Ahead of the annual announcement of the Michelin stars for the U.K. and Ireland at the Hurlingham Club in London next week, the bookmaker Ladbrokes has revealed to Eater the odds on the London restaurants thought to be in the running for the 2019 guide. Among the favourites are Core by Clare Smyth and Claude Bosi’s Bibendum, two restaurants which currently hold two Michelin stars: a promotion this year would bestow each with the guide’s highest honour.
These are what the bookmaker calls “reference prices,” which means that while they’re instructive, customers will not be able to place a bet because the outcome of the destination of this year’s Michelin stars is already known to some people — namely the inspectors, some sponsors, and the publishers of the print guide.
Ladbroke’s favourite to win a Michelin star in the 2020 guide is Cornerstone, Tom Brown’s debut restaurant in Hackney Wick, priced at 5-6. Brown opened the seafood restaurant in the former industrial neighbourhood on the edge of the Olympic Park in the spring of 2018, after departing the prestigious Knightsbridge seafood restaurant Outlaw’s at the Capital earlier that year. Brown pledged to make Hackney Wick a dining destination then and now wears his own role in the area’s apparent gentrification proudly.
At evens, are Claude Bosi’s Bibendum in South Kensington — curiously the former home of Michelin in the U.K. and currently the holder of two stars (2018) — and Roganic, chef Simon Rogan’s flagship restaurant on Blandford Street in Marylebone. Bosi’s promotion to the maximum award would come two years after his entry into the guide at the first time of asking. It would also present a romantic, symmetrical narrative for the awards’ body. In the 2018 guide, Bibendum, which is also the name given to the brand’s chubby white mascot, was awarded Michelin stars for the first time in its 30-year history.
Meanwhile, and as big a potential story, is Core by Clare Smyth in Notting Hill, priced at 5-4 for a third star. The acclaimed former Restaurant Gordon Ramsay head chef shot straight into the guide with two stars in last year’s guide.
Elsewhere, Endo Kazutoshi’s high-end omakase restaurant, Endo at the Rotunda at the former Television Centre in White City is priced at 5-4. So too is Adam Handling’s The Frog in Covent Garden.
Short odds have also been issued for the currently one-Michelin-starred The Clove Club in Shoreditch. It is understood that chef Isaac McHale and the team there — London’s highest placed restaurant in the World’s 50 Best list — have held ambitions to secure a second star for the last three years. They are given at 2-1.
Paulo Airaudo and Rafael Cagali’s Da Terra in Bethnal Green Town Hall in Hackney — a restaurant which arrived in London with serious credentials from the Basque Country, but which has oddly escaped the sort of interest and scrutiny ordinarily reserved for big-name arrivals — is among the favourites at 2-1.
Michelin’s annual, cursory beret-doff to modern bistronomy and the precocious avant-garde might be reserved for Hackney Road’s The Laughing Heart. Charlie Mellor’s wines and chef Tom Angelsea’s Asian-inflected, French-fortified menus have made it one of the more interesting and exciting places to drink and eat in the city since 2017 and would be a winner in the mould of Leroy and Brat in last year’s guide. It’s given 3-1 odds.
Among the more familiar, Michelin-friendly candidates are Kerridge’s Bar and Grill by Tom Kerridge — also priced at 3-1 for a first star; Roux Parliament Square from chef Steve Groves, 7-2; Mere, ex-Le Gavroche chef Monica Galleti’s debut, which has been around since 2016, also priced at 7-2 to win its first star; and Tom Sellers’ Story, in Bermondsey, 4-1 for a second star.
Ex-Gymkhana and Jamavar chef, Rohit Ghai’s Kutir in Chelsea’s Sloane Square, is 9-2 for a first star at the first time of asking. Ghai is au fait with Michelin’s expectations: both of those aforementioned places of work were holders of stars; indeed, his departure from the latter coincided with its losing its starred status in last year’s guide.
Finally, both priced at 5-1, are Nuno Mendes’ creative Portuguese tasting menu kitchen-lounge, Mãos, on Redchurch Street in Shoreditch; and James Cochran’s 12:51, a modern, multi-disciplinary restaurant on Upper Street in Islington.
Regarding potential high-profile demotions, Ladbroke’s prices The Araki, one of only three three-Michelin-starred London restaurants, at 6-5 to lose a star. It is worth bearing in mind in this case that sushi master, Mitsuhiro Araki, left the restaurant and returned to Japan this year.
Remember, predicting what and who Michelin will award when is as inexact as its own awards criteria: 1 star: “A very good restaurant in its category”; 2 stars: “Excellent cooking, worth a detour”; and 3 stars: “Exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey.”
So check back on Monday next week to find out the real winners.
Note: Odds serve two functions:
- To illustrate the probability of a given event.
- To illustrate the payout on that given event taking place.
3-1 odds means that there is a 1 / (3+1) x 100 chance of something happening. That makes the probability 25 percent. As events get more and more unlikely, they get “longer” — 6-1; 10-1; 100-1; 1000-1; as they get more likely, they get “shorter” — 2-1, evens, 1-4.
If someone bet £1 on 3-1 odds, they would win 3/1 = £3 plus the return of that £1 stake, for a total of £4 and a profit of £3.
If someone bet £1 on 1-1 odds, also known as evens, they would win 1/1 = £1 plus the return of that £1 stake, for a total of £2 and a profit of £1.
If someone bet £1 on 1-4 odds, they would win 1/4 = £0.25p plus the return of that £1 stake, for a total of £1.25 and a profit of £0.25p.