Food miles: Asia takes its proper place in the world of refined dining

 

The launch of Restaurant magazine's Asia's 50 Best Restaurant awards in Singapore earlier this year has drawn attention to the variety of dining opportunities on the continent.

That's partly due to internationally renowned chefs extending their brands. London-based chef Jason Atherton has a total of six restaurants spread across Singapore, Hong Kong and Shanghai, including the newly launched speakeasy-style tapas joint Commune Social in Shanghai (00 86 21 6047 7638).

The most Michelin-starred chef in the world, Joël Robuchon, has 14 restaurants in Asia compared with just four in his native France. Most recently he opened a Taiwanese branch of his L'Atelier fine-dining concept in the capital, Taipei (00 886 2 8729 2628; robuchon.com.tw).

That's not to say that the region is lacking in home-grown talent. Rated best in Asia by Restaurant magazine (and No 20 on the World list), is Narisawa in Tokyo (00 81 3 5785 0799; narisawa-yoshihiro.com). Chef Yoshihiro Narisawa's refined 10-course tasting menus might include "Ash 2009": grilled squid in a coating of frozen powdered olive oil, lemon juice and charred red pepper ash that forms a sauce for the dish as it melts.

British chef Tom Kerridge, of the Hand and Flowers in Marlow, recently tweeted that André Chaing of Restaurant André, Singapore (00 65 6534 8880; restaurantandre.com), is "one of the best chefs cooking on Planet Earth". Chaing's work in a converted 19th-century house in Chinatown is defined by his "octaphilosophy", the eight components being unique, texture, memory, pure, terroir, salt, south and artisan. That translates as Mediterranean-influenced dishes such as foie gras jelly with olive oil, fleur de sel and black truffle coulis.

"Demon Chef" Alvin Leung — who recently opened Bo London — has eschewed his signature "X-treme Chinese" cuisine at the new MC Kitchen in Hong Kong (00 852 3758 2239; mckitchen.com.hk) to focus on comfort food, albeit in a refined way.

Hajime Yoneda of Hajime, Osaka (00 81 6 6447 6688; hajime-artistes.com), arranges more than 100 types of vegetables, grains and herbs around asari clam broth to create his signature dish chikyu (earth) that evokes the forest and the sea on a plate.

Korean dishes are being given a modern twist by Kwon Woo-joong at the stylish East Village Bistro & Gastropub, Seoul (00 82 2 790 778). He's elevated the humble dish of tteokgalbi (charcoal grilled beef short rib and pork patties) by marinating finely chopped prime short rib in soy sauce, garlic, leek and plum extract, served with ssambap rice wraps.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Books should be for everyone, says Els, 8. Publisher Scholastic now agrees
booksAn eight-year-old saw a pirate book was ‘for boys’ and took on the publishers
Life and Style
Mary Beard received abuse after speaking positively on 'Question Time' about immigrant workers: 'When people say ridiculous, untrue and hurtful things, then I think you should call them out'
tech
Life and Style
Most mail-order brides are thought to come from Thailand, the Philippines and Romania
life
News
i100
Life and Style
tech
Voices
Margaret Thatcher, with her director of publicity Sir Gordon Reece, who helped her and the Tory Party to victory in 1979
voicesThe subject is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for former PR man DJ Taylor
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Guru Careers: MI Developer

    £35 - 45k: Guru Careers: An MI Developer is needed to join the leading provide...

    Recruitment Genius: Fitness Manager

    £20000 - £22500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leisure organisation manag...

    Recruitment Genius: Visitor Experience Manager

    £25000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Delivering an inspiring, engagi...

    Recruitment Genius: Learning Team Administrator

    £17500 - £20500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are looking for a great te...

    Day In a Page

    General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

    Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

    The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
    Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

    Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

    Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
    Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

    Marginal Streets project documents voters

    Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
    Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

    The real-life kingdom of Westeros

    Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
    How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

    How to survive a Twitter mauling

    Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
    Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

    At dawn, the young remember the young

    A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
    Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

    Follow the money as never before

    Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
    Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

    Samuel West interview

    The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
    General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

    Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

    Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
    Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

    Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

    The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
    Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

    Confessions of a former PR man

    The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

    Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

    Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
    London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

    The mother of all goodbyes

    Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
    Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

    Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

    The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
    Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions