The San Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants Awards were held on Monday night in London. Once again, Spain showed that it remains king of the culinary hill, boasting three out of the top five restaurants, writes Sommelier India correspondent, Harshal Shah. With a further restaurant in the top 10, Spain can say unequivocally that it is home to the highest percentage of the world’s very best restaurants.
Above: Famed former New York Times restaurant critic Ruth Reichl with Harshal Shah, Juan Mari Arzak (standing), and Grant Achatz of Alinea in Madrid in January 2010.
In the top 50, only six were from Australiasia – two from Australia (Quay at 27; Tetsuya’s at 38 – down 21 places); two from Singapore (Iggy’s at 28; Jaan Par Andre at 39) and two from Japan (Les Creations de Narisawa at 24; Nihonryori RyuGin at 48). Quay was voted the best restaurant in Australasia.
There was only one Indian restaurant in the top 100 – Wasabi, at 54. The real surprise was that Hong Kong only has five restuarants in the top 100, with L’Atelier de Joel Robouchon the highest rated at 53.
Noma, in Copenhagen, was voted the best restaurant in the world, with the leader of the last five years, El Bulli from Roses in Spain being displaced to number 2. This also meant that Heston Blumenthal’s The Fat Duck dropped a position from 2 to 3. Can Roca, often hailed as the second best restaurant in Spain after El Bulli, was number 4 followed by Mugaritz in San Sebastián at 5.
Grant Achatz’s Alinea in Chicago was number 7 – the highest rated American restaurant and winner of the Best Restaurant in North America.
The World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards are organised by Restaurant magazine, and determined by votes from more than 800 international critics, journalists and food experts.
The top 10 restaurants are as follows:
1. Noma, Denmark
2. El Bulli, Spain
3. The Fat Duck, UK
4. El Celler de Can Roca, Spain
5. Mugaritz, Spain
6. Osteria Francescana, Italy
7. Alinea, USA
8. Daniel, USA
9. Arzak, Spain
10. Per Se, USA
For the complete list, visit the World’s 50 Best Restaurants website.
Photo courtesy: Gerry Dawes, 2010