As 2023 draws to a close, there is no better time to come together with loved ones and discover Asia’s finest dining destinations. This captivating region is now home to many of the world’s most progressive places to eat and drink; original restaurants that blend tradition, innovation and artistry to create truly extraordinary epicurean experiences. Check out these eight exceptional hotel restaurants in Asia, and a selection of their sublime signature dishes or set menus that are worth travelling for…
Oku, Regent Phu Quoc
Phu Quoc, Vietnam
Oku is a ground-breaking restaurant that curates the most exquisite Japanese-French cuisine, showcasing the finest techniques and ingredients from these two global centres of gastronomy. In a sophisticated Art Deco setting, guests can treat their taste buds to prime beef at the Salon de Boeuf or the freshest sashimi at the Omakase Atelier. Every dining experience can be complemented with sommelier-selected wines and special occasions come to life in the private rooms.
Must try: Oku’s Salon de Boeuf presents the most tender cuts of wagyu beef, cooked to perfection. Choose from Australian dry-aged wagyu ribeye steak, an Australian wagyu tenderloin, or Australian wagyu beef short ribs, or upgrade to succulent Japanese A5 wagyu striploin, served with bone marrow-stuffed roasted king trumpet mushroom, and also accompanied by a umami filled black garlic tosazu sauce (a traditional citrus soy sauce from Japan, then finished with black garlic butter) and contrasted with a parsley herb sauce and sautéed greens. A choice of sensational six- or ten-course omakase set menus are also available.
Gordon Ramsay Bar & Grill, Sunway Resort Hotel
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Gordon Ramsay Bar & Grill marked this world-famous chef’s debut in Malaysia when it opened its doors in 2022. Since then, it has become one of Kuala Lumpur’s most sought-after venues for lunches, dinners or intimate events. Born in London, this concept exudes British sophistication with black and white photos of 1960s icons such as Twiggy, Jean Shrimpton, Sean Connery and Mick Jagger, while floor-to-ceiling windows frame views of the Sunway Lagoon. Three stylish private dining rooms are available.
Must try: A new lunchtime menu has been unveiled with indulgent European dishes, such as bone marrow with beef tartare, shaved truffle & quail’s egg, and classic fish pie with lemon & herb mash and smoked cod Scotch eggs. Chef Ramsay’s legendary beef Wellington is also on the menu, and in the evening, guests can now savour a spectacular 600g Angus beef Chateaubriand steak.
Sala Thai, Santiburi Koh Samui
Koh Samui, Thailand
Nestled in lush tropical gardens on Samui’s serene north shore, Sala Thai is one of the island’s finest Thai restaurants. Diners can unwind in style and savour a selection of classic recipes that celebrate the freshest local and seasonal ingredients, carefully crafted by talented chefs. A sharing menu lets guests sample a wide range of delicious dishes, and a dedicated sommelier is on hand to create the perfect wine pairings to accompany this culinary journey through Thailand.
Must try: From 9-11 December, Chef Chumpol Jangprai from R-Haan, the Michelin two-star Thai restaurant in Bangkok, will present a sensational 12-course Southern Thai set menu at Sala Thai. “From Michelin Stars to Samui Skies” will showcase local and sustainable produce, such as Surat Thani oysters and squid, Nakhon Si Thammarat Angus beef, and fresh lobsters from the Gulf of Thailand.
Bottega di Carna, Mondrian Singapore Duxton
Discover prime cuts of meat, cooked to perfection by Dario Cecchini, who the New York Times hailed as the “world’s greatest butcher.” Bottega di Carna is a lively and contemporary restaurant which goes back to the future with classic charcuterie platters, handcrafted pasta and wood-fired steaks, presented in bold, playful and interactive ways, including table-side plating and serving trolleys in the light-filled restaurant that overlooks the Mondrian Singapore Duxton’s garden.
Must try: Meat lovers will appreciate the signature cuts of beef, dry-rubbed with Dario’s “profumo del chianti” salt, including a 180g Hokkaido A5 wagyu beef tenderloin, or a mouth-watering 1.2kg dry-aged Rangers Valley Porterhouse Bistecca alla Florentina. Bottega di Carna also recently revised its à la carte menu and now serves a weekday set lunch, daily aperitivo hour and a special Sunday roast.
Savio, Chatrium Grand Bangkok
Nestled in the heart of Bangkok, Savio has become a highly popular dining destination since it opened in late 2022. Celebrating the best of “East meets West,” classic and contemporary cuisine, this vibrant venue is illuminated with floor-to-ceiling windows, striking art installations and live cooking stations. Families and friends are invited to a choice of uplifting occasions, from relaxing lunches to elegant evening dinners and bountiful weekend brunches.
Must try: Staged every Sunday from now until 17 December, the “Opulent Chinese Sunday Brunch” will immerse diners in the culinary wonders of the Middle Kingdom. This original Asian twist on the traditional social brunch concept sees Chef Natthawut Siha visit every table to serve his signature Peking duck, while dedicated dim sum trolleys will tour the restaurant.
Suan Bua, Centara Grand Osaka
Opened in July, the new Centara Grand Osaka hotel is elevating authentic Thai cuisine in Japan’s culinary capital. Bright, vibrant and inviting, with a choice of casual seating options and a life-size tuk-tuk taking centre stage, Suan Bua transports diners to the streets of Bangkok. Guests can embark on a multi-sensory journey which raises street food to five-star levels. Choose from the enticing à la carte dishes, three set menus, or tuck into the Chim-Chim all-you-can-eat buffet.
Must try: The joy of Suan Bua is that it takes traditional Thai recipes and enriches them with skill and premium ingredients. For example, “khao kha moo German” features Thai rice with crispy pork knuckle, while “rad na hoi shell” is a classic rice noodle dish served with succulent scallops in a rich sauce, and the restaurant’s “gaeng runjaun” (beef noodle soup) is enhanced with wagyu beef.
La Maison 1888, InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort
Housed in an enchanting colonial-style mansion designed by Bill Bensley, La Maison 1888 immerses guests in the opulence and elegance of a bygone era. The first restaurant in Vietnam to be helmed by a Michelin three-star chef, this dramatic dining destination presents three-, four- and five-course set menus that fuse French flavours with an unmistakable Vietnamese influence. Couples and friends can discover these delights whilst soaking up stunning sea views and sipping award-winning wines.
Must try: For discerning diners seeking a truly exceptional experience, French culinary legend Pierre Gagnaire presents his “Menu Esprit,” which features red crab with lime mayo, cucumber & dill mousse, Japanese amberjack with French oysters, Chef Pierre’s signature “Sketch” beef tartare which comprises prime beef and red tuna, French duck foie gras, and “The Pierre Gagnaire Grand Dessert.”
Sa-Nga, Centara Reserve Samui
Koh Samui, Thailand
Authenticity meets innovation at Sa-Nga, the intimate Thai restaurant at Centara Reserve Samui where the kingdom’s iconic cuisine is given an exciting modern twist. A contemporary Thai tapas concept allows diners to savour a series of highly original small plates that burst with creativity. This makes it the ultimate setting for special occasions, with amplified flavours that will dance on the taste buds and gastronomic artistry that will fire up every Instagram feed.
Must try: Settle in and order a series of stunning small plates. Signature creations that should not be overlooked include a colourful prawn salad with watermelon, pineapple, green apple, cucumber & lime dressing, and lamb loin with burrata, yellow curry sauce, crispy yellow noodles and pickled cabbage. Sa-Nga’s original take on the classic mango sticky rice is a joy to behold!