8 Restaurants to Watch in Southeast Asia and Australia



Each month, from June through January, the Diners Club® World’s 50 Best Restaurants Academy honors a selection of eight outstanding restaurants from different regions around the world.  In partnership with The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, the monthly Global Selection highlights top restaurants from the chosen region, the chefs behind each eatery and his or her standout dishes.

The latest Global Selection, released in late December, focuses on the culinary hot spots of Australia and Southeast Asia. Here’s a closer look at the December selection:


The Bridge Room (Sydney) – After years as the head chef for a luxury resorts company, chef Ross Lusted and his wife Sunny opened their sleek, airy restaurant, which features a custom-built robata grill, in 2011. Lusted’s Asian, Nordic and Australian influences can be tasted in dishes such as this Comté custard with summer vegetables, charcuterie relish and molasses. Photo: The Bridge Room

burnt-ends-pulled-pork-sangerBurnt Ends (Singapore) – This “gourmet barbecue joint,” as The New York Times called it, features a 17-person dining counter arranged around an apple and almond wood-burning stove/grill. Chef Dave Pynt, who previously cooked in Spain, London and Sydney, changes his menu daily but consistently offers barbecue classics like the Burnt Ends’ Sanger (pulled pork shoulder, cole slaw, chipotle aioli, brioche bun). Photo: Burnt Ends


Corner House (Singapore) – Chef and co-owner Jason Tan calls his French-influenced cuisine “Gastro-Botanica,” which the Corner House website defines as one that “emphasizes refinement and quality, and gives equivalent weight on the plate to protein and botanical elements.” The cuisine is well-suited to the restaurant’s location: a bungalow tucked inside Singapore’s Botanic Gardens. Cocoa Pebbles, pictured, is a signature dessert, made with chocolate mousse, “chocolate soil” and pickled shimeji mushrooms. Photo: Corner House & John Heng


Cutler & Co. (Melbourne) – The flagship restaurant of veteran Australian chef Andrew McConnell features contemporary global fare made from local and organic ingredients, edible flowers and foraged herbs. Signature dishes include roast suckling pig with baked cassoulet and apple confit with burnt butter ice cream and salted caramel (pictured). Photo: Cutler & Co.



Garagistes (Hobart, Australia) – Chef Luke Burgess’ global influences are evident in his eclectic menu. The sake pairing for the tasting menu reflects his time at Tetsuya’s in Sydney; dishes such as smoked potato and onion crostini (pictured) show his Nordic flair, picked up during Burgess’ time at Noma in Copenhagen. The restaurant’s name is a nod to both the untraditional “garage wine” movement of Bordeaux and its location: a former garage. Photo: Garagistes


Opposite Mess Hall (Bangkok) – Australian chef Jess Barnes offers organic, free range, sustainable fare within a relaxed environment. Depending on what ingredients are available that day, the cuisine can range from Latin American to European to Southeast Asian, the latter evidenced in this steamed Chinese bun with crispy pork belly. Photo: Christopher Wise



Ruen Urai (Bangkok) – Chefs de cuisine Chatree Riensuwan and Amporn Kongton offer contemporary Thai cuisine in a romantic, peaceful setting within a boutique hotel. The dish pictured,
crispy cups filled with prawns and herb salad, has been a favourite on the menu since 1997. Photo: Ruen Urai



Sidart (Auckland) – Each month, chef Sid Sahrawat creates new five- and nine-course tasting menus featuring locally-sourced produce from around New Zealand, prepared with cutting-edge, globally-influenced techniques. The result is dishes such as pork filet with radish, beetroot and blood orange (pictured) and desserts like Roquefort ice cream with red wine, poached pear and almonds. Photo: Sidart



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