A Tasting Platter of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2024 List

This year’s list of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants has just been revealed. We discuss the restaurants on the list, including the winner, rising stars, and how Singapore is performing...
by Jamie Wong

Photo: The World’s 50 Best Restaurants

The World’s 50 Best Restaurants has just revealed it’s Top 50 2024 list — together with the extended top 100 list. The live awards ceremony was held at Wynn Las Vegas, and the list was sponsored by water brands, San Pellegrino and Acqua Panna.

To create The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list, the organisation deploys their Academy. The Academy has over 1,000 members, with a 50/50 gender balance. Each member is carefully selected for their expert opinion of the international restaurant scene.

The organisation divides the world into 27 geographical regions, and each region has a chairperson appointed for their knowledge on that specific part of the restaurant world. These chairs then select a voting panel of 40, made out of chefs, restaurateurs, journalists, and well-travelled gourmets.

Each panel member can vote 10 times, listing the restaurants in order of preference. There is no predetermined check-list of criteria for each restaurant; it is left to the discretion of the voting panel.

Consultancy company Deloitte is the official independent adjudicator of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants. This company reviews the voting process and data to confirm the authenticity of the voting process, and the corresponding list.

The main course

Now onto the list itself: the best of 2024 is Disfrutar, located in Barcelona, Spain.

Disfrutar was the previous year’s runner up, but clinches first place in 2024. As the first place, Disfrutar earns its spot in the Best of the Best group, a list of restaurants that have topped The World’s 50 Best Restaurants. These restaurants are no longer eligible for the annual top 50 list.

Disfrutar is run by three chefs, Mateu Casañas, Oriol Castro, and Eduard Xatruch. In a happy coincidence, this year also marks its tenth year in operation.

Disfruter is presented with their award. (Image: The World’s Best 50)

Disfrutar serves two tasting menus, called The Classic and The Festival, each centering Mediterranean seafood. The former features dishes associated with Disfrutar, such as a caviar-filled Panchino doughnut, and frozen gazpacho sandwich. The latter features dishes of the season.

According to The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, “Disfrutar remains at the forefront of gastronomic thinking, creating an experience as fun as it is inspired – and which now tops the global ranking.”

Zooming in on the top ten

While this year’s top 50 list features restaurants from 23 countries, Spain outperforms other countries, having the highest number of restaurants in the top 50 list — with five restaurants — with three of the five ranking in the top 5.

Eight restaurants out of the top 10 were similarly ranked last year, but the ones ranked 9th and 10th are both new.

At 9th place is Gaggan, located in Bangkok Thailand, while 10th place is held by Don Julio, from Buenos Aires, Argentina. The owner of Don Julio, Pablo Rivero, also received the Beronia World’s Best Sommelier Award.

Gaggan was also in the top 50 last year, at 17th place. This year, it has not only risen to the top 10, but is also the highest ranking Asian restaurant. Despite that, it is third, not first, on Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2024.

Both Gaggan and Don Julio have displaced last year’s 7th place, Lido 84 in Gardone Riviera, Italy, to the 12th place.

New entrées (or entries)

With drops in the ranks come rises; The World’s Best Top 50 list has three new entries this year — La Colombe, located in Cape Town, South Africa, Mingles from Seoul, South Korea, and Wing from Hong Kong. Both La Colombe and Mingles are the first from their respective countries to make the top 50 list.

La Colombe is run by Chef James Gaag, has eight and ten course tasting menus featuring contemporary French-meets-Asian dishes. It enters the Top 50 best restaurants at rank 49.

Slightly higher, at rank 44, is Mingles, headed by Korean Chef Mingoo Kang. This restaurant serves contemporary Korean food, and was also named The Best Restaurant in Korea 2024.

Interestingly, both La Colombe and Mingles rose by 45 ranks, from rank 94 and 89 respectively in 2023.

Wing entered the top 50 at 20th place. This earned the restaurant the title of Highest New Entry 2024. Wing, owned by its Executive Chef, Vicky Cheng, serves a contemporary take on traditional Chinese cuisine, notably featuring a dry-aged crispy Cantonese chicken that took over 80 trials to perfect.

Looking nearby

When looking from South Korea, to Hong Kong, to our neighbourhood, one will notice that Thailand is performing well this year, with twice the number of restaurants among the top fifty in 2024 than in 2023. These restaurants are all located in Bangkok, including previously mentioned Gaggan at 9th place.

Le Du was the highest ranking Thailand-based restaurant last year, at rank 15, but this year, it is the lowest Thailand restaurant to make the top 50 list, sitting at rank 40.

The other two restaurants are reentries: Sühring at 23rd place, and Sorn at 38th place. Thailand is the only Asian country with four restaurants, and also one of only four countries with four or more restaurants on the top 50 list.

This year, Thailand seems to be at the forefront of representing Southeast Asia on the global restaurant stage.

Arriving at the home

Singapore also has a restaurant on the top 50 list, both for the World and Asia. Odette, located in the National Gallery, serves five-to-seven course tasting menus based on modern French cuisine. Founded by Chef Julien Royer, Odette is named after the restaurant’s inspiration — Royer’s grandmother.

However, this year, Odette placed 24th, dropping 14 ranks from its 2023 place. Still, Odette is not the only Singaporean restaurant to drop in rankings.

Last year, Singapore had five restaurants in the long list list that ranks restaurants from No. 51 to 100, but 2023’s 69th place, Zén, did not place this year. Of the other restaurants, Burnt Ends dropped 3 places to 68th, while Meta is ranked 95, 11 ranks lower than last year.

On a more positive note, Labyrinth Singapore has improved from No. 97 to No. 92.

It’s important to remember, that these rankings are not the best reflection of the restaurants — ranking among the top 100 globally is an accomplishment. Furthermore, this year’s dynamic long list features 12 new entries from 11 cities. Who knows, perhaps Singapore will have multiple restaurants on next year’s list and hopefully, a couple more that can make Top 50 cut. It will depend on how these culinary spaces reinvent themselves and improve over the next year.

This story originally published on The Peak Singapore.


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