Bangkok eatery crowned Asia’s top among 50 restaurants for the year.

The Bangkok-based restaurant Gaggan, which puts a modern spin on classic Indian dishes in a bid to bridge the gap between eastern and western fare, topped this year’s S. Pellegrino and Acqua Panna’s list of the 50 best restaurants in Asia.

It was unveiled the winner on Monday night in Singapore.

Chef Gaggan Anand and his namesake restaurant.

Chef Gaggan Anand says he draws on his memories of the amazing street food and diversity of India’s different regional cuisines and uses science and modern technology to recreate traditional Indian recipes.

According to Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants, the standout dish at Gaggan is Chargrilled Indian cottage cheese sandwich and chutney bubbles.

Gaggan apprenticed with chef Ferran Adrià of the famed Michelin-starred El Bulli in Spain, spending several months at Adrià’s think tank/laboratory in 2010. According to an article in The Star in 2012, Gaggan said during his stint he had to “forget everything that he had previously learned”.

Some of the dishes at Gaggan. Photos: eatatgaggan.com

But while the molecular aspect is evident in the dishes he serves, Gaggan has said, “Food has to be food. It has to taste and to feel like food.”

Other winners 

The fine dining of Tokyo’s Narisawa, which is rooted in providing dishes with the fresh Japanese ingredients and menus that evoke a strong connection to nature, followed in second place – for a second year running – while Paul Pairet’s experimental comfort food at Shanghai’s Ultraviolet came in at third.

Also in Tokyo, Nihonryori RyuGin followed in fourth place and the reinterpreted Southern French food at Restaurant Andre in Singapore landed in fifth place.

Chef Tetsuya Wakuda.

While the rankings reflect annual ups and downs, this year’s lifetime achievement award went to Japanese-born chef Tetsuya Wakuda who is known for bringing high-end Japanese food beyond its borders. With just a suitcase and limited knowledge of English, Wakuda moved to Australia at the age of 22. Later, he brought modern Japanse cooking to Singapore where he opened Waku Ghin in 2010.

Launched in 2013, Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants is compiled by over 300 leaders in the restaurant industry across Asia. – AFP Relaxnews/The Star

Gaggan staff, including its namesake (second from right) with their trophy at the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurant 2015 The S.Pellegrino Best Restaurant in Asia awards ceremony in Singapore.