The 2018 Michelin UK Guide was announced at a live event in central London this morning, and there are some big additions: England’s capital, historically lean on three-Michelin-starred restaurants, saw its first establishment rise to that coveted honour since 2010, when Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester jumped from two to three. The Araki — a £300 per person 9-seater sushi bar in Mayfair — has been upgraded from its two-star ranking.
This is the UK’s first three-star Japanese restaurant.
“I have a responsibility for my customer. And I do my best,” chef Mitsuhiro Araki said at the ceremony. The chef’s counter restaurant, which has just two seatings per night, opened in 2014. Araki previously held three stars for his now-closed site in Tokyo.
Claude Bosi’s Bibendum, a restaurant named after the tyremaker’s white mascot and situated in “Michelin House,” is the highest new entry, going straight into the guide with two stars. Bosi told Eater, “I knew we would get one, we got an invitation at the end of August, but I was not expecting two straight away. We’ve been open three months [sic]...I’m French [Michelin] is in my blood. It’s a great start.”
London gained a total of eight new starred restaurants. Among the other high-profile and somewhat expected one-star inclusions were: A. Wong, Andrew Wong’s modern Chinese restaurant in Victoria, and La Dame de Pic, the London debut of Anne-Sophie Pic, France’s only current three-Michelin-starred female chef.
Philip Howard was recognised for his cooking at Elystan Street — a restaurant he opened after leaving his two-starred restaurant The Square in Mayfair. Aquavit, a Nordic import from New York, also gained a star, as did The Square, which is currently closed for renovations (and which was not announced during the ceremony.)
Two Indian restaurants, Vineet Bhatia in Chelsea and Jamavar in Mayfair, also received stars, bringing the city’s number of starred south Asian restaurants up to eight.
Chris Denney’s new-Nordic-ish Notting Hill restaurant 108 Garage was among the more notable omissions, as was Core by Clare Smyth, who was previously London’s only three Michelin-star female chef when she ran Restaurant Gordon Ramsay. Core opened in August, likely making it too late of a debut for inclusion in the guide.
Pidgin, in Hackney, appears to be the only restaurant (other than Dabbous, which closed in July) to have lost a star.
Anonymous inspectors award worthy venues with either one star ("high quality cooking, worth a stop"), two stars ("excellent cooking, worth a detour"), or three stars ("exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey"). There are only about 100 restaurants worldwide with three stars, with three of them now in London: the aforementioned Alain Ducasse and The Araki, as well as Restaurant Gordon Ramsay.
Here’s the full list of stars for London; upgrades and new stars are denoted with an asterisk.
Three Michelin Stars
“Exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey”
Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester
Two Michelin Stars
“Excellent cooking, worth a detour”
Claude Bosi at Bibendum*
Dinner by Heston Blumenthal
Hélène Darroze at The Connaught
Sketch (The Lecture Room and Library)
One Michelin Star
“High quality cooking, worth a stop”
Alyn Williams at The Westbury
L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon
Fera at Claridge’s
Galvin La Chapelle
Galvin at Windows
The Goring (Dining Room)
Hakkasan Hanway Place
Kitchen Table at Bubbledogs
Outlaw’s at The Capital
Pied a Terre
Pollen Street Social
Seven Park Place
Social Eating house