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Clare Smyth stands in chef’s whites, holding a red plaque that reads “Michelin 2021” in white capital letters, with three stars above the lettering
Core by Clare Smyth was awarded three stars in 2021.
Justin Tallis/AFP

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Get Inside the Michelin Man’s Head With These London Star Predictions

Which restaurants in the capital will ascend to one, two, or three stars?

Michelin will reveal London’s new Michelin stars for 2022 next week, on 16 February. Being the first “Michelin star revelation” for two years in which the restaurant world feels even remotely “normal,” it won’t just be a bellwether for those awarded, but for how the guide is pitching itself for the coming years. Last year, it promised its stars would “support” restaurants, but it still took some away. Using the Michelin Guide’s new monthly additions; a wealth of previous experience, and because it’s Michelin, some really weird thinking, here’s what London diners might expect to see.

Note: This mysterious, mercurial, perplexingly influential index is notoriously difficult to predict, so while the below is based on rational analysis, it is by definition undermined by Michelin’s opaque criteria and its anonymous inspectors’s personal predilections, which do differ from year to year.


Notable “monthly additions” and potential one Michelin Stars

BiBi — Chef Chet Sharma’s link up with JKS Restaurant, the group behind Michelin-starred Gymkhana, Trishna, Kitchen Table, and Sabor has earned plaudits from all the right places, appearing to have astutely paired creativity and modern expressions of Indian culinary traditions and flavour profiles with some of the fine dining techniques associated with modern European gastronomy. It has been open for less than a year, but in recent guides such youth has not prevented the guide’s inspectors from handing out stars.

SumiSushi master Endo Kazutoshi has opened this elegant, wood-panelled companion to his Michelin-starred counter in White City, Endo at the Rotunda, at 157 Westbourne Grove in Notting Hill, in 2021. Since, it has been praised for its flawless presentation of comparatively affordable high-quality sushi. Kazutoshi is one of the city’s most gifted sushi chefs and has previous with Michelin. A star for Sumi would surprise no one.

Evelyn’s Table — A restaurant which ticks almost all of Michelin’s boxes: “Intimate 12 seater counter dining experience.” A charming back-story, a family business, led by head chef Luke Selby and his two brothers, Nat and Theo, which according to its website serves “an evolving menu built on their formative experiences — a melded love of British produce, Japanese techniques with classic French training.”

France, Japan, and Britain? Oui, chefs.

Luke Selby’s CV is covered in Michelin stars, too: Raymond Blanc’s two-Michelin-starred Le Manoir Aux Quat’Saisons, three-star Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, one-starred (now-closed) Dabbous and Hide Above (one star), and three-star Nihonryori Ryugin in Tokyo.

Others in contention: Native at Browns; the Sea, the Sea; the Pem; Sollip; Allegra.


Two Michelin stars

Kol — New entries at two star aren’t common but are much less infrequent than in year’s past. Yes, notable recent examples — like Bibendum and Core by Clare Smyth — have had deep connections and previous with Michelin, but chef Santiago Lastra’s Mexican-British expression of fine dining — on top of his history with Noma — fits the profile of a modern Michelin inclusion: balancing atypical in its locale with creativity, luxury, and location.

Endo at the Rotunda — Excellence at this level in London is scarce; luxury at this level is catnip for the inspectors. A safe bet for the gambling observer.

Ikoyi — Like Kol, the ingenuity of the chefs along with a narrative approach to reimagining a cuisine in a new context, is likely to charm the inspectors. Like Kol, there’s enough luxury and conventional hospitality here to satisfy the antediluvians in charge of distributing the stars. Presentation, too, is exquisite. Unlike Kol, Ikoyi already has a star, so its jump would be less daring for the guide.

The Clove Club — Will the Clove Club, finally, finally reached its desired status and become Shoreditch’s first ever two-Michelin-starred restaurant? After more than a year of stepping back, reconsidering its approach to fine dining, 2022 could be chef Isaac McHale’s year.

Others in contention: Hide Above; the Ritz; Mãos.


Three Michelin stars

The most capricious Michelin star category of them all. If understanding what restaurants need to do to earn one star is mildly confusing, understanding the gap between two-and-three stars can sometimes feel like grasping thin air. Last year, the promotion of Core by Clare Smyth and Hélène Darroze at the Connaught confirmed to expectation; the previous year’s promotion of Sketch... Less so.

Of London’s existing two-starred restaurants, Claude Bosi’s Bibendum — literally named for the Michelin man — feels the most likely candidate for a bump.


Big-deal demotions

Has chef Marcus Wareing got anything left to lose? Has Gordon Ramsay’s turbo charge into the world of fast casual upset the Guide Lords of Fine Dining? Will anyone ever dare to expose the Alain Ducasse Scam and take a long hard look at the Dorchester’s three stars? Is posterity alone still enough to merit Le Gavroche’s inclusion at level two? Who, other than Michelin inspectors and the hosts of (RIP) podcast “The Kitchen Is On Fire,” goes to Céleste at the Lanesborough?


Wildcard new entries

Cafe Cecilia and Sessions Arts Club will be given either one star (or more likely, the less prestigious but always more interesting Bib Gourmand) in a bid for Michelin to stay relevant, get down with what’s hip, and to drown out the inevitable protestations from those disquieters who have, yet again, failed to ignore Michelin’s unignorable revelation.


Eater London’s “Most Michelin” prediction

The Ledbury, open for a month when the guide publishes its 2022 stars, will be back in with two having been taken out of the guide last year because it had closed. Michelin will not feel the need to justify its inclusion, instead accompanying the entry with five simple words familiar to users of the guide: “excellent cooking, worth a detour.”


Check back on Friday 11 February for all the news of the latest recipients of Michelin Bib Gourmands and for the main event, Michelin’s star revelation for the U.K. and Ireland, on Wednesday 16 February from 10 a.m. Eater London will be on hand for all breaking news and subsequent analysis.

Story

199 Tooley Street, , England SE1 2JX 020 7183 2117 Visit Website

Céleste

Hyde Park Corner, , England SW1X 7TA 020 7259 5599 Visit Website

Mãos

41 Redchurch Street, , England E2 7DJ 020 7739 9733 Visit Website

The Clove Club

380 Old Street, , England EC1V 9LT 020 7729 6496 Visit Website

Behind

20 Sidworth St, Hackney, London , E8 3SD

Sabor

35-37 Heddon Street, , England W1B 4BR 020 3319 8130 Visit Website

Gymkhana

42 Albemarle Street, , England W1S 4JH 020 3011 5900 Visit Website

Sessions Arts Club

24 Clerkenwell Green, , England EC1R 0NA 020 3793 4025 Visit Website

The Lanesborough

Hyde Park Corner, London SW1X 7TA, London,

Marcus

Wilton Place, , England SW1X 7RL 020 7235 1200 Visit Website

Restaurant Gordon Ramsay

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

Le Gavroche

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

The Sea, The Sea

174 Pavilion Road, , England SW1X 0AW 020 7824 8090 Visit Website

Trishna

15-17 Blandford Street, , England W1U 3DG 020 7935 5624 Visit Website

Notting Hill

, Notting Hill, England

Sketch

9 Conduit Street, , England W1S 2XG 020 7659 4500 Visit Website

Kitchen Table

70 Charlotte Street, , England W1T 4QG Visit Website

Allegra

20 International Way, , England E20 1FD 020 3973 0545 Visit Website

The Ledbury

127 Ledbury Road, , England W11 2AQ 020 7792 9090 Visit Website

HIDE

85 Piccadilly, , England W1J 7NB 020 3146 8666 Visit Website

The Pem

22-28 Broadway, , England SW1H 0BH 020 3301 8080 Visit Website

KOL

9 Seymour Street, , England W1H 7BA 020 3829 6888 Visit Website

Bibendum

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

Dabbous

39 Whitfield Street, , England W1T 2SF 020 7323 1544

Ikoyi

1 Saint James's Market, , England SW1Y 4AH 020 3583 4660 Visit Website

Hélène Darroze at the Connaught

16 Carlos Pl, London, Greater London W1K 2AL +44 20 7499 7070 Visit Website

Core by Clare Smyth

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

Endo at the Rotunda

101 Wood Lane, , England W12 7FR Visit Website

Cafe Cecilia

32 Andrews Road, , England E8 4FX Visit Website

Sollip

8 Melior Street, , England SE1 3QP 020 7378 1742 Visit Website
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