Home Food Are These Really ‘the World’s 50 Best Restaurants’?

Are These Really ‘the World’s 50 Best Restaurants’?

by белый

Critic’s Notebook

The places on this year’s “50 Best” list are endurance tests, theatrical spectacles, monuments to ego and — the two most frightening words in dining — “immersive experiences.”

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To be media literate these days is to understand that no ranked list, whether it is the “100 Greatest Drummers of All Time” or the “35 Cutest Dog Breeds to Ever Exist,” should be taken too literally. We all know that the cuteness of the Maltipoo and the awesomeness of Keith Moon are matters of opinion.

When it comes to parsing the annual dining survey known as The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, though, you really have to open your mind. Forget asking whether these establishments are the best in the world. The bigger question is: Are they restaurants?

Consider some of the highest-ranking winners from this year’s edition, which was announced Wednesday night in a ceremony at the Wynn Las Vegas that began with feathered and painted dancers twirling light sticks to electronic dance music on a darkened stage.

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Gaggan, in Bangkok, was named not just the ninth-best restaurant in the world but the single best restaurant in Asia. The chef, Gaggan Anand, greets diners at his 14-seat table facing the kitchen with “Welcome to my … .” completing the sentence with a term, meaning a chaotic situation, that will not be appearing in The New York Times.

What follows are about two dozen dishes organized in two acts (with intermission). The menu is written in emojis. Each bite is accompanied by a long story from Mr. Anand that may or may not be true. The furrowed white orb splotched with what appears to be blood, he claims, is the brain of a rat raised in a basement feedlot.

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