (#81) restaurant in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, which was honoured with this year's One To Watch Award

The list featured a record 16 new entries, with the Highest New Entry Award bestowed on Villa Aida (#14) in Wakayama, Japan. Ode (#13) in Tokyo Japan, which is helmed by rock musician-turned-chef Yusuke Namai, received the Highest Climber Award having risen 14 places from #27 in 2021. The virtual ceremony also honoured the 51-100 list of Asia's best restaurants, which was announced last week. 

The Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2022 ranking is listed in full below (those with an asterisk are new entries)

1. Den (Tokyo, Japan)
2. Sorn (Bangkok, Thailand)
3. Florilège (Tokyo, Japan)
4. Le Du (Bangkok, Thailand)
5. The Chairman (Hong Kong)
6. La Cime (Osaka, Japan)
7. Sühring (Bangkok, Thailand)
8. Odette (Singapore)
9. Neighborhood (Hong Kong)
10. Nusara (Bangkok, Thailand)
11. Sazenka (Tokyo, Japan)
12. Fu He Hui (Shanghai, China)
13. Ode (Tokyo, Japan)
14. Villa Aida (Wakayama, Japan) *
15. Narisawa (Tokyo, Japan)
16. Mingles (Seoul, South Korea)
17. Sézanne (Tokyo, Japan) *
18. Joo Ok (Seoul, South Korea) *
19. Ensue (Shenzhen, China) *
20. Meta (Singapore) *
21. Masque (Mumbai, India)
22. Indian Accent (New Delhi, India)
23. Les Amis (Singapore)
24. Caprice (Hong Kong)
25. Blue by Alain Ducasse (Bangkok, Thailand) *
26. 7th Door (Seoul, South Korea)
27. Mosu (Seoul, South Korea) *
28. Da Vittorio (Shanghai, China) *
29. Sushi Masato (Bangkok, Thailand) *
30. Onjium (Seoul, South Korea) *
31. Samrub Samrub Thai (Bangkok, Thailand) *
32. Mono (Hong Kong)
33. Gaa (Bangkok, Thailand)
34. Wing (Hong Kong) *
35. Ministry of Crab (Colombo, Sri Lanka)
36. La Maison de la Nature Goh (Fukouka, Japan)
37. Zén (Singapore)
38. Logy (Taipei, Taiwan)
39. Ultraviolet by Paul Pairet (Shanghai, China)
40. Labyrinth (Singapore)
41. Burnt Ends (Singapore)
42. Été (Tokyo, Japan) *
43. Cenci (Kyoto, Japan) *
44. Cloudstreet (Singapore)
45. JL Studio (Taichung, Taiwan)
46. Raan Jay Fai (Bangkok, Thailand) *
47. Wing Lei Palace (Macau)
48. 8 1/2 Otto e Mezzo Bombana (Hong Kong)
49. Megu (New Delhi, India) *
50. Dewakan (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)

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