Core, chef Clare Smyth’s first solo restaurant, was today awarded two Michelin stars at the first time of asking, following in the footsteps of brace-grabbing Bibendum in 2017. It was announced at a live event revealing the new 2019 Michelin guide to the U.K. and Ireland today in central London.
For years, Smyth, was one of only three U.K. chefs to run a three Michelin-starred restaurant, but that heralded establishment, Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, was not her own. Core’s two stars, a rare feat for a venue’s first year of eligibility, puts her quite close to the Red Guide’s top honour, held by just over 120 restaurants across the world.
On receiving the award, Smyth said, “We are delighted with the news and want to thank Michelin for recognising our hard work. I am so proud of my amazing team and all the effort they have put into this first year of Core.”
James Knappett’s counter-dining restaurant Kitchen Table — a speakeasy annexe to his and Sandia Chang’s Bubbledog’s in Fitzrovia — has been given its second Michelin star, having won its first a year after opening in the 2015 guide.
Among other notable new entries to the fabled Red Guide — which included six new one-star awards for London restaurants — are Nieves Barragan Mohacho and José Etura’s Sabor, the Spanish tapas bar, restaurant, and asador (grill) on Heddon Street. It becomes the fifth restaurant in the JKS Restaurant Group — joining Lyle’s, Gymkhana, Trishna, and Kitchen Table — to be recognised with stars by Michelin.
Other big ticket new entries included Ikoyi the thrillingly original West African-inspired fine dining restaurant owned by Iré Hassan-Odukale and Jeremy Chan. It is the only starred African restaurant in the U.K.
Ollie Dabbous’ return — 18 months after closing his own eponymous and game-changing restaurant in Fitzrovia — has evidently played a big role in gaining his new site, Hide, which is co-owned by Hedonism Wines’ Evgeny Chichvarkin and Tatiana Fokina, its first Michelin star; a stated ambition.
Another chef who has made his return to the London dining scene this year is Simon Rogan — who reopened Roganic, on Blandford Street in Marylebone, this January. Rogan is the chef-patron of two-Michelin-starred L’Enclume in Cartmel, in the Lake District, as well as the development kitchen Aulis in Soho. Roganic received one star.
But 2019 might be the year that the Michelin inspectors tried hard combat the many presuppositions about their dated tastes, as Leroy, a wine bar and restaurant in Shoreditch (by the owners of the now-closed and starred Ellory) enters the guide with a star having been open only for six months.
And as if to confirm that Shoreditch is definitely among the new dining centres of London, many people’s hottest opening of 2018, Brat, chef Tomos Parry’s northern Spanish and British seafood grill, has bee awarded with a single star, too. It takes the number of Michelin-starred restaurants in Shoreditch to four: as Brat and Leroy join Lyle’s and the Clove Club.
Michelin’s brigade of anonymous inspectors awards worthy venues with one star (“high quality cooking, worth a stop”), two stars (“excellent cooking, worth a detour”), or three stars (“exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey”).
“We will be selective and recognise high quality gastronomy; [and] we will continue to innovate,” said Pascal Couasnon, director of gastronomic and tourist activities in the Michelin Group. Based on the evidence of the guide this year, Michelin is getting better.
Here’s the full list of stars for London; new stars are denoted with an asterisk; demotions from the 2018 guide are denoted with a strike-through.
Three Michelin Stars
“Exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey”
Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester
Restaurant Gordon Ramsay
Two Michelin Stars
“Excellent cooking, worth a detour”
Core by Clare Smyth*
Kitchen Table at Bubbledogs*
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
Ametsa with Arzak Instruction
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
Marcus* (previously two-Michelin-starred)
Outlaw’s at The Capital
Pied a Terre
Pollen Street Social
Seven Park Place
Social Eating house