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Michelin Awards New Bib Gourmands to 10 London Restaurants [Updated]

Kiln, Smokestak, Westerns Laundry and Clipstone among new recipients of Michelin’s second-tier award

Kiln, which was awarded a Bib Gourmand by the Michelin star Michelin Guide in 2018
Clay pot noodles at Kiln
Ola Smit

Ahead of the much anticipated annual announcement of the UK’s 2018 Michelin starred restaurants in London on Monday next week, the company has taken to Twitter this morning to announce the winners of their second-tier awards — Bib Gourmands.

“We’ve found so many great London restaurants that merit a #BibGourmand for their cooking and affordability,” they said before the announcements started to trickle in. At the the time of writing, one Thai, one traditional barbecue, two modern British, an Italian, a pub inspired by the American South, an outstanding seafood newcomer and three Indian restaurants have been given the honour.

They include: Ben Chapman’s innovative northern Thai claypot and charcoal barbecue restaurant Kiln; David Carter’s Brit-American barbecue site Smokestak; Merlin Labron-Johnson’s minimalist, modern British Clipstone; Jacob Kenedy’s Southern American-inspired gastropub, Plaquemine Lock; Indian small plate-focused Soho restaurant Kricket; pan-Italian bar in Shoreditch, Popolo; Adam Handling’s The Frog E1 in Shoreditch; Himalayan Madame D; arguably London’s hottest 2017 opening, Westerns Laundry; and Vivek Singh’s Indian “market cooking” restaurant Cinnamon Bazaar.

Bib Gourmands are awarded to restaurants typically more affordable and casual than their Michelin-starred cousins. In Michelin parlance, the restaurants are defined thus: “simple yet skilful cooking and great prices.” It might symbolise an inspectors' favourite establishment, where high-quality ingredients and not extraneous service is met with good value for money. They have, however, in the past been called “consolation prizes” or a restaurant theoretically good enough for a star, but not necessarily, nor sufficiently, on-brand for one.

The list, thus far, could not be a better demonstration of Michelin’s purposeful attempt to attribute the less coveted Bibs to restaurants that exist outside of the formal, expensive and traditionally French template of fine-dining; as apparent is the brand’s unwillingness to not award such restaurants with stars.

Before today’s ten additions, London had 52 restaurants with Bib Gourmands (it has not been announced who, if any, have lost their Bibs), compared to 64 restaurants that have been awarded either one, two or three Michelin stars.

A full list of recipients and news of the new Michelin star announcements on Monday morning, at a live event in London, next week. It is expected that London’s stars will be announced first, followed by the rest of the UK. Michelin, given its ongoing prestige among chefs, is always newsworthy, but — in London at least — this year it is especially so. Philip Howard, who left two-starred The Square to open Elystan Street last year; Monica Galetti, who moved from two-starred Le Gavroche to open Mere in March; Claude Bosi, who closed two-starred Hibiscus to open Bibendum (a restaurant named after the guide’s white mascot) in April; and Clare Smyth who left three Michelin-starred Restaurant Gordon Ramsay to open Core by Clare Smyth in August. It would, its fair to say, be uncharacteristic for the guide to overlook them all.

Elsewhere, it will be interesting to monitor whether the guide deems the following restaurants worthy of award: Andrew Wong’s modern Chinese food at A. Wong; Star-hungry Chris Deney at 108 Garage; the ever-changing, but consistently stunning P Franco; and La Dame de Pic London, a Parisian import from Anne-Sophie Pic, the only current French female chef to hold three Michelin stars. And, finally, will The Araki move from two to three stars, and become only the third three-star restaurant in London?

Check back for answers, the full list — (non-)surprises and all — on Monday lunchtime next week.

La Dame de Pic London

10 Trinity Square, , England EC3N 4AJ 020 3297 3799 Visit Website

Cinnamon Bazaar

28 Maiden Lane, , England WC2E 7JS 020 7395 1400 Visit Website

Elystan Street

43 Elystan Street, , England SW3 3NT 020 7628 5005 Visit Website

Westerns Laundry

34 Drayton Park, , England N5 1PB 020 7700 3700 Visit Website

Kricket

12 Denman Street, , W1D 7HH Visit Website

Restaurant Gordon Ramsay

68 Royal Hospital Road, , England SW3 4HP 020 7352 4441 Visit Website

Kiln

58 Brewer Street, , England W1F 9TL Visit Website

Le Gavroche

43 Upper Brook Street, , England W1K 7QR 020 7408 0881 Visit Website

P Franco

107 Lower Clapton Road, , England E5 0NP 020 8533 4660 Visit Website

The Frog E1

2 Ely's Yard, Hanbury Street, London, E1 6QR Visit Website

108 Garage

108 Golborne Road, , England W10 5PS 020 8969 3769 Visit Website

Madame D

76 Commercial Street, London, E1 6LY Visit Website

The Araki

12 New Burlington Street, , England W1S 3BF 020 7287 2481 Visit Website

Popolo

26 Rivington Street, London, EC2A 3DU Visit Website

Bibendum

81 Fulham Rd, London, Greater London SW3 6RD +44 20 7590 1189 Visit Website

Mere

74 Charlotte Street, London, W1T 4QH Visit Website

SMOKESTAK

35 Sclater Street, , England E1 6LB 020 3873 1733 Visit Website

Plaquemine Lock

139 Graham Street, , England N1 8LB 020 7688 1488 Visit Website

Core by Clare Smyth

92 Kensington Park Road, , England W11 2PN 020 3937 5086 Visit Website

Clipstone

5 Clipstone Street, , England W1W 6BB 020 7637 0871 Visit Website

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