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Spanish restaurant voted world's best

While northern Spain's El Bulli bags the top title, Delhi's Bukhara made it to the 46th spot in the world's best restaurants poll this year.

india Updated: Apr 11, 2006 14:41 IST

A British restaurant famed for its curious signature dishes such as "snail porridge" was knocked from its perch as the world's best restaurant, with the accolade heading south to Spain, while Delhi's Bukhara made it to 46th spot this time around.

El Bulli, near Rosas, northern Spain, regained the title it won at the inaugural World's 50 Best Restaurants awards in 2002, swapping places with last year's top eatery The Fat Duck, in the village of Bray, west of London.

The Spanish restaurant, which one British newspaper critic once described as "culinary nirvana", has consistently been in the top three ever since with its experimental, scientific approach to cuisine known as molecular gastronomy.

It is reputed to be booked solid for months in advance by diners eager to sample 43-year-old chef Ferran Adria's Michelin three-star cooking.

Spain had a strong showing in the awards, which were organised by Restaurant Magazine and unveiled to the cream of the culinary world at a ceremony at London's Science Museum.

Restaurante Arzak, in San Sebastian, northern Spain, was in ninth position, followed by the highest new entrant and its near neighbour, Mugaritz, at 10, with Can Fabes, in Sant Celoni, near Barcelona, at 11.

Britain had three restaurants in the top 20; France four, including Chef's Choice for Pierre Gagnaire in Paris; and the United States five, including best restaurant in the Americas for The French Laundry in California at four.

Italy had one -- the highest climber, Gambero Rosso, in Rome at 13 -- while Tetsuya in Sydney was voted the best restaurant in Australasia and also took fifth spot.