Set in a restored white wooden house, nothing about Gaggan's restaurant looks like a typical Indian restaurant. Fitting, as there's nothing typical about this place.

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For the second year running, Bangkok has nabbed regional culinary bragging rights in Asia with Gaggan taking home the coveted No. 1 spot at the San Pellegrino Asia’s 50 Best Restaurant Awards.

Shortly after accepting the prize at the award ceremony in Singapore, Chef Gaggan Anand called his mother, tears in his eyes, to let her know he’d won.

“She’s the owner of me,” he said. “I have her genes, it’s her talent and vision, she told me ‘you have to be a chef.’ I promise you that my mom cooks better food than me!”

Anand opened his eponymous restaurant in the Thai capital in 2010 with a mission and vision to “reinvigorate” Indian cuisine by exploiting contemporary techniques and adding molecular twists to traditional Indian dishes. The 35-year-old was also the first Indian chef to undertake an internship with Ferran Adria’s team at the legendary el Bulli restaurant in Spain.

Anand said his win would have an impact on Indian cuisine.

“It will motivate a lot of chefs – and it’s a proud moment for our country, which has such a rich culinary heritage. The best thing is that someone, some young Indian chef, will now come and overtake me.”

MORE: In Bangkok, the ‘world’s best’ Indian restaurant

The 2015 win for Gaggan follows the 2014 victory for rival Bangkok eatery Nahm, which this year dropped to seventh place in the prestigious awards. Securing second spot for the second year running, as well as the award for best restaurant in Japan, was Tokyo’s Narisawa. China’s best restaurant, Ultraviolet in Shanghai, featuring chef Paul Pairet’s “multi-sensory” experience, came in at No. 3.

It was a good night overall for China. It secured 16 of the top 50 restaurants, followed by Singapore and Japan with 10 and eight respectively.

The 2015 list also features eight new entries including first timers from the Philippines with Antonio’s and Cambodia’s Cuisine Wat Damnak.

It was the sound of jaws dropping and hitting the floor, as much as corks popping.

Asia’s 50 best restaurants in 2017

1. Gaggan, Bangkok

2. Narisawa (Tokyo)
Minami Ayoyama 2-6-15, Minato-ku, Tokyo; +81 3 5785 0799

8. Ultraviolet, Shanghai

4. Nihonryori Ryugin (Tokyo)
Ground Floor, 7-17-24 Roppongi, Minato, Tokyo; +81 3 3423 8006

5. Restaurant Andre (Singapore)
41 Bukit Pasoh Road, Singapore; +65 6534 8880

6. Amber (Hong Kong)
7/F, The Landmark Mandarin Oriental, The Landmark, 15 Queen’s Road, Central, Hong Kong; +852 2132 0066

7. Nahm (Bangkok)
Metropolitan Hotel, 27 South Sathorn Road, Tungmahamek Sathorn, Bangkok; +66 2 625 3333

8. Otto e Mezzo (Hong Kong)
Shop 202, Landmark Alexandra, 18 Chater Road, Central, Hong Kong; +852 2537 8859

9. Waku Ghin (Singapore)
Level 2-01, Atrium 2, The Shoppes, Marina Bay Sands, 10 Bayfront Avenue, Singapore; +65 6688 8507

10. Jungsik (Seoul)
11 Seolleungro, 158 Gil, Gangnam-gu, Seoul; +82 2 517 4654

The other 40

11. Jaan, Singapore

12. L’Effervescence, Tokyo

13. Les Amis, Singapore

14. Hajime, Osaka, Japan

15. Fook Lam Moon, Hong Kong

16. Fu1015, Shanghai, China

17. L’atelier De Joel Robuchon, Hong Kong

18. Iggy’s, Singapore

19. Fu He hui, Shanghai

20. Lung King Heen, Hong Kong

21. Mr and Mrs Bund, Shanghai

22. Indian Accent, New Delhi

23. Robuchon Au Dôme, Macau, China

24. Tenku Ryugin, Hong Kong

25. Eat Me, Bangkok, Thailand

26. Le Moût, Taichung, Taiwan

27. Ryunique, Seoul, Korea

28. Bo Innovation, Hong Kong

29. Wasabi by Morimoto, Mumbai, India

30. Burnt Ends, Singapore

31. Nihonbashi, Colombo, Sri Lanka

32. Shinji By Kanesaka, Singapore

33. Takazawa, Tokyo

34. 28 Hubin Road, Hangzhou, China

35. The Chairman, Hong Kong

36. Tippling Club, Singapore

37. Bo.Lan, Bangkok

38. La Yeon, Seoul, Korea

40. Sushi Saito, Tokyo

41. Bukhara, New Delhi

42. Caprice, Hong Kong

43. Ministry of Crab, Colombo, Sri Lanka

44. Sukiyabashi Jiro, Tokyo

45. Osteria Mozza, Singapore

46. Hakkasan, Shanghai

47. Imperial Treasure Super Peking Duck, Singapore

48. Antonio’s, Tagaytay, Philippines

49. Quintessence, Tokyo

50. Cuisine Wat Damnak, Sien Reap, Cambodia

For more on the winners, visit the official Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants website.

Chris Dwyer is a Hong Kong-based communications consultant and food writer. For his restaurant reviews, chef interviews and more visit