With so many major cities across Asia expressing such a tremendous amount of culinary strength, it’s not easy to pick the best restaurant in such an expensive and diverse field; yet The Daily Meal once again endeavored to put together its third-annual list of the 101 best restaurants in Asia.
In choosing our 101 best, we called upon more than 50 experts who either live in Asia or spend time there frequently; restaurant critics, food and lifestyle writers, and bloggers with wide restaurant-going experience (the roster was slightly different from last year's, which in part probably accounts for the fact that some high-ranking restaurants last year dropped down the list or disappeared this year, as well as for the presence of so many new places). These experts were supplemented by The Daily Meal’s well-traveled editorial staff. We asked all the respondents to help nominate places to build upon last year’s ballot of 202 contenders, then evaluate the selection and vote for their favorites, country by country (meet The Daily Meal's panelists). We further asked our panelists to vote by region in four categories: Cuisine, Style/Décor/Service, Value, and Don't Miss.
On this year’s list, Sukiyabashi Jiro topped the list at the number one restaurant in Asia.
Jiro Ono still dreams of sushi (as the title of a 2011 film about him suggested). He was the first sushi chef to earn three Michelin stars, and has repeatedly been hailed as the best sushi chef in the world — yet at 90 years old, he says, "Even at my age, I haven’t reached perfection." His 10-seat, modestly decorated, sushi-only restaurant, hidden away in a Ginza subway station, has become a gastronomic shrine of international renown. Reservations are hard to come by, and the price is steep — more than $300 per person for an omakase 20-piece sushi repast that is typically over in about half an hour! Is it worth it? True sushi fanatics say yes, without a doubt, for the quality of Ono's fish and rice to his unfailing skill at preparing them. If you, too, dream of sushi, this may be the best restaurant experience of your life.