Attica, in the Melbourne suburb of Ripponlea, where chef Ben Shewry combines his New Zealand heritage with his curiosity for indigenous flavours, is the only Australian restaurant to make the cut in the World’s 50 Best Restaurants Awards, announced in London overnight.
After a year in second place, Danish restaurant Noma returned to No. 1 for the fourth time in the last five years, pipping last year’s winner, El Celler de Can Roca from Spain.
While Australia was largely snubbed by this annual popularity contest, organised by a UK trade magazine, Australian chefs nonetheless performed admirably, with Newcastle-born Brett Grahan’s London restaurant, The Ledbury, at No. 10 (up from 13 in 2013), David Thompson’s Bangkok restaurant Nahm at No. 13 (up 19 places), and Tetsuya Wakuda’s Singapore restaurant, Waku Ghin, at No. 50.
After five years in the top 50, Quay in Sydney slipped from the table to be at No. 60 and the only other Australian restaurant to be featured in the top 100.
But national pride shouldn’t be too seriously dented by the list, which involves more than 900 people from around the world voting for their favourite restaurants. Australia’s poor showing is more a reflection on the unwillingness of the Eurocentric judging panel to make the 24-hour journey Down Under than our culinary prowess.
UK chef Heston Blumenthal, who will open at Melbourne’s Crown next year, has two restaurants on the list: The Fat Duck at 33, and his London restaurant, Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, which will become a permanent fixture at Crown, scored a remarkable 5th place on the list.
Australia can also take some consolation in the fact that a number of Aussies work with Rene Redzepi at Noma in Copenhagen.
In recent years, the appearance of Asian and South American restaurants on the World’s 50 Best has improved thanks, in part, to new franchises of the brand opening in both regions, however, Australia is not included in the Asia’s 50 Best grouping, which recently named Thompson’s Nahm as the region’s best.
Spain was the World’s 50 Best’s most successful nation, with three restaurants in the top 10 and seven overall, followed by the USA with two in the top 10 and seven top 50 rankings, then France with five restaurants in the top 50.
The full list of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants are:
1. Noma, Copenhagen, Denmark
2. El Celler de Can Roca, Girona, Spain
3. Osteria Francescana, Modena, Italy
4. Eleven Madison Park, New York, USA
5. Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, London, UK
6. Mugaritz, San Sebastián, Spain
7. D.O.M., Sao Paulo, Brazil
8. Arzak, San Sebastián, Spain
9. Alinea, Chicago, USA
10. The Ledbury, London, UK
11. Mirazur, Menton, France
12. Vendôme, Bergisch Gladbach, Germany
13. Nahm, Bangkok, Thailand
14. Narisawa, Tokyo, Japan
15. Central, Lima, Peru
16. Steirereck, Vienna, Austria
17. Gaggan, Bangkok, Thailand
18. Astrid y Gastón, Lima, Peru
19. Fäviken, Sweden
20. Pujol, Mexico City
21. Le Bernardin, New York, USA
22. Vila Joya, Albufeira, Portugal
23. Frantzén/Lindeberg, Stockholm
24. Amber, Hong Kong
25. L’Arpege, Paris, France
26. Azurmendi, Vizcaya, Spain
27. Le Chateaubriand, Paris, France
28. Aqua, Wolfsburg, Germany
29. De Librije, Zwolle, Netherlands
30. Per Se, New York, USA
31. L’Atelier Saint Germain, Paris, France
32. Attica, Melbourne, Australia
33. Nihonryori RyuGin, Tokyo, Japan
34. Asador Extebarri, Vizcaya, Spain
35. Martín Berasategui, Guipúzcoa, Spain
36. Mani, Sao Paulo, Brazil
37. Restaurant Andre, Singapore
38. L’Astrance, Paris, France
39. Piazza Duomo, Piemonte, Italy
40. Daniel, New York, USA
41. Quique Dacosta, Alicante, Spain
42. Geranium, Copenhagen, Denmark
43. Schloss Schauenstein, Fürstenau, Switzerland
44. The French Laundry, Yountville, USA
45. Hof Van Cleve, Kruishoutem, Belgium
46. Le Calandre, Rubano, Italy
47. Fat Duck, Berkshire, UK
48. The Test Kitchen, Cape Town, South Africa
49. Coi, San Francisco, USA
50. Waku Ghin, Singapore
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