Woah. A day earlier than planned, the results for the Michelin Guide Great Britain & Ireland 2016 are out. Apparently a bookstore started selling copies early and then the grand reveal was all over as everyone fell over themselves trying to get the story out (ourselves included!)
It's a pretty good year for London with two new Two Stars. They go to two Japanese restaurants Araki and Umu. Given The Fat Duck spent a lot of time in Australia this year, it's absent from the guide, bringing the UK's total number of Three Star restaurants down to three.
Araki's elevation to Two Stars in one fell swoop is pretty amazing when you consider it's only been open for about a year. "It is a great compliment to London that when Sushi Master Mitsuhiro Araki closed his Three Star counter restaurant in Tokyo it was because he wanted to come to the UK to challenge himself in a different culture”, explained Rebecca Burr, Editor of the Michelin Guide. Over at Umu, chef Yoshinori Ishii declared himself "very, very happy for the team".
There are also a whole heap of new One Stars in London - two fewer than last year.
- The Dining Room at the Goring
We caught up with James Lowe from Lyle's - "A massive thanks to all those who’ve worked at the restaurant and have helped in this achievement. I’m currently getting ready for a dinner I’m doing in Mexico City and am most proud that I’m able to do something like this away from the restaurant. Thanks to such an amazing team in London."
And Tom Kemble from Bonham's was equally excited - "This is the most exciting day of my life. It has been my dream to run my own restaurant, win a star and, most importantly, to have the hard work of the team acknowledged by such a prestigious institution." And Will Lander from Portland said: "We are absolutely thrilled with today's news and very grateful to our very loyal guests who have helped spread the word since opening in January. It's a team achievement for sure but head chef Merlin and his lieutenants Eddie and Stuart deserve a great deal of the praise and very many pats on the back."
Over at The Goring, Chief Executive Jeremy Goring said; "We’re delighted and honoured to be recognised by Michelin for what we are trying to achieve. It’s only taken 105 years...Of course we are pleased, but most satisfying of all is the fact that we've received this fabulous accolade whilst resolutely focussing on one thing; delighting our guests. In this sense you could say that the Michelin star is a lovely accident.”
There are also 5 new Bib Gourmands in London - see the full list here
With every Guide's publication, there's always bad news for some restaurants - either not getting a much hoped-for star or, worse still, losing one. For London's establishments it's a particularly bleak day for Rasoi and Maze both of which lose their star. There are also a handful of restaurants who have lost their Bib Gourmand including Bocca Di Lupo.