Restaurant News

René Redzepi’s Noma clinches top spot in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list

And a Singapore restaurant, led by a Perth-born chef, has made the shortlist.

By Yvonne C Lam
The Noma team at The World's 50 Best Restaurants awards ceremony in Antwerp, Belgium.
For the fifth time, Copenhagen restaurant Noma, led by chef René Redzepi, has claimed the number one spot on The World's 50 Best Restaurants list for 2021.
The accolade was announced in an awards ceremony in Antwerp, Belgium last night (local time), with fellow Copenhagen restaurant Geranium and Spain's Asador Etxebarri rounding out the top three rankings.
Noma was widely tipped to take the top spot after claiming second position in the 2019 rankings (The World's 50 Best Restaurants list took a hiatus in 2020 as the world's hospitality industry battled the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic).
In 2019, The World's 50 Best Restaurant announced changes to its eligibility criteria. Restaurants that previously topped the list would no longer be eligible to appear in future rankings.
However Noma, a four-time winner of the top gong in years 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2014, is considered a "new restaurant" after moving its premises across town in 2018, and an overhaul of its dining concept.
Noma 2.0 offers three distinct menus throughout the year according to the Scandinavian seasons: seafood from January to June, vegetables during summer, and game and forest from early autumn to January.
The restaurant is also renowned for its state-of-the-art research and development kitchen, where director Jason White leads Noma's experimental program of ferments and foraged ingredients.
On social media, Redzepi acknowledged the many brains and bodies that make up Noma. "What is the secret everyone asks me? Let me share with you a few hundred of our deepest secrets," posted the chef on Instagram, along with photos of Noma staff members.

Over the years, the annual list has faced criticism for a lack of diversity in its rankings, which skewed heavily towards European restaurants, and kitchens led by male chefs. This year's list still includes 27 restaurants from Europe and the UK, eight restaurants from Central and South America, eight from Asia, and six from the USA. South Africa's Wolfgat, at number 50, is the only restaurant from Africa to make the list.
The annual list is compiled from votes from The World's 50 Best Academy, comprising 1000 chefs, restaurateurs and restaurant critics from around the world, and split into 26 geographical regions.
With restrictions on international travel, this year's rankings were compiled from a combination of votes cast in January 2020, and a voting "refresh" in March this year, based on restaurant experiences in a voter's local region. Pat Nourse, former managing editor of Gourmet Traveller, is chair of the Oceania, Australia and New Zealand region.
As per 2019, no Australian restaurants have cracked this year's top 50. Brae in regional Victoria and Attica in Melbourne made this year's "longlist" at positions 57 and 97 respectively.
However Singapore's Burnt Ends, led by Perth-born chef Dave Pynt, has claimed the 34th spot, with the voting academy praising the wood-fire restaurant for its "simple, top-quality produce cooked on fire [...] every morsel has been touched by the flame and the ingredients speak for themselves."
After cracking the top 50 in 2019, The Chairman in Hong Kong has leapt from 41st to 10th place on this year's list. It's run by Danny Yip, who previously owned a string of Canberra restaurants including the much-loved The Chairman & Yip.
Last month, Pía Léon was bestowed the dubious honour of this year's Best Female Chef award. The Lima-born chef works across four venues in the Peru capital; two of her restaurants, Mil and Kjolle, made their débuts on the longlist at 90 and 95 respectively.

The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2021: the full list of restaurants ranked 1-50

1 Noma, Copenhagen, Denmark
2 Geranium, Copenhagen, Denmark
3 Asador Etxebarri, Atxondo, Spain
4 Central, Lima, Peru
5 Disfrutar, Barcelona, Spain
6 Frantzén, Stockholm, Sweden
7 Maido, Lima, Peru
8 Odette, Singapore
9 Pujol, Mexico City, Mexico
10 The Chairman, Hong Kong
11 Den, Tokyo, Japan
12 Steirereck, Vienna, Austria
13 Don Julio, Buenos Aires, Argentina
14 Mugaritz, San Sebastian, Spain
15 Lido 84, Gardone Riviera, Italy
16 Elkano, Getaria, Spain
17 A Casa do Porco, São Paulo, Brazil
18 Piazza Duomo, Alba, Italy
19 Narisawa, Tokyo, Japan
20 Diverxo, Madrid, Spain
21 Hiša Franko, Kobarid, Slovenia
22 Cosme, New York, USA
23 Arpège, Paris, France
24 Septime, Paris, France
25 White Rabbit, Moscow, Russia
26 Le Calandre, Rubano, Italy
27 Quintonil, Mexico City, Mexico
28 Benu, San Francisco, USA
29 Reale, Castel di Sangro, Italy
30 Twins Garden, Moscow, Russia
31 Restaurant Tim Raue, Berlin, Germany
32 The Clove Club, London, UK
33 Lyle's, London, UK
34 Burnt Ends, Singapore
35 Ultraviolet by Paul Pairet, Shanghai, China
36 Hof Van Cleve, Kruishoutem, Belgium
37 SingleThread, Healdsburg, USA
38 Boragó, Santiago, Chile
39 Florilège, Tokyo, Japan
40 Sühring, Bangkok, Thailand
41 Alléno Paris au Pavillon Ledoyen, Paris, France
42 Belcanto, Lisbon, Portugal
43 Atomix, New York, USA
44 Le Bernardin, New York, USA
45 Nobelhart & Schmutzig, Berlin, Germany
46 Leo, Bogotá, Colombia
47 Maaemo, Oslo, Norway
48 Atelier Crenn, San Francisco, USA
49 Azurmendi, Larrabetzu, Spain
50 Wolfgat, Paternoster, South Africa