Ever wondered what it’s like to dine at the world’s top restaurants? We may not all have the opportunity to hop around the globe indulging in Michelin-starred meals and experimenting with new and intricate flavours, but on the internet you can experience anything – including what’s on the menu at the world’s top restaurants.
Every year, the World’s 50 Best Restaurants organisation puts together a list of the finest dining establishments on the globe. Since 2002, this organisation has been ranking the world’s top 100 fine dining restaurants. The winners are chosen by an expert panel of over 1,000 chefs, food writers, and restaurateurs who know what makes a dish stand out amongst a sea of fine dining classics.
World’s top 5 restaurants in 2019
The world’s top 5 restaurants in 2019, as rated by the World’s 50 Best Restaurants organisation, were:
- Mirazur, France,
- Noma, Denmark,
- Asador Etxebarri, Spain,
- Gaggan, Thailand, and
- Geranium, Denmark.
These restaurants all require reservations months in advance, with tickets selling for several hundred per head. But it’s worth the wait to experience the fresh local produce, unique and sometimes bizarre technique and combinations, and the individual flair of each world renowned chef.
So let’s take a tour and see what’s on the menu at the world’s top 5 restaurants.
This year, the world’s best restaurant was Mirazur in France. The restaurant is perched above the Mediterranean Sea on the French riviera, with Argentinian chef Mauro Colagreco in the kitchen. He opened Mirazur at the ripe age of 29, back in 2006, and the restaurant received its first Michelin star within a year.
Organisers of the awards praised Chef Colagreco’s “love of local produce, most of which is grown in the restaurant’s three-tiered garden just metres from the dining room”. You can dine at Mirazur for around AUD422 per person – if you can find a reservation, that is! Let’s take a look at some of the restaurant’s iconic dishes.
Gillardeau oyster with shallot cream, pear, wild watercress, borage flowers
This is a beautifully simple dish, with subtle flavours that come together as “refreshingly as a September afternoon on the Mediterranean”, according to one reviewer. The dish sits on a bed of starchy tapioca broth.
Salt-crusted beetroot with caviar
This is one of Mirazur’s most photographed dishes. Guests are served a bowl of silky, salt-crusted beetroot strands sourced from the restaurant’s private garden. A creamy, milky caviar sauce is then poured over the dish creating what one reviewer calls a “texturally harmonious bite”.
Challans duck with plum jam and red shiso jelly
This stunning dish is executed with accuracy and precision, with each ingredient chosen in the exact amounts and to serve a particular purpose in terms of flavour. Acidity from the plums responds well with the crispy, savoury duck, with red shiso sauce bringing a spiciness to complete the dish.
Swordfish with mashed black garlic and bearnaise with liquorice
This is a popular dish amongst diners, with a soft, melt-in-your-mouth swordfish complemented by a unique liquorice bearnaise sauce. The creamy black garlic condiment brings a sense of gluttony to the dish, balancing the flavours together wonderfully.
2. Noma, Copenhagen
Noma has made #1 on the world’s best restaurants list for four years, dropping to second place in 2019. The iconic restaurant is renowned for its experimental interpretation of Nordic cuisine and foraged foods – and its celeriac shawarma.
Chef René Redzepi is famous for his sometimes outlandish creations, his beautiful and inventive plating, and his dedication to simple Scandinavian cooking. You can eat at Noma for around AUD500 per person, but it’s well worth it for the all-round experience.
Dehydrated cucumber skin cannelloni with beech nut puree
This dish is a Nordic take on the classic Greek dolmades dish – traditionally made from rolled grapevine leaves. Instead, Redzepi dried cucumber skins and paired the strange ingredient with a local beech nut puree.
Smoked quail’s egg with plum and rose hip ‘chorizo’
Here’s an example of Chef Redzepi’s outlandish creations – a ‘chorizo’ made from rose hips, a fragrant berry that grows on a rose bush. Spicy and chewy, the rose hip sausage is said to taste just like a Spanish chorizo.
Fried marigold flowers with a side of egg yolk and whisky
Another dish showcasing Noma’s fondness for foraging. Here, the marigold flowers are deep fried and crispy, served with a ‘whisky eggnog’ dip. The dip, somewhat resembling a liquidy cured egg, is poured by servers onto the flowers.
Fried milk skin with fresh cheese, parsley, and black truffles
Milk skin, parsley, cheese, and truffle? Some combinations can only be found at fine dining restaurants, that’s for sure. This is a feathery, delicate tart that one reviewer referred to as “a little bite of heaven”.
Walnut mole with grasshoppers, pumpkin seed tofu, barbecued rose petals
Barbecued wild rose petals here makes an appearance with a tofu-like curd made from mole and pumpkin seeds. The roses are described as having a slightly meaty quality similar to a grilled radicchio. And yes, those are grasshoppers.
3. Asador Etxebarri, Spain
In the heart of the Basque region of Spain, nestled in the mountains and farmlands, is Asador Etxebarri. This restaurant is far flung from the world’s bustling fine-dining establishments, open for dinner only one day a week and channeling the calm, relaxed atmosphere of the Spanish mountains.
Chef Victor Arguinzoniz opened Asador Etxebarri more than 30 years ago, a humble chef grilling simple local ingredients over burning wood. In time, the restaurant began to attract the attention it deserves. Despite being a 45-minute drive from Bilbao, in a tiny sparsley populated village, this small local tavern is now one of the world’s best spots to dine.
Red sea bream with local vegetables
This red sea bream arrives at the table in one piece, head to tail, before being served to diners by the waiter. Coated in a creamy butter garlic sauce, the fish is served next to a simple heirloom vegetable dish accompanied with a drizzle of olive oil.
Fresh chorizo tartare
Raw pork doesn’t cross the minds of many, but Chef Arguinzoniz delivers a perfectly rare chorizo with an incredible depth of flavour. Inspired by a recipe from his own grandmother, the chorizo is described by a reviewer as tasting “like it had been simmering for hours and then somehow distilled into a dry sausage”.
Reduced milk ice cream with beetroot juice
This is not your average milk ice cream. With the freshest possibly sourced dairy, the milk is reduced over a wood grill, giving it a unique smokiness and caramelised savoury flavour. This is cut with the tartness of the red beetroot sauce, making for a complex match of flavours.
Fritters with elderflower cream
This crispy yet fluffy fritter is like a sophisticated, fine dining version of a doughnut. The dough is first baked and then grilled to achieve its crispy exterior. The subtle elderflower cream oozes out of the inside at the slightest touch.
4. Gaggan, Thailand
And then, there’s Gaggan. A stark contrast to the majority of the world’s fine dining restaurants, Gaggan is quirky, humorous, unstuffy, and a bit edgy. Named after its chef and owner, Gaggan Annand, the restaurant is described as ‘progressive Indian cuisine’, thanks to the menu’s inspiration from traditional Indian ingredients, spices, and cuisines.
His latest menu features no verbal descriptions – only emojis. It’s an experimental showcase of strange combinations, textures, presentation, and ingredients that you would never have considered, let alone find anywhere else on Earth. With two Michelin stars and voted Asia’s best restaurant 4 years in a row, you’d better get in quick before Gaggan closes its doors in 2020.
Rosette cookie with goat’s brain cream
This has been described as one of the tastiest dishes on the menu. That said, the reviewer tasted it before knowing it was made from goat brains – otherwise known as Indian foie gras. With a rice flower and buttermilk coating, it really is the goat brain that makes it. As another reviewer puts it, “Hop a plane to Bangkok immediately to try this dish”
Banana and chicken liver on sesame bread
Bananas with chicken liver? Gaggan is truly mad! This dish was designed for his daughter, a young toddler, and he says it’s the only one of his dishes she can actually eat. The dish features a banana chutney topped with chicken liver and served on a crispy sesame cracker.
Uncooked curry with scallops
Gaggan says that curry is ugly, and so he serves an uncooked curry with the ingredients still beautifully intact. Here the scallops are combined in a curry with chilli oil, green curry leaf oil, coconut milk and salt ice cream & fried onions. One truly vibrant and tasty dish.
Thai green curry on crispy chicken skin
Again, standard curries are too ugly for Gaggan to serve, and so he deconstructs them and reinvents them in new and quirky ways. This time the Thai green curry is piped thinly over crispy chicken skins, for a unique take on the traditional curry.
5. Geranium, Denmark
Another world-famous Danish restaurant, Geranium is unusually located inside a sports stadium. With Chef Rasmus Kofoed at the helm, Geranium is the first Danish restaurant to receive three Michelin stars.
Despite its accolades, this is another non-stuffy, almost casual fine dining establishment – they even take requests for music to play in the restaurant (and actually fulfill those requests, too).
Charred potato in aroma from bark and sheep’s butter
Those black lumps of coal are actually small new potatoes cooked in squid ink, served on a bed of actual charcoal. The potatoes are served with sheep’s butter and burnt thyme ash. Diners place the potato on top of the spoonful of butter and consume in one together.
Salted haddock, parsley stems, Finnish caviar in buttermilk
This beautiful dish features a dry marinated haddock, floating in a sea of wonderful textures. The buttermilk adds a touch of creaminess, the caviar provides a long finish, and the parsley offsets the salty and briny flavours of the dish perfectly.
Jerusalem artichoke leaves with creamy walnut oil, rye vinegar emulsion
This beautiful dish is a perfect snapshot of Scandinavian cuisine. The earthy-sweet Jerusalem artichoke is brightened by the sharpness of the vinegar, all subdued with the creamy walnut flavour.
Fine dining in your own home
In the absence of the world’s best fine dining establishments, you can still indulge in bedazzling textures, flavours, and combinations by hiring a private chef. Our team of talented private chefs have worked at some of the world’s best restaurants and know how to fuse complex flavours and turn classic recipes into whimsical creations.
If you want to make heads turn and mouths water at your next event, get in touch with our team now and be connected with the best private chef for the job.