S'pore chilli crab 17th on Lonely Planet's best food experiences

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Travel guide publisher Lonely Planet unveils new book of global food experiences

Singapore's well-loved chilli crab has been ranked 17th in a league table of the world's 500 best gustatory experiences, with Malaysia coming in a lofty second with its curry laksa.

The global list of 500 food experiences was revealed in the pages of Ultimate Eatlist, a new book by travel guide publisher Lonely Planet.

Top of the list was pintxos - Spanish small snacks typically eaten in bars - from the Basque coastal city of San Sebastián.

Other Asian delicacies ahead of Singapore's crustacean dish were sushi from Tokyo (third), som tum (green papaya salad) from Bangkok (fifth), bibimbap (a mixed rice dish) from Seoul (eighth), and Hong Kong's dim sum (10th).


Makansutra founder and food consultant KF Seetoh criticised the ranking and said that it "doesn't make sense".

He said: "The reviewers are just a bunch of backpackers who went to each country and tried maybe 20 to 30 dishes and ranked them.

"This doesn't do justice to the few thousand other dishes around the world. Nobody is fit to say what food is best."

He added that the "shallow and empty" reviews - simply a thumbs up or thumbs down - fail to help the reader understand a country's food culture.

Restaurateur Violet Oon, however, thought that the list was fun and said that it gave her ideas on what to eat around the world. The doyenne of Singapore cooking said she used to organise "gourmet safaris" in Singapore, taking guests by tour bus to eat six courses in six different restaurants in one night.

She added: "Maybe I can now hire a private plane and bring a group of foodies to fly around many cities and eat a dish in each city!"

The recommendations in the book came from experts including world-renowned chefs like Elena Arzak and Eric Ripert, television chef Andrew Zimmern, and BBC MasterChef judge Monica Galetti.

Staff and contributors were also asked to nominate their favourite food experiences.

While the Lonely Planet website only featured the top 10, CNN gave a list of the top 20.

Top 20

1. Pintxos in San Sebastián, Spain

2. Curry laksa in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

3. Sushi in Tokyo, Japan

4. Beef brisket in Texas, USA

5. Som tum in Bangkok, Thailand

6. Smørrebrød in Copenhagen, Denmark

7. Crayfish in Kaikoura, New Zealand

8. Bibimbap in Seoul, South Korea

9. Pizza margherita in Naples, Italy

10. Dim sum in Hong Kong

11. Ceviche in Peru

12. Pastéis de nata in Lisbon, Portugal

13. Oysters in Freycinet, Australia

14. Cheese experiences in France

15. Jerk chicken in Jamaica

16. Lamb tagine in Marrakech, Morocco

17. Chilli crab in Singapore

18. Moules frites in Brussels, Belgium

19. Peking duck in Beijing

20. Pho on the Hau River, Vietnam

Food & Drink