Hapag, Bale Dutung + More Named "Local-Hero" Restos in Asia

For how they represent "authenticity, culinary culture, and community focus."

(SPOT.ph) With the rocky state of the dining industry (both locally and worldwide) during these times, we're all for supporting restaurants however we can—especially with the many great establishments that are continuing on the fight for survival amidst the pandemic. To support the sector's recovery, Asia's 50 Best Restaurants has come out with Essence Of Asia, an unranked collection of establishments that represent "the spirit of Asian gastronomy." The good news? Four Filipino restaurants made it to their list: Hapag, Earth Kitchen, Bale Dutung, and Farmer's Daughter.

Hapag is hailed for how it "explores the diversity and complexity of Filipino cuisine" using local ingredients, while farm-to-fork spot Earth Kitchen is praised for their "globally inspired dishes [that] showcase the Filipino terroir and ingredients" and the support they continue to show for local farmers, fishers, indigenous communities, and more. The list also includes Pampanga's Bale Dutung and their lineup of traditional Filipino food "with a focus on the produce of the area", and Baguio's Farmer's Daughter with how it champions the cuisines of indigenous ethnic groups and the high-altitude Cordillera region.

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Asia's 50 Best Restaurants

Asia's 50 Best Restaurants
Hapag is known for their playful takes on Filipino classic.
PHOTO BY Hans Fausto/SPOT.PH ARCHIVES
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Asia's 50 Best Restaurants
At Earth Kitchen, you can treat yourself to tasty eats and know that you're helping local communities out, too.
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You can get some of the best Filipino fare at Bale Dutung.
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At Farmer's Daughter, you can try Cordillera dishes like Kindot (a.k.a. grilled pork).
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The Essence of Asia collection is an unranked list of dining establishments that represent "authenticity, culinary culture, and community focus."Covering establishments in 49 cities across 20 countries and territories, the list features places that "honour culinary traditions, revive indigenous cuisines or rediscover centuries-old recipes, as well as many that play a key role supporting and connecting their communities. With the current struggles of the hospitality industry across the continent, it also aims to give a guide to must-try local dining spots and highlight the "unsung heroes" of in the industry. The Essence of Asia collection also accompanies the full Asia's 50 Best Restaurants list, which will be unveiled on March 25.

For the full list, check out Essence of Asia's website.

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