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Restaurant awards highlight Asia's growing gourmet footprint

Thailand challenges Japan and Hong Kong in regional rankings

A colorful creation from Bangkok’s Paste

MACAU -- Bubbling with fountains of champagne and tabletop fields of sushi and caviar, Asia's 50 Best Restaurants Awards boasted the glitz of a red-carpet Hollywood opening and the suspense of a potboiler novel. Often referred to as the Academy Awards of Asian cuisine, there was no mishap here over the wrong envelope. Instead, it was a simple case of deja vu.

The winner was charismatic Indian chef Gaggan Anand, 39, whose eponymous "progressive Indian cuisine" restaurant in Bangkok took the number one ranking for an unprecedented fourth time in a row. "Beating yourself is the hardest thing," he said on receiving the prize.

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