The two Philippine restaurants are in spots 90 and 84 of the annual, regional rankings.
For first time since it launched in 2013, Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants are releasing its list restaurants who ended up from 51st to 100th. Two Philippine restaurants, Gallery by Chele in Taguig and Antonio’s in Tagaytay, which ended up 90th and 84th, respectively.
“To be acknowledged by our peers in Asia is an honor,” says Chele Gonzalez, the chef behind the restaurant’s name. “It is a privilege for us to represent the place that we live, love and work. It is a place that inspires us, a place we call home.”
This isn’t the first time that Gallery has been included in the prestigious list. Gallery Vask, the restaurant’s previous version, was in the top 50 of Asia’s Best in 2016 and 2017. But the restaurant’s inclusion this year still holds special meaning for those behind it.
“Chele and I see this honor as a recognition of our team,” says Carlos Villaflor, Gallery’s executive sous chef and partner. “It is their faith in our vision and the hard work they put in day in, day out that inspires us every day. We could not be prouder of them.”
Gonzalez adds that 2020 has been quite the year for Gallery, which reopened last October after restrictions eased.
“All of us in the restaurant industry continue to deal with the shifting realities of the pandemic. We not only have to figure out how to keep our restaurant families and guests safe but we also have to ponder how to keep the business side of our restaurants moving forward. It has been challenge, to say the least,” he says.
Chef Tony Boy Escalante’s Antonio’s, on the other hand, was the first Philippine restaurant to have made it to Asia’s 50 Best List. Back in 2015, it placed 48th on the list, which was topped by the Bangkok’s Gaggan, Tokyo’s Narisawa, and Shanghai’s Ultraviolet by Paul Pairet.
The decision to release the list of restaurants that just missed the top 50 stems from a desire to support the dining industry in the region, which has struggled because of the COVID crisis.
“The global pandemic has been devastating for hospitality and it is vital that we support restaurants across Asia in their recovery,” says William Drew, Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants’ director of content. “By announcing the 51-100 list of restaurants, along with the unranked Essence of Asia collection, we can showcase more of the region’s diverse restaurants, cuisines and unique dining experiences.”
Other countries that made it to the 51st to 100th list include South Korea, India, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, and Indonesia. For the first time, the Maldives is represented, with Velaa resort’s Aragu making it to the 96th spot.
The much-anticipated 2021 list of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants will be revealed via an online awards ceremony on March 25.
Reservations and inquiries for Gallery by Chele are through GalleryByChele.com. Reservations and inquiries for Antonio’s are through AntoniosRestaurant.ph. For more on Asia’s 50 Best, follow them on Facebook.