Delhi’s Bukhara among top 20 restaurants in Asia

By Nirmala George, IANS,

Singapore : New Delhi’s signature restaurant, Bukhara, has been named among the top 20 restaurants in Asia, according to a new pan-Asian restaurant guide published Saturday.

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No other Indian restaurant made the cut to the ‘best 20’ list although the panel of judges shortlisted 28 restaurants in six Indian cities for The Miele Guide, a compendium of Asia’s finest restaurants.

Iggy’s, a four-year-old Singapore eatery famed for its fusion of French cuisine with Asian overtones, topped the rankings as the best restaurant in Asia. Hong Kong with eight restaurants in the list emerged as the best city in Asia to dine in.

Joel Robuchon, often hailed as the world’s greatest chef, has three of his restaurants, in Hong Kong, Macau and Tokyo, figuring among the 20 best eating spots in Asia.

Bukhara in New Delhi’s ITC Maurya Hotel was ranked 14 among the 20. The restaurant specialises in meats and kebabs cooked in a tandoor with a bare minimum of spices, a style hailing from the north western frontier of the Indian subcontinent.

The restaurants were chosen after four rigorous rounds of selection and elimination by food critics, with a list of 2,000 eateries being pared down to 320 restaurants to be included in the Miele Guide.

“The judging was tough with thousands of people from around the world casting over 75,000 votes for restaurants in 16 countries,” said Aun Koh, director of Ate Media, one of the promoters of The Miele Guide. “Like any list, we expect people to dispute the rankings.”

Koh said the aim was to establish The Miele Guide as “the most credible, independent and respected system by which restaurants are evaluated”.

The Miele Guide has been set up as a counter to the global San Pellegrino “World’s 50 Best Restaurants” listing where Asian eateries do not figure at all. In 2008, Bukhara had the highest ranking among Asian eateries on the London-based San Pellegrino list, coming in at 55.

The Miele Guide, named after a German home appliance manufacturing firm, was aimed at giving Asian cuisine its due recognition, Mario Miranda, managing director of the company, told journalists In Singapore.

“While Asia is home to some of the world’s best cuisines, its restaurants fail to get the recognition they richly deserve,” he said, adding that the guide would be published annually.

Despite being the home of such varied and rich styles of cooking as China and India, the predominance of French cuisine was evident with the top seven restaurants specialising in European food.

Of the 28 restaurants from India in the guide, New Delhi has the maximum, 11. They are Bukhara, Spice Route, My Humble House, China Kitchen, Dakshin, Dhaba, Dum Pukht, Haldiram’s in Chandni Chowk, Moti Mahal, Threesixty and Sevilla.

The restaurants in other cities mentioned in the guide are Karavalli in Bangalore; The Great Kebab Factory, Peshawri, 601, Lotus, Annalakshmi and The Wharf in Chennai; Republic of Noodles in Goa; Oh! Calcutta and Zen in Kolkata; and Trishna, China House, Indigo, The Zodiac Grill, Vetro, Wasabi and Mahesh Lunch Home in Mumbai.