The Michelin Star has always epitomized the greatest award a restaurant can be given. The World’s 50 Best restaurants have made a move for Michelin’s place in the food world. I’m here to tell you whether the Michelin star and World’s 50 Best restaurants are good or not. Is it worth a foodie’s time and money?
The Michelin Guide and World’s 50 Best Restaurants have their own rating scale. The Michelin Guide is categorize by Bib Gourmand, 1 star, 2 stars, and 3 stars; the 3 stars is the highest achievement for Michelin. Michelin operates off a very strict checklist, their inspectors are anonymous, and the Michelin star meanings could be found here.
The World’s 50 Best restaurants is a list of 100 restaurants in the world voted by “industry” experts. They can’t vote for more than 4 restaurants in their region. Here is a link to their voting system. The World’s 50 Best restaurants is broken into three main lists – Asia, Latin America, and the World’s 50 Best restaurants list. The main list is actually a 1-100 list with the first 50 restaurants being archived every year on the World’s 50 Best website.
The Michelin star chefs are rock stars of the culinary world. There have been some chefs who have been giving back their stars recently because of numerous reasons. The World’s 50 Best restaurants is gaining steam due to its reach in non Michelin star regions like South East Asia, South America, Central America, Africa, and the Middle East. Michelin recognizes the growing popularity of the World’s 50 Best list, so they’re starting to release guides in South America and parts of South East Asia.
I’ve been fortunate enough to travel the world. Since Oct 2014, I’ve been to over 44 countries and countless cities. I’ve done this all on my own dime with no paid sponsorships or advertisements. I’ve been very lucky to have a decent paying job and an awesome manager who lets me travel when I want. During my travels, I’ve decided to try out a lot of notable restaurants in every country/city I’ve visited. It’s not an easy task since I’m from Los Angeles and there are no Michelin star restaurants in the city. Well, currently that is. I’ve been to 1000s of restaurants around the world. However, this list is only ranking restaurants who have been listed on either the Michelin Guide or the World’s 50 Best restaurants list.
I’ve visited about 104 restaurants on the Michelin Guide and/or World’s 50 Best restaurants list. It It’s probably more since I haven’t had a chance to look through all my pictures and reservations. I am not a food critic. I am another face in the crowd who wants to remain anonymous. I am not looking for any special treatment or fame. I am not associated with the Michelin Guide or the World’s 50 Best restaurants. I am just a foodie who loves a good meal whether its a tasting menu in Paris, ramen in a Tokyo station, döner next to the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, egg noodles in one of Hong Kong’s dai pai dongs, or tacos in the streets of Mexico City.
This is my own personal critique of all these “renown” restaurants. I’m probably going to piss off a lot chefs when they see this list. They’re probably going to be even more upset when they find out I don’t cook, I’m not a professional food critic, and/or I’m not an industry expert. After all, I’m just some schmuck who foolishly paid a lot of money to eat at their restaurants.
Anyway, my rating scale. First and foremost, I’m going to take two things out of the equation — price and service. The restaurant’s service has to be excellent to be feature in the Michelin Guide or World’s 50 Best restaurants. Price is out too because value is relative. In addition, the majority of the tasting menus are in the same ballpark, which is too expensive. The restaurant has to be featured in the Michelin Guide (i.e., Bib Gourmand and 1-3 stars) or World’s 50 Best restaurants (i.e., Main, Asia, or Latin America list) at some point in time. Lastly, I’m solely basing the restaurants off of two things — presentation and taste. However, it’s mainly taste.
Without any further ado, here is my 21-40 rankings:
|21||Jungsik (Seoul)||Seoul, South Korea||05/2015||Yes||Yes|
|22||Saison||San Francisco, CA||06/2015||Yes||Yes|
|23||The Ledbury||London, England||11/2015||Yes||Yes|
|24||Mani||Sao Paulo, Brazil||05/2017||No||Yes|
|25||Momofuku Ko’s||New York, NY||12/2015||Yes||Yes|
|26||Lasai||Rio De Janiero, Brazil||05/2017||Yes||Yes|
|27||Sushi Nakazawa||New York, NY||12/2016||Yes||No|
|29||Mak’s Noodle||Hong Kong SAR||05/2016||Yes||No|
|30||Coi||San Francisco, CA||10/2015||Yes||Yes|
|32||iLatina||Buenos Aires, Argentina||05/2017||No||Yes|
|35||Pujol||Mexico City, Mexico||10/2015||No||Yes|
|37||One Dim Sum||Hong Kong SAR||05/2016||Yes||No|
|38||Tsim Chai Kee||Hong Kong SAR||05/2016||Yes||No|
|39||Quintol||Mexico City, Mexico||10/2015||No||Yes|
|40||Sushi Ginza Onodera||New York, NY||12/2016||Yes||No|
I will eventually write individual reviews for each of these restaurants. Please check back at a later time for direct links to each restaurant.