Tokyo restaurants tops in Michelin

Tokyo is the top dining city in the world, according to the latest Michelin Guide. With 11 restaurants at three stars, it’s pushed past Paris, the former top dog in the culinary world. Eight of the nine Tokyo restaurants with three starts retained their Michelin ratings year-over-year, and three were bumped up from two stars to three for 2010. Paris has only 10 three-star restaurants in the 2010 Michelin Guide, and New York only has four.

According to Oyvind Naesheim, Nobu Hong Kong’s executive chef, “Tokyo is an unbelievable city for food,” continuing, “The passion and perfection at some top Tokyo restaurants show us why this city is so outstanding in fine dining.”

Two thirds of the 197 Tokyo restaurants listed by Michelin focus on Japanese food, focusing on common styles includingfugu, soba, sukiyaki, tempura and sushi. Three of the 11 three-star spots went to French Restaurants.

In total, Tokyo has 261 stars, more than any other city in the 23 countries that Michelin covers. Look for the list of Tokyo three star restaurants after the jump.

  1. Esaki, Classic Japanese (new)
  2. Ishikawa, Classic Japanese
  3. Joel Robuchon, French
  4. Kanda, Japanese
  5. Koju, Japanese
  6. L’Osier, French
  7. Quintessence, French
  8. Sushi Mizutani, Sushi
  9. Sukiyabashi Jiro Honten, Sushi
  10. Sushi Saito, Sushi (new)
  11. Yukimura, Classic Japanese (new)

Four hotel deals in France this winter

Go to Europe this winter! Bessé Signature Hotels, a collection of some of France‘s most unique contemporary hotels, has three deals that make travel to this inspiring corner of the world easier than ever. At discounts of up to 35 percent, it’s going to be hard to stay home.

At Domaine de la Bretesche, take advantage of the “Winter Promotion” rate to enjoy Brittany for around $280 a night. La Bretesche is a Relais & Chateau property with only 32 rooms and suites wrapped in a fortified 15th century estate. While you’re there, dine at Montaigu, a Michelin-starred restaurant, get rubbed down at the Spa de la Cour Carree and play 18 holes surrounded by a century old forest.

At Hotel Edouard 7 in Paris, start every excursion into the city from avenue de l’Opera, not far from the Louvre and Place Vendome. The latest special involves a “currency guarantee”: book at $399 a night through December 15, 2009, and don’t worry about any swings in the euro. Normally, average euro-denominated rate for this hotel is €345 (which comes out to $512).

The Hotel Bel-Ami is in Paris’ St Germain-des-pres district and is also offering a dollar-denominated guarantee. Book for $395 a night through the end of 2010 to get a double superior room and breakfast daily.

Crash for a night or two at the Hotel Jules in Paris by December 28, 2009, you can save 20 percent and enjoy a complimentary buffet breakfast … for just €160. And, you can add a third night to your stay for only €134.

Michelin comes to Hong Kong. Will it ever be the same?

Michelin, the famous (or infamous) French restaurant guide has been branching out lately. Two years ago, Tokyo became the first Asian city to be visited by the star-giving gourmet food experts. This year, Tokyo received more stars than any other city. For those unfamiliar with the Michelin rating system: 1 star means your restaurant is awesome, two means it is unbelievably awesome, and three means you provide nothing less than orgasmic gourmet experience.

Hong Kong and Macau became the second Asian destination for Michelin. Two restaurants received the coveted three star rating, while two dozen others received one or two stars.

In the US and Europe, a Michelin star can make a chef’s career. The fame doesn’t yet translate in the Pacific Rim. But gourmet cuisine is definitely on the rise in Hong Kong. I hope the coming of Michelin doesn’t change the culinary atmosphere there. What would the city be without the chaotic dim sum joints, the hidden away seafood restaurants, and tiny noodle shops? The whole “food as art” thing has its place. There is nothing wrong with it. But if everyone suddenly goes gourmet, Hong Kong would lose its wild restaurant culture. If that happens, then the whole territory might as well just break off and sink into the South China Seas.

[Via Globespotters and The Standard HK]

Big in Japan: Tokyo is world’s top food city

Are you ready for today’s Big in Japan trivia question?

Q: According to the Michelin Guide, what is the world’s top city for good eating?
A: If you guessed Tokyo and not Paris, you are indeed correct!

Although for years Paris has won the coveted honor from the most highly respected food publication, this year Michelin Guide director Jean-Luc Naret decided to shake things up a bit.

According to Naret, himself a French man, “Tokyo is becoming the global city with the finest cuisine, the city in the world with the most stars.”

So how badly was Paris bested?

Restaurants in Tokyo were awarded a total of 191 stars, nearly twice the amount awarded to Paris and more than three times the amount awarded to New York.

Tokyo’s upstaging of Paris doesn’t stop there.

Eight of Tokyo’s restaurants won the maximum of three stars compared to six of Paris’s restaurants. And, 25 restaurants in Tokyo were awarded two stars while a whopping 117 were awarded one star.

Still don’t believe me that Tokyo has the best food in the world? Keep reading as the home of haute cuisine may no longer reside in France.


The final nail in the coffin came when Michelin Guide announced that three of the top eight restaurants in Tokyo serve French food.

Boasting a long love affair with French culture dating back over a century, Tokyo can now rest on its laurels as the city in the world offering the finest in French cuisine.

In case you were wondering, three of the other top restaurants in Tokyo serve kaiseki ryōri (懐石料理), which is a traditional multi-course Japanese dinner that is often compared to haute cuisine.

Kaiseki, which directly translates to “stone in the bosom,” is a throwback to an ancient Zen Buddhist practice whereby fasting monks would stave off hunger by putting warm stones in the folds of their robes.

The term was later applied to the light vegetarian meals that were traditionally served after a tea ceremony, and eventually was attributed to the highly refined set-course meal that is today considered to be the pinnacle of the Japanese culinary world.

The other two of the top restaurants in Tokyo are traditional sushi houses, which specialize in the highest possible quality of fish that is selected daily from nearby Tsukiji fish market. Both locales serve up the ocean’s equivalent of Kobe beef, though sushi of this quality and grade doesn’t come cheaply.

Since I’m a starving writer (quite literally!), I’m not in a position to review these restaurants. However, below is the complete list of Michelin three-star restaurants in Tokyo for anyone out there with more yen to burn than me!

Bon appétit! Or should I say – ittadakemasu!

Genyadana Hamadaya
3-13-5 Nihonbashi Ningyo-cho Chuo-ku

Ginza Koju
8-5-25 Ginza Chuo-ku

Joel Robuchon
Ebisu Garden Place 1-13-1 Mita Meguro-ku

3-6-34 Motoazabu Minato-ku, Tokyo

7-5-5 Ginza Chuo-ku

Restaurant Quintessens
5-4-7 Shiroganedai Minato-ku

Sukiyabashi Jiro
4-2-15 Ginza Chuo-ku

Sushi Mizutani
8-2-10 Ginza Chuo-ku

Gettoing hungry? Check out the delicious food gallery below:


Michelin’s star: Tokyo

Yet another reason why I must plan a trip to Japan soon:

Michelin Stars are scattered throughout the world, but they tend to be concentrated in the Western world. So it’s interesting that this time around, the place with the most stars is Tokyo. A number of Tokyo eateries have snagged the top Michelin rating — three stars. And while a number of the restaurants that made the list serve French food, the majority serve traditional Japanese dishes–Sushi, sashimi, tempura and such.

No doubt this will make it even harder to get reservations at some of these top-rated restaurants, most of which were already difficult to score a spot at before. But don’t worry — Tokyo boasts 160,000 restaurants, so you’re sure to find a table somewhere.