Singapore—It is always fantastic news when a local restaurant gains global recognition, and we’re happy to share that not just one but two outstanding Filipino restaurants—both champions of Philippine cuisine—have just been hailed as part of this year’s 50 Best Restaurants in Asia: Toyo Eatery and Métiz. Their respective chefs, Jordy Navarra and Stephan Duhesme, were in Singapore Tuesday night, at the ballroom of Resort World Sentosa, to accept their awards.
Toyo Eatery’s ranking this year is 42 while Métiz is 48. This is the fifth time Toyo Eatery has been recognized by Asia’s 50 Best, which will make its coming 7th anniversary celebration a little more special. Meanwhile, the three-year-old Métiz is a first-timer on the list.
The restaurants are informed of their inclusion in the list in advance but are not told their rankings. The restaurants are also asked to keep their inclusion a secret until the awarding ceremony.
Metiz and Toyo Eatery are located in the same compound on Chino Roces Avenue Extension but are 150 to 200 meters away from each other. The day the two restaurants got the email informing them that they made it to the 50 best list, Navarra actually heard the Metiz team’s celebratory shouts and he already had a good hunch their neighbor got in. This brought tears of joy to the husband and wife team behind Toyo, Jordy and May, both big supporters of Metiz.
“When we got the email, it was an oh my god moment,” says Duhesme of making it to the list. “Our legs got a little shaky, and we started trembling with some of my chefs. Disbelief!” When the day of the 51 to 100 list came out and Métiz wasn’t on the list, “we super freaked out because we had all bet on getting numbers 70+ to 99…We obviously thought as first timers we would be 51-100.”
Since its inception in 2013, this writer has been attending the awards ceremonies announcing the Asia's 50 Best Restaurants list, a yearly event sponsored by San Pellegrino and Acqua Panna. There were no Philippine entries in the first two years, and then Tonyboy Escalante’s fine dining restaurant in Tagaytay, Antonio’s, cracked the code and made the list in 2015. That win got the ball rolling for the Philippines as later on Gallery Vask, now known as Gallery by Chele, eventually made the list, too, followed by Toyo Eatery.
During the pandemic, an extended list—the 51-100 best restaurants in Asia—was introduced to give a boost to more noteworthy restaurants in the region, the food and service industry having suffered so much during the Covid health crisis. Toyo Eatery, Antonio’s, and Gallery by Chele were part of this list last year, claiming the 94th, 74th and 69th places, respectively.
This year, most of the local media covering the 50 Best list initially expected another sad outcome when no restaurant from the Philippines made it to the 51-100 extended list announced last March 15. Which made the happy inclusion of not one but two restaurants from the Philippines in the 50 Best list even sweeter.
For the complete list of the 50 best restaurants in Asia and the special award winners, visit: The World's 50 Best Restaurants | The best restaurants in the world This year’s 50 were chosen by the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants Academy, an influential group of over 300 food writers and critics, chefs, restaurateurs, and regional culinary experts.
Photos courtesy of Cyrene de la Rosa