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Michelin Guide 2012 – UK


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A British pub with two michelin stars, no one expected that, absolutely brilliant!!

Sat Bains well overdue and easily deserved.

Edinburgh is really where it is at outside of London.

The only consistency that remains with Michelin is you can never predict them,!,,!,,,!

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I was having a bit of a dig to see if I could find anything last night and came accross this

http://www.michelinonline.co.uk/travel/star-history.htm

Just thought it may be of interest.

Heh. Confirms what I thought about Ynyshir. Three demotions and two promotions in eight years. Tough life!

Oh and also next time someone mentions the old "Hakkasan was the first Chinese restaurant ever to get a Michelin star" line this is the website which tells you that actually no, Michelin were dishing out etoiles in Chinatown back in 1974 (Lee Ho Fook... I kid ye not!!!)

Edited by Jon Tseng (log)
More Cookbooks than Sense - my new Cookbook blog!
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Unbelievable , the Lenclume team...and fans must be banging their heads against the walls in shock....Something very suspect going on inside Michelin HQ.I`ll be eating at Lenclume tomorrow and know only too well that it certainly lives up to its placing of Number 2 in the UK....Thanks to the Good food guide.

I would suspect Michelin have thought that the opening of Roganic may stretch the team so no way they'd go 2* without seeing if it has any affect on the mothership first.

you don't win friends with salad

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Although Michelin get a slating every year for their conservativeness, at least Sat's promotion and Hand & Flowers 2* is a little unexpected.

Compared to Good Food Guide who were proudly trumpeting Heston's Dinner & Pollen St Social as news which added absolutely nothing to the debate.

Very pleased to see Michelin made no fuss over these two above and beyond the mandatory star that usually follows a starred chef with history.

you don't win friends with salad

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I was only referring to the food. Can you honestly think of anywhere that deserves promotion from two stars to three? :blink:

Well, if the food at Ducasse is a 3*, then at the very least The Ledbury should be. To be honest, I'd rate Sat Bains above the Ledbury too.

I'm not disputing that either though I thought the one meal I had (a long time ago) was easily 3 star standard especially by British Standards, having said that people I trust have advised that it has gone down hill since then so I'm willing to accept that it should lose a star. That "British Standards" bit is important, for all Michelin claims, the 3* standards I've experienced in France are a mile away from any UK 2 star. Similarly I've had 1 star meals in France that would easily be considered 2 in the UK.

Edited by Matthew Grant (log)

"Why would we want Children? What do they know about food?"

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I was only referring to the food. Can you honestly think of anywhere that deserves promotion from two stars to three? :blink:

Well, if the food at Ducasse is a 3*, then at the very least The Ledbury should be. To be honest, I'd rate Sat Bains above the Ledbury too.

I'm not disputing that either though I thought the one meal I had (a long time ago) was easily 3 star standard especially by British Standards, having said that people I trust have advised that it has gone down hill since then so I'm willing to accept that it should lose a star. That "British Standards" bit is important, for all Michelin claims, the 3* standards I've experienced in France are a mile away from any UK 2 star. Similarly I've had 1 star meals in France that would easily be considered 2 in the UK.

I guess a lot of this does boil down to personal opinions, likes etc. at the end of the day.

I'm still utterly baffled that Michelin can consider Noma a 2*. At the same time, I can understand why Mugaritz is "only" a 2* - I found it somewhat hit and miss, and I was surprised that it ended up in a list as the 3rd best restaurant in the world.

Comparing the GFG, Michelin and "World restaurant awards" top 10 UK restaurants just shows how much disagreement there is out there. I expect some people might lean towards one than another, others might think they are all totally wrong. At the end of the day, each individual might find one guide a better fit to their tastes than another.

So err, that's just a long winded way of saying "yeah, well, sometimes I don't agree with the decision of the guides". I guess it does at least give us something to talk about though :laugh:

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I think Tony Naylor has some good comments on this years guide in WOM.. I must say he sums up my thoughts very suucinctly.

For what it's worth, I don't buy any of that. Michelin gets things wrong. Every guide does. But it approaches its work with a rigour and a seriousness that mean, certainly when it comes to judging the fantastical top end of the restaurant trade, its judgements still carry a unique weight. The steady, sober (boring, you might say) tone of this year's guide is testament to this. Hot on the heels of its 100th anniversary edition, keen to drum up publicity, the new guide could have opted for a radical break with the past (God knows people are urging it). But, no. Where other guides stand accused of hype, Michelin carries on regardless. It may be aloof, anachronistic, elitist, but in these hyperventilating PR-led times, that steadfastness is, kind of, admirable.
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Oh and also next time someone mentions the old "Hakkasan was the first Chinese restaurant ever to get a Michelin star" line this is the website which tells you that actually no, Michelin were dishing out etoiles in Chinatown back in 1974 (Lee Ho Fook... I kid ye not!!!)

Lee Ho Fook lasted a year so maybe Michelin decided they'd been too generous.

For Chinese, there have also been Poons Covent Garden 1979-1980, Tiger Lee 1980-1986, Oriental Dorchester Hotel 1993-2000.

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Oh and also next time someone mentions the old "Hakkasan was the first Chinese restaurant ever to get a Michelin star" line this is the website which tells you that actually no, Michelin were dishing out etoiles in Chinatown back in 1974 (Lee Ho Fook... I kid ye not!!!)

Ha, and bang on cue...

"Hakkasan is the first and only Chinese restaurant in Europe with a Michelin star..."

Grrr. Bloody clueless resto PRs. The even seem to forget that their sister restaurant Yauatcha has a star!!!

J

Edited by Jon Tseng (log)
More Cookbooks than Sense - my new Cookbook blog!
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I did a little piece of analysis on how many Michelin stars there are in the biggest cities of the UK (looking purely at city population sizes and not wider surrounds for the sake of a fair comparison) .

MichelinTable.png

Nothing surprising really - other than London and Edinburgh, the UK’s 13 largest cities are pretty rubbish at Michelin level dining. In fact it’s only London that kicks ass as far as Michelin is concerned. With only 11.5% of the UK population they hold a whopping 38% of the UK’s Michelin stars and 38% of the UK’s Bib Gourmands. In contrast outside of London, the other top 12 cities combined have 8.9% of the UK’s population yet only 6.2% of the UK’s Michelin stars and 6.8% of the UK’s Bib Gourmands.

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I've never understood why no second star for Martin Wishart Edinburgh. Several of the Edinburgh one stars are better than any two star restaurant I've ever eaten in, but MW I think just stands out for consistency while also keeping things fresh and interesting.

I agree, MW's food has that 2* feel. That said the overall experience at the Peat Inn in Fife is better for me.

A good exemplification yesterday at lunch.

We had a fantastic meal at Wishart's, which only a madman could not judge to be of full 2* quality. A grouse with foie gras, red cabbage, chervil root, bitter cocoa sauce and feta was the highlight.

Although we were dining a la carte, we asked if one of our grouses could come in the version of the tasting menu, exactly the same except for a boudin instead of the foie gras.

A curious scene ensued. The (senior) waiter facial muscles contracted, his smile disappeared, he became pensive and for a few seconds he just couldn't speak, staring somewhere but not at us.

Between amused and embarrassed, we volunteered: 'look, ask the kitchen, if it's a problem it doesn't matter'. At this point he seemed to revive and said "Yes, Chef will decide", and instead of 'Chef' he might as well have said 'God', "but...but...usually people want the foie gras".

Knowing how keen an eye Chef keeps on profit, we had no doubt Chef would gladly replace the foie gras.

It is this type of of occasional stiffness that makes us feel better at the charming Peat Inn, no matter how good MW is. At the Peat Inn the philosophy is that customer decides, not Chef.

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The H&F getting 2* status was predicted by Anthony Demetre in the May 11 Food and Travel magazine.

Asked about when he wants to escape London, part of the reply was the Hand and Flowers - I do think its probably going to be the first two-michelin starred pub in the UK.

Martin

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I did a little piece of analysis on how many Michelin stars there are in the biggest cities of the UK (looking purely at city population sizes and not wider surrounds for the sake of a fair

Not certain I agree with your methodology, wouldn't counties be better? (I think Andy Hayler did tht once). I think that wiukd be better as smaller cities tend to have good restaurants in the surrounding countryside which are in easy reach of the city I.e. The Pony & Trap just outside Bristol.

I would also say Edinburgh seems the top spot - one star per 86,000 as opposed to London with one per 130,000. Obviously Edinburghs large tourist population swells the numbers but London has far more tourists plus it has the massive influx of communters so for every 100,000 available punters London is probably even further down the chain.

That said, this really shows how mediocre food is in most big citie in the UK.

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wouldn't counties be better?

Possibly. Simply taking, say, Manchester, ignores the immediate surrounding metro area of nine other boroughs. Not that this would add a single starred restaurant to the area'a count!

But it would with Liverpool & Merseyside. A quick flit through the Mersey tunnel will get you Fraiche in Birkenhead.

John Hartley

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Not certain I agree with your methodology, wouldn't counties be better? (I think Andy Hayler did tht once). I think that wiukd be better as smaller cities tend to have good restaurants in the surrounding countryside which are in easy reach of the city I.e. The Pony & Trap just outside Bristol.

I would also say Edinburgh seems the top spot - one star per 86,000 as opposed to London with one per 130,000. Obviously Edinburghs large tourist population swells the numbers but London has far more tourists plus it has the massive influx of communters so for every 100,000 available punters London is probably even further down the chain.

That said, this really shows how mediocre food is in most big citie in the UK.

Not sure this really helps but I'll point out that Rutland has a population of 35,000 and has two stars (Hambleton Hall and The Olive Branch) making one star per 17,500.

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Agree that taking into account counties may improve analysis but I just wanted to have a quick glance at the data without having to spend hours counting up restaurants by county.

Also apologies for the errors on a) number of Michelin stars in Edinburgh and then b) overlooking Edinburgh as having highest number of Michelin stars per capita.

Tim - Interesting stat on Rutland. Didn't even know it was a county. Shows how ignorant I am!

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