The Voting System

The Voting System

Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants is a snapshot of the opinions and experiences of more than 300 restaurant industry experts in Asia.

Organised by William Reed Business Media, the people behind The World’s 50 Best Restaurants and Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants, Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants is a snapshot of the opinions and experiences of more than 300 restaurant industry experts in Asia.

What constitutes ‘best’ is left to the judgment of these trusted and well-travelled gourmets. The list is the result of a simple computation of votes. Given that this list is based on personal experiences it can never be definitive, but we believe it is an honourable survey of current tastes and a credible indicator of the best places to eat across Asia.

How the voting works

Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants (and the awards ceremony hosted to celebrate the list’s unveiling) is organised and compiled by William Reed Business Media. None of the employees of any of the sponsors associated with the awards, including the main sponsor, votes or has any influence over the results.

The list is created by the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants Academy, an influential group of more than 300 leaders in the restaurant industry across Asia, each selected for their expert opinion of Asia’s restaurant scene.

The Academy is divided into six regions: India & Subcontinent; South-East Asia – South; South-East Asia – North; Hong Kong, Taiwan & Macau; mainland China & Korea; Japan.

The divisions are designed to represent the Asian restaurant scene as fairly as possible at the current time and are agreed with the Academy Chairs.

Each region has its own panel of 53 members including a chairperson to head it up. The panel is made up of food writers and critics, chefs, restaurateurs and highly regarded 'foodies'. Each panellist has ten votes. Of the ten votes, at least four must be used to recognise restaurants outside of their home country.

The results of the list were published at the seventh annual Asia's 50 Best Restaurants awards ceremony in Macao on 26th March 2019.

The main rules of voting are:

  • Voting is strictly confidential before the list announcement
  • Panellists vote for ten restaurants, at least four of which must be outside their own country.
  • Voters must have eaten in the restaurants they nominate within the previous 18 months
  • Voters are not permitted to vote for restaurants they own or have a financial interest in
  • Nominations must be made for the restaurant, not for the restaurateur or the chef
  • Panellists submit their ten choices in order of preference (this information is used to decide on positions in the event of a tie).

These criteria are designed to allow our panellists to vote far and wide. They could vote for a small, unknown restaurant in a secluded area of Asia, or select the best-known restaurants in their own country or region – it is their opinion and the experiences they have had that matters.

This method means that restaurants cannot apply to be on the list, and cannot be nominated, and no external influences (from William Reed or our sponsors) can influence the list. It also means that every restaurant in Asia is eligible, unless the restaurant is closed at the time that the list is announced, or we receive notice that it will be closing in the near future.

There are no criteria that a restaurant has to meet. They certainly do not have to sell a certain product. They do not need to have been open a certain number of years and they do not need to have won any other culinary accolades.