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12 Asian Eateries with Exceptional Wines

Skip the sake and enjoy the cellars at these Asian restaurants
Photo by: The Peninsula Chicago
Shanghai Terrace offers Chinese dishes with a modern twist, plus views of the Chicago skyline.

Posted: September 28, 2017

Asian cuisine draws on a diverse range of complex flavors, from rich umami to bright acidity to searing heat. This variety means endless pairing possibilities with wines from around the world. While sake often steals the spotlight, the wine programs at these 12 restaurants have much more to offer.

To check out more wine-and-food destinations around the world, see Wine Spectator’s more than 3,700 Restaurant Award–winning picks, including the 91 Grand Award recipients worldwide that hold our highest honor.

Do you have a favorite you’d like to see on this list? Send your recommendations to restaurantawards@mshanken.com. We want to hear from you!

Wild Ginger

1401 Third Ave., Seattle, Wash.
Telephone (206) 623-4450
Website www.wildginger.net
Open Lunch and dinner, daily
Grand Award

Wild Ginger
For nine years, Wild Ginger has held Wine Spectator's Grand Award for its list of 2,100 selections.

Pairing wine with Asian food can be an intimidating task for American diners, but at Wild Ginger, guests can place their confidence in a Grand Award–winning beverage team. The Seattle restaurant received its first Restaurant Award in 1998 before earning Wine Spectator’s highest honor in 2009. Martin Beally, who became wine director in 2016, has upheld Wild Ginger’s focus on the Rhône Valley bottles and Rieslings, believing they pair best with the sweet and spicy notes of Wild Ginger’s cuisine. The 2,100-selection list covers well-known favorites from California, Burgundy, Bordeaux and Italy, as well as small-production wines. This year marks the third vintage of a Willamette Valley Pinot Noir made especially for Wild Ginger through a partnership with Walter Scott Winery.

The seasoned sommelier team helps identify the ideal bottle to pair with chef David Yeo’s menu. With an affinity for curry, chef Yeo employs modern techniques and seasonal ingredients to create exciting takes on classic South Asian cuisine. A tuna appetizer plays on bruschetta, and 10 types of satay showcase Indonesian flavors. Entrées like fragrant duck and Mongolian noodles are served family style, and clams and mussels are served fresh from a live tank. From grinding spices for curries to cracking open coconuts for fresh milk, each element is made from scratch. Wild Ginger also has a location in Bellevue, Wash., that holds an Award of Excellence for its 300-selection list.

Bar Masa

Aria Resort And Casino, 3730 Las Vegas Blvd. S., Las Vegas, Nev.
Telephone (877) 230-2742
Website www.arialasvegas.com
Open Dinner, Thursday to Tuesday
Best of Award of Excellence

MGM Resorts International
Bar Masa has an extensive, exciting menu and an outstanding wine list to match.

Housing seven Best of Award of Excellence–winning restaurants, Las Vegas’ Aria Resort and Casino holds its wine programs to high standards. Bar Masa is no exception, with a 372-selection list that focuses on French and American bottles and shines in California, Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne. Each section provides one “highly recommended” pick from wine director William Moss, like Darioush Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Signature 2013 ($244) or Fontodi Chianti Classico 2013 ($144). Chef Masa Takayama provides plenty of pairing fodder on a menu of classic Japanese dishes, from hibachi and fried rice to temaki and sashimi.

Great China

2190 Bancroft Way, Berkeley, Calif.
Telephone (510) 843-7996
Website www.greatchinaberkeley.com
Open Lunch and dinner, Wednesday to Monday
Best of Award of Excellence

Vicky Chen
Great China draws passing tourists and loyal locals for its authentic flavors and well-priced bottles.

In a no-frills setting near University of California’s Berkeley campus, Great China offers a stellar wine list and Northern Chinese cuisine rooted in decades of experience. The original owners opened the restaurant more than 30 years ago before brothers James and Tai Yu took over as co-owners and chefs. Together they elevate staples like Peking duck and kung pao chicken by using Northern California’s local ingredients. The wine program, overseen by Mark Yatabe, holds a Best of Award of Excellence for its 400 offerings. There are outstanding selections from Burgundy and Germany, wines the Yu brothers feel pair best with their food. The list includes exceptional values, like five vintages of Jacques-Frédéric Mugnier Nuits-St.-Georges Clos de la Maréchale, four vintages of Domaine de l’Arlot Clos de Forets St.-Georges and three vintages of Kosta Browne Pinot Noir from the Sonoma Coast, all under $200.

Hakkasan Miami

Fontainebleau Miami Beach, 4441 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, Fla.
Telephone (786) 276-1388
Website www.hakkasan.com/locations/hakkasan-miami
Open Dinner, daily
Best of Award of Excellence

Paul Warchol
Hakkasan Miami is a top destination for a luxurious South Beach dining experience.

Hakkasan Miami boasts a Best of Award of Excellence–winning list amid the glamour of South Beach’s Fontainebleau hotel. Program strengths include Burgundy, Bordeaux, Champagne, California and Italy, plus 14 biodynamic wines including Zind-Humbrecht Riesling Alsace Grand Cru Turckheim Brand 2012 ($225) and Emidio Pepe Trebbiano d’Abruzzo 2010 ($180). Head sommelier Brian Grandison designed the 430-selection list to provide a mix of familiar and eclectic bottles that easily pair with chef Jian Heng Loo’s cuisine. Dishes include standard items of Hakkasan’s multiple outposts, as well as unique plates like stir-fry South Florida spiny lobster in XO sauce. To explore new wines and test their compatibility with the fare, the wine team conducts weekly tastings alongside at least four menu items.

The Oven

201 N. Eighth St., Lincoln, Neb.
Telephone (402) 475-6118
Website www.theoven-lincoln.com
Open Lunch and dinner, daily
Best of Award of Excellence

The Oven
The Oven's carefully-selected bottles complement a fusion of flavorful cuisines.

The Oven has been open in Lincoln, Neb., for nearly three decades, earning its first Wine Spectator Restaurant Award in 2002. Wine director Charles Ludwig’s list now offers 1,535 selections, with more than 40 wines by the glass and three pages of half-bottles. The list is particularly strong in wines from California, Burgundy, Bordeaux and Italy that complement the Oven’s spice-fueled fare. With chef Ngawang Rinchen at the helm, the menu is a mix of traditional Northern Indian, Indian fusion and Bhutanese cuisines. This combination creates an exciting array of dishes for pairing, from familiar favorites like chicken tikka to a Bhutanese specialty of vegetables cooked with aromatics and American and Swiss cheese.

Shanghai Terrace

The Peninsula Hotel Chicago, 108 E. Superior St., Chicago, Ill.
Telephone (312) 573-6567
Website www.peninsula.com/Chicago
Open Dinner, daily
Best of Award of Excellence

The Peninsula Chicago
Shanghai Terrace is a breezy dim sum destination by day and an elegant Chinese eatery by night.

Inside Chicago’s Peninsula Hotel, Shanghai Terrace holds a Best of Award of Excellence for its 400 selections by beverage director Erik Boyd. While there are a number of affordable options, the list offers plenty of splurge-worthy California bottles, including five vintages of Ridge Monte Bello from the Santa Cruz Mountains going back to 1988 ($588–$605). The program also shows strength in Old World wines from Burgundy and France. Chef Elmo Han's menu focuses on Cantonese dishes with a luxurious flair, like lobster and chicken dim sum with black truffle and Szechwan-style Chilean sea bass. The dining room is inspired by 1930s supper clubs, while the outdoor patio provides a sleek setting with views of the skyline.


261 Madison Ave., New York, N.Y.
Telephone (212) 544-9862
Website www.zumarestaurant.com
Open Dinner, daily; lunch and dinner, Sunday to Friday
Best of Award of Excellence

Zuma's 520 selections range from affordable values to occasion-worthy gems.

With 11 locations around the world, Zuma has established itself as a top destination for modern Japanese fare. The New York outpost offers chef Rainer Becker’s take on the chain’s signature entrées and a menu of sushi, sashimi and maki rolls that can be topped with shaved Perigord truffles for over-the-top decadence. Mariah Bryand leads the team of sommeliers who guide diners through the Best of Award of Excellence–winning list of 520 bottles. The list has strong selections from California, Burgundy, France, Italy and Bordeaux, including the 1994, 2004 and 2006 vintages of Château Margaux ($1,200–$1,400). There are also several bottles priced at less than $100, especially among the Chardonnays and rosés.


30 Hudson St., New York, N.Y. 10013
Telephone (212) 791-3771
Website www.davidbouley.com/brushstroke-main
Open Lunch and dinner, Monday to Saturday
Award of Excellence

Brushstroke's strong wine program enhances the extravagant tasting menu experience.

This Award of Excellence–winning Tribeca restaurant is a collaborative project by chef David Bouley and Japan’s Tsuji Culinary Institute. While a la carte options are available, the heart of Brushstroke’s cuisine is the kaiseki tasting menu of eight courses for $135 crafted by executive chef Isao Yamada. Adrien Falcon oversees the 255-bottle list that includes solid selections from France, Germany and Austria. There are also exciting bottles from less-familiar regions like Slovenia and Hungary. For guests seeking something special, Brushstroke offers three exquisite vintages of Piper-Heidsieck Brut Champagne Rare ($420–$490).

Emeril’s Tchoup Chop

The Royal Pacfic Resort, 6300 Hollywood Way, Orlando, Fla.
Telephone (407) 503-2467
Website www.emerilsrestaurants.com/emerils-tchoup-chop.com
Open Lunch and dinner, daily
Award of Excellence

Emeril's Tchoup Chop
The famed chef takes a turn toward Asian flavors with Emeril's Tchoup Chop.

Emeril’s Tchoup Chop is the legendary chef’s take on an “Asian-Polynesian fusion” concept. The menu is fairly seafood-focused, but dishes like Mardi Gras cauliflower and banana cream pie give a nod to Emeril Lagasse’s characteristic Southern cuisine. Wine director Andres Estrada runs the Award of Excellence–winning program that shows particular strength in California. The 200-selection list offers affordable values such as Chateau Ste. Michelle-Dr. Loosen Riesling Columbia Valley Eroica 2012 ($60) and Viña Santa Ema Merlot Maipo Valley Reserva 2013 ($55), as well as higher-end bottles like Viña Montes Purple Angel Colchagua Valley 2012 ($205) and Justin Isosceles Reserve Paso Robles 2010 ($399).

Morimoto Napa

610 Main St., Napa, Calif.
Telephone (707) 252-1600
Website www.morimotonapa.com
Open Lunch and dinner, daily
Award of Excellence

Morimoto Napa
Chef Morimoto's whimsical style is evident in the cuisine, decor and wine program at Morimoto Napa.

Morimoto Napa features fare from one of the biggest names in Asian cuisine, Masaharu Morimoto, with an Award of Excellence–winning wine program highlighting local vintners. Beverage director Eduardo Dingler’s 360 selections provide a range of Napa Valley styles, from classic to modern. A reserve by-the-glass list showcases Dingler’s favorite local selections, such as Williams Selyem Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast Hirsch Vineyard 2013 ($35) and Continuum Napa Valley 2013 ($60). The dining room veers off from the traditional sushi restaurant atmosphere and into a more whimsical direction, with geometric wrought-iron chandeliers and vibrant yellow couches. It sets the stage for the unexpected twists in chef Sean Massey’s cuisine, like a “pastrami” take on yellowtail and a barbecue eel maki roll.


47 E. 12th St., New York, N.Y.
Telephone (212) 228-6088
Website www.shukonyc.com
Open Dinner, Monday to Saturday
Award of Excellence

Shuko offers 235 bottles to pair with its omakase and kaiseki menus.

At Shuko, chefs Nick Kim and Jimmy Lau’s Japanese cuisine is presented in two types of tasting menus. Guests can choose from sushi omakase for $135, which features daily selections of sushi and sashimi, or the $175 kaiseki menu of multiple courses including both sushi and composed dishes. Shuko earned its first Award of Excellence this year for its 235-selection list, which is sprinkled with older gems like Delas Côte-Rôtie La Landonne 1999 ($390) and Rainoldi Valtellina Superiore Sassella Riserva 2006 ($115). The program is managed by beverage director Damon Adam Cohen, who formerly served as executive chef of Marx Bros. Café, which has held a Best of Award of Excellence since 1997.

Sushi Nakazawa

23 Commerce St., New York, N.Y.
Telephone (212) 924-2212
Website www.sushinakazawa.com
Open Dinner, daily
Award of Excellence

Sushi Nakazawa
At Sushi Nakazawa, a renowned Japanese chef brings traditional sushi to New York.

This high-end omakase restaurant transports guests to Japan through 20 intricately crafted courses. A meal in Sushi Nakazawa’s dining room costs $120, but for an additional $30 each, guests can sit at the sushi bar for a first-hand view of chef Daisuke Nakazawa’s artistry. Nakazawa spent 11 years in Tokyo training with one of the most esteemed sushi chefs in the world, Jiro Ono, before opening his New York restaurant in 2013. At that time, Sushi Nakazawa focused heavily on sake, but the beverage program has grown to include an Award of Excellence–winning wine selection. There are 320 bottles to choose from, including a number of strong French selections such as Marquis d’Angerville Volnay Champans Premier Cru 2014 ($225) and Bonneau du Martray Corton-Charlemagne 2001 ($375). Before joining Sushi Nakazawa, wine director Garrett Smith spent time in several establishments with Restaurant Awards, including Grand Award winners Daniel and the French Laundry.

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