New dining guide for Asia topped mostly by European restaurants

Scallop ‘Au Naturel’ at Odette, which has two Michelin stars. (Bloomberg pic)

Hot on the heels of the French gastronomy event La Liste, which was held in Paris this week, comes the launch of another dining guide which claims to base their winners on AI, this time for cities across Asia.

Online travel index and directory TravelIndex launched a restaurant ranking for five cities in Asia Pacific: Bangkok, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Singapore and Delhi.

For the Mastercard Affluent Dining Guide, ratings and rankings are based on AI and “natural language processing technology” and re-assessed by a panel of top culinary experts. The final list takes into consideration factors like décor, ambience, service, quality of ingredients, cooking techniques, the personality of chefs, value for money and overall consistency.

The concept is not far from La Liste, launched in 2015 as an algorithm-based ranking that aggregates reviews and scores from hundreds of guidebooks around the world.

Meanwhile, a scan of the top-ranked restaurants on the Mastercard lists for cities in Asia reveals an eyebrow-raising trend: With the exception of Delhi, all the chart-toppers are restaurants that serve European cuisine, be it French or Italian.

Here are the chart-toppers for each city:

Shanghai: Ultraviolet by Paul Pairet, chef Paul Pairet (cuisine is progressive European)
Hong Kong: 81/2 Otto e Mezzo, chef Umberto Bombana (Italian)
Singapore: Odette, chef Julien Royer (French)
Delhi: Indian Accent, chef Manish Mehrotra (progressive Indian)
Bangkok: Mezzaluna, chef Ryuki Kawasaki (progressive European)

For the full list of top 25 restaurants in each city, visit