Where to Dine in Asia: 8 Restaurants to Try


For superior dining experiences in Asia, we suggest adding the following eight restaurants to your “must try” list.

This month’s Global Selection from the Diners Club® World’s 50 Best Restaurants Academy honors eight restaurants in Asia, from Hong Kong to India. The expert members of the Academy vote each year on the best restaurants in the world. These results comprise not only The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list — which will be announced in June — but also help to form the Global Selection of restaurants that are honored each month.

Here’s a look at the January 2015 list:


Dum Pukht (New Delhi, India) – The name of this hotel restaurant reflects the 18th century cooking technique called “dum,” which involves slow-roasting food over a fire in a pot sealed with dough. The restaurant offers elevated versions of classic Indian dishes like this Indian bread pudding, shahi tukda within an elegant atmosphere. Diners Clubmembers receive priority reservations and a visit from the chef with this Diners Club® Privileges offer. Photo credit: Dum Pukht



El Willy (Shanghai, China) – Spanish chef-owner Willy Trullas Moreno serves seriously skillful dishes within a relaxed, fun atmosphere. This “happy Spanish restaurant,” as Moreno has billed it, offers traditional Spanish classics like paella alongside more inventive dishes like “Explosive” Balik salmon with sour cream and truffle honey (pictured). Photo credit: El Willy



Esquisse (Tokyo, Japan) – Modern French cuisine meets Japanese ingredients at this fashionable outpost where Chef Lionel Beccat creates a new menu each day. Beccat focuses on pure flavors, natural ingredients and delicate sauces. His standout dishes include this aged tuna with organic shiso (a leafy herb belonging to the mint family), marinated kombu (edible kelp), consommé of tomato branch and fermented dry tuna. Photo credit: Esquisse


Ginza Kojyu (Tokyo, Japan) – Diners flock to this tiny, Zen-inspired restaurant to devour haute Japanese cuisine. Chef Toru Okuda serves a multi-course kaiseki — a traditional Japanese menu — where the focus is on enhancing the natural flavors of each ingredient, resulting in dishes such as sashimi with cucumber, yam balls, seaweed and daikon (pictured). Photo credit: Ginza Kojyu



Hakkasan (Shanghai, China) – Global Executive Chef Tong Chee Hwee’s modern Cantonese restaurant chain started in London and expanded to the United States, the Middle East and India before opening its twelfth location in Shanghai last year. Diners can expect to find a hip atmosphere, inventive cocktails and Cantonese classics such as steamed dim sum (pictured). Photo credit: Hakkasan



Ministry of Crab (Colombo, Sri Lanka) Sri Lanka’s top-quality lagoon crabs are largely exported, so this restaurant – from one of the country’s most well-known chefs, Dharshan Munidasa – is a local rarity. The largest crabs on the menu can weigh more than four pounds and are offered in a range of preparations, from crab curry to pepper crab (pictured). Photo credit: Ministry of Crab



ryunique_amuseboucheRyunique (Seoul, South Korea) – Chef Tae Hwan Ryu traveled the world for eight years, gathering the international influences that diners can taste in his contemporary cooking. This amuse bouche of fresh bay leaf with cream cheese and cranberry, sticky rice bread with kinako (roasted soybean) powder, purple potato waffle and Pollack cream, wakame (edible seaweed), whelk, flax seed and kimchi puree shows his avant-garde approach to presentation. Photo credit: Ryunique



The Principal (Hong Kong) – This globally-inspired fine dining restaurant gets its name from the fact that it’s located on the site of a former school. Spanish chef Jonay Armas’ well-studied past in Spanish, Balinese and Indian cooking techniques can be tasted in dishes such as this one — simply called “Sea” — from his seven-course tasting menu. Photo credit: The Principal



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