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Michelin Guide 2008 - Tokyo
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PostYou have posted in this forum: Sun Jan 13, 2008 6:54 am Back to top

An interesting article from Japan Today, on the 29th November 2007. It is focusing on awarded restaurants being overbooked, and other issues related to the facts that many persons testing the restaurants are in fact not Japanese...

Quote: › Rising objections to Michelin Guide Tokyo

The Michelin gourmet guidebook’s first edition in Japan has become big news. While those restaurants given stars garnered a lot of news coverage, some gourmet professionals and journalists question Michelin’s way of rating restaurants.

The book has certainly caused a frenzy of activity. The day after Michelin released the guide on Nov 19, eight restaurants that had been given 3 stars were flooded with phone calls for reservations. The manager of French restaurant L’osier says: “We got more than 200 phone calls. Our two lines were busy all day. We are now fully booked through the end of the year and early into next year. ”

While the manager is happy about 100% reservations, one of his chefs was a bit apprehensive about the unexpected workload, saying, “Our restaurant is relatively small and we’ve been supported by a steady number of regular customers so far. Now we will have to deal with nearly double the number of new customers every day for the next three months. We unfortunately cannot accept our regular customers. It’s a really unexpected situation.”

The 150 restaurants, which Michelin Guide Tokyo introduces, are almost all small- and middle-scale ones, making it hard for them to cope with big numbers.

Food journalist Noboru Umeya says, “Good restaurants are created by customers who really love them. Since Michelin Guide Tokyo’s release, there will be more one shot customers and foreign tourists who just want to ‘see stars’ or men who want to hit on women. I think they will become noisy and crowded.”

What is important is how reasonable the rating is. As those who have read Michelin Guide books in other countries know, Michelin Guide always introduces some restaurants without stars. But Michelin Guide Tokyo gives stars to all the restaurants it introduces.

In the French version, the book doesn’t have any photos of restaurants but just lists their names and addresses. Of 3,641 restaurants listed, 527 (14.5%) are given stars. In the New York version, only 39 of 526 restaurants (7.4%) are given stars. Those lower percentages make the rating valuable. Thus, restaurant chefs in those countries care about a Michelin rating.

Gourmet critic Masuhiro Yamamoto questions Michelin’s way of assessing restaurants in Japan. He says, “Although Michelin said they researched 1,500 restaurants, it’s hard to believe since those restaurants are not listed in the book. The first edition of the Tokyo version lists 150 restaurants with stars, including eight with 3 stars, which seems excessive. In Europe, there are countries that have no restaurants with stars, such as Austria and Luxembourg. To improve the reliability of their rating, Michelin should explain why they don’t list restaurants without stars and whether it’s because they were refused by restaurants to research them or because they thought they are not worth including in the list.”

Michelin said that its three European and two Japanese researchers visited restaurants incognito. Some restaurants did refuse to be listed in the book, Michelin said without disclosing the number of surveyed restaurants.

Yamamoto points out that Michelin doesn’t have any unified criteria for assigning stars. “For example, the Japanese restaurant Aoyagi is not listed in the book, although it’s a subsidiary restaurant of another Japanese restaurant Ryugin which was given 2 stars. But French restaurant Joel Robuchon was given 3 stars and its group restaurant L’atelier de Joel Rubuchon got 2 stars, so Michelin emphasized the relationship between the two in this case. Michelin, thus, doesn’t have any unified criteria for rating.”

Umeya also criticizes Michelin over its blowfish judgment. “I think only Japanese chefs have developed a high quality of techniques to cook blowfish. Of four blowfish restaurants listed in the book, Tsukiji Yamamoto is undoubtedly one of the top blowfish restaurants in the world. But it was given only 2 stars. I’m very suspicious that foreign researchers can understand the sensitive taste of blowfish by trying it just once or something.”

A Michelin spokesperson responded by saying, “Our foreign researchers have so far visited Japanese restaurants that were given 2 stars in New York and Los Angeles. They are capable enough of judging the quality of Japanese cuisine. We’re confident in the survey.”

In any case, diners will be seeing stars when they get their bill after visiting those restaurants. The lunch menus cost around 10,000 yen and dinner courses are 30,000- 50,000 yen per person. (Translated by Taro Fujimoto)

source :

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PostYou have posted in this forum: Tue Feb 26, 2008 9:00 am Back to top

Another article from The NY Times, dated February 24, 2008

Quote: ›
Michelin Gives Stars, but Tokyo Turns Up Nose

TOKYO — The Michelin guide recently ventured into Asia for the first time in its 108-year history to research and publish a Japanese-language guide to Tokyo restaurants. To gain credibility, it hired Japanese restaurant judges to work with its European experts and adapted its standards to the nation’s special culinary culture.

It found much to like, even love, and showered the city’s restaurants with more of its coveted stars than those in New York and Paris combined.

Michelin, based in France, made the splash it had hoped for, and has sold more than 290,000 copies of its familiar red-colored guides since November.

Many prominent figures of the Tokyo food world, however, are saying to Michelin, in effect, thanks for all the attention (which we deserve), but you still do not know us or our cuisine.

Food critics, magazines and even the governor of Tokyo have questioned the guide’s choice of restaurants and ratings. A handful of chefs proudly proclaimed that they had turned down chances to be listed. One, Toshiya Kadowaki, said his nouveau Japonais dishes, including a French-inspired rice with truffles, did not need a Gallic seal of approval.

“Japanese food was created here, and only Japanese know it,” Mr. Kadowaki said in an interview. “How can a bunch of foreigners show up and tell us what is good or bad?”

The mixed welcome reflects the challenges Michelin faces as the guide and its star-based ranking system enter a gastronomical milieu as far removed from Paris as teriyaki is from tête de veau.

Michelin is expanding to new markets to compensate for its declining influence in Europe, where it has lost readership to the Internet and the shifting demands of consumers who no longer want their tastes dictated to them. Michelin says it sells about one million guides a year worldwide, of which a growing proportion has been outside Europe.

Michelin took its first step abroad two years ago with a guide to New York, and followed quickly with versions for Las Vegas, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Now, Michelin is looking for success in Tokyo before possibly venturing into other Asian cities to tap some of the world’s wealthiest consumers.

Michelin said it chose Tokyo because it was the largest and one of the most sophisticated restaurant markets in the world. The Tokyo metropolitan area, with some 30 million residents, has roughly 160,000 restaurants, versus about 25,000 in greater New York City and 13,000 in Paris, according to Michelin.

Michelin awarded 191 stars to 150 restaurants in Tokyo, most of them serving either French or Japanese cuisine. Eight received three stars, the Michelin guide’s highest rating. That compares with three three-star restaurants in New York, which received a total of just 54 stars. Paris, with 10 three-star eateries, received 97 stars.

But many Tokyoites grumbled that the guide gave high ratings to unremarkable restaurants, prompting wide speculation that the large number of stars was just a marketing ploy.

“Anybody who knows restaurants in Tokyo knows that these stars are ridiculous,” said Toru Kenjo, president of Gentosha publishing house, whose men’s fashion magazine, Goethe, published a lengthy critique of the Tokyo guide last month. “Michelin has debased its brand. It won’t sell as well here in the future.”

Mr. Kenjo said the magazine, which included alternative restaurant ratings and a skeptical opinion article by Tokyo’s nationalist governor, Shintaro Ishihara, sold out all 85,000 copies.

Jean-Luc Naret, director of the Michelin guides, dismissed such criticisms as unfair, saying Tokyo received more stars simply because it has more restaurants. He said Michelin’s five undercover judges in Tokyo, two Japanese and three Europeans, spent a year and a half sampling 1,500 restaurants.

Mr. Naret said the judges, who graded restaurants on criteria like presentation, originality and taste, were amazed by the perfectionism of Japanese chefs.

“In terms of quality, Tokyo is No. 1 in the world,” said Mr. Naret, who added that he visited Tokyo 15 times and sampled 100 of the starred restaurants himself. “We never expected that we’d find so many stars here.”

Mr. Naret said Michelin tried to adjust for differences in Tokyo’s restaurant culture, like the large number of tiny but excellent eateries tucked away in unlikely corners of this crowded city.

While Michelin usually reserves its highest rating of three stars for large elegant restaurants, in Tokyo it gave the top grade to a closet-size sushi bar, called Sukiyabashi Jiro, that sat in a basement and lacked a menu or even its own toilet, a first for the guide, Mr. Naret said.

Tokyo’s strong showing generated an initial wave of excitement here, helping Michelin sell more than twice as many copies than the first edition of its New York guide, which sold 125,000 copies. Many Tokyoites took Michelin’s praise as long-deserved recognition of Tokyo as a global gastronomical capital.

Food critics also say Michelin succeeded in tapping the enormous popularity here of French brands. Few countries are as passionate about French designers, whose handbags, dresses and watches are more common in Ginza than along the Champs-Élysées. Food critics and rival publishers say the French connection helped Michelin generate more buzz than the last international guide to land here, the New York-based Zagat Survey in 2000.

“Michelin made a splash here because of its association with brands like Louis Vuitton and Chanel,” said Akihiko Takada, editor of Zagat’s Tokyo guide.

For their part, consumers here offer mixed reviews of Michelin. Yukihiro Nagatomi, a banker in his late 30s, said he recently spent about $200 to try a Japanese-style restaurant called Kanda because of its three-star rating in Michelin.

He said he was dismayed to find what he called egregious violations of Japanese cuisine’s minimalist tenets, like an overly large slice of eel sushi that disrupted the dish’s balance.

“You needed a knife and fork to eat that,” Mr. Nagatomi said. “I can see why it would appeal to Frenchmen who don’t use chopsticks.”

With all the doubts about Michelin’s understanding of Japanese tastes, some chefs say a rating in the guide has become a liability. Kunio Tokuoka, head chef at the high-end restaurant Kitcho, said the main Tokyo branch of his restaurant refused a listing in Michelin for fear of turning off customers seeking authentic Japanese cuisine.

Mr. Kadowaki, the nouveau Japonais chef, said he turned down a Michelin rating for his restaurant, Kadowaki, partly because the idea of ranking restaurants offended Japanese sensibility against bragging and putting others down.

Mr. Naret said a few places did turn down ratings, which they could do by refusing Michelin permission to take photographs for use in the guide.

But even among critics, there is a grudging recognition that Michelin did provide a service in one regard: giving younger Japanese chefs recognition that would otherwise be hard to get in this rigidly hierarchical society.

The only Japanese chef of French cuisine given three stars was Shuzo Kishida, a 33-year-old whose restaurant, Quintessence, opened less than two years ago. Since being listed in the guide, Mr. Kishida has suddenly received wide acclaim here as representing a new generation of Japanese chefs who show more personality in their cooking.

“Thanks to Michelin, originality is being recognized in Japan,” Mr. Kishida said.

There are several interesting things in this article. First, we heard about "some restaurants" which rejected the Michelin rating system and did not want to be included in the Red Book. This article lists at least one restaurant which did so, Azabu Kadowaki. Although it seems that the chef is slightly regretting his decision...

The other thing that is really disturbing in this article is the large number of comments given by the public and professionals about the fact that foreigners can not "understand" the Japanese food. We can read things like "Japanese food was created here, and only Japanese know it" - which was said by that same cook who rejected the Michelin award - or "You needed a knife and fork to eat that. I can see why it would appeal to Frenchmen who don’t use chopsticks".

I don't understand why you should eat rice, fish and miso soup every morning since you are a child to be able to appreciate - and rate - Japanese food. Sure, the 2008 edition of the Michelin guide has flaws; too many restaurants listed are not exceptional, while some great but rather confidential tables have been omitted - probably because nobody knew about them. But the Michelin guide is the first to provide a serious rating of the Tokyo restaurants. This is a great improvement compared to the so-called "gastronomic guides" which are published almost weekly in Japan and which are just advertisement for the tables (and probably those publications are paid partially by those restaurants).

Anyway, more than 300'000 copies have been sold so far, so it means that Japanese people are enjoying it. Everyone buying that guide is not a foreigner, I guess...


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PostYou have posted in this forum: Fri Jun 06, 2008 3:12 am Back to top

List of awards - Les restaurants étoilés

Tokyo is now the city in the world with the highest number of stars - 191 (compared to 97 for Paris)!

*** 3 Stars / 3 Etoiles

神田 (Kanda) - Japanese food in Roppongi

カンテサンス (Quintessence) - French food in Shirokanedai

小十 (Koju) - Japanese food in Ginza

ジョエル・ロブション (Joel Robuchon) - French food in Nihonbashi / Ebisu / Roppongi

すきや橋次郎 (Sukiyabashi Jiro) - Sushi in Ginza

鮨水谷 (Sushi Mizutani) - Sushi in Shimbashi

濱田家 (Hamadaya) - Japanese food in Nihonbashi

ロオジエ (L'Osier) - French food in Ginza

** 2 Stars / 2 Etoiles

石かわ (Ishikawa) - Japanese food in Kagurazaka
一文字 (Ichimonji) - Japanese food in Kagurazaka
臼杵ふぐ山田屋 (Usukifugu Yamadaya) - Fugu in Hiroo
えさき (Esaki) - Japanese food in Aoyama
エメ・ヴィベール (Aimee Vibert) - French food in Kojimachi
菊の井 (Kikunoi) - Japanese food in Akasaka
キュイジーヌ[s]ミシェルトロワグロ (Cuisine [s] Michel Troisgros) - French food in Shinjuku
湖月 (Kogetsu) - Japanese food in Jingumae
さわ田 (Sawada) - Sushi in Ginza
サンパウ (Sant Pau) - Spanish food in Nihonbashi
鮨かねさか (Sushi Kanesaka) - Sushi in Shimbashi
醍醐 (Daigo) - Japanese food in Kamiyacho
拓 (Taku) - Sushi
つきじ植むら (Tsukijiuemura) - Japanese food in Tsukiji
つきじやまもと (Tsukijiyamamoto) - Fugu in Tsukiji
トゥエンティワン (Twenty One) - French food in Shinjuku
ピエール・ガニェール (Pierre Gagnaire) - French food in Omote-Sando
菱沼 (Hishinuma) - Japanese food in Roppongi
福田家 (Fukudaya) - Japanese food
ラトリエドゥジョエル・ロブション (L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon) - French food in Roppongi
リストランテASO (Ristorante ASO) - Italian food in Daikanyama
龍吟 (Ryugin) - Japanese food in Roppongi
ル・マンジュ・トゥー (Le Mange-Tout) - French food in Ichigaya
厲家菜(Reikasai) - Chinese Food in Roppongi
和幸 (Wako) - Japanese food in Meijiro

1 Star / 1 Etoile

あさぎ (Asagi) - Tempura in Ginza
味満ん (Ajiman) - Fugu in Roppongi
阿部 (Abe) - Japanese food
あら井 (Arai) - Japanese food in Roppongi
あら皮 (Aragawa) - Steak House in Shinbashi
アルジェント ASO (Argento Aso) - Italian food
アルバス (Arbace) - French food
アロマフレスカ (Aroma-Fresca) - Italian food
うを徳 (Uotoku) - Japanese food in Kagurazaka
うかい亭 (Ukai-Tei) - Teppan Yaki
うち山 (Uchiyama) - Japanese food in Ginza
海味 (Umi) - Sushi
恵比寿 (Yebisu) - Teppan Yaki
大野 (Ohno) - Japanese food in Ginza
オオハラ・エ・シーアイイー (Ohara et Cie) - French food
小笠原伯爵邸 (Ogasawara Hakushakutei) - Spanish food
翁 (Okina) - Soba
オーグードゥジュール ヌーヴェルエール (Au Gout du Jour Nouvelle Ere) - French food in Marunouchi
おざき (Ozaki) - Japanese food in Azabu-Juban
おはらス (Ohara's) - French food
ガストロノミー フランセーズ タテルヨシノ (Gastronomie Francaise Tateru Yoshino) - French food
きくみ (Kikumi) - Japanese food
キャーヴ ひらまつ (La Cave Hiramatsu) - French food in Hiroo
久兵衛 (Kyubei) - Sushi
銀座寿司幸本店 (Ginza Sushiko Honten) - Sushi
銀座ラ・トゥール (Ginza La Tour) - French food in Ginza
クーカーニョ (Coucagno) - French food in Shibuya
クチーナ・ヒラタ (Cucina Hirata) - Italian food
クレッセント (Crescent) - French food
けやき坂 (Keyakizaka) - Teppan Yaki
コジト (Cogito) - French food
古拙 (Kosetsu) - Soba
小室 (Komuro) - Japanese food in Shinjuku
近藤 (Kondo) - Tempura in Ginza
桜ヶ丘 (Sakuragaoka) - Japanese food in Roppongi
櫻川 (Sakuragawa) - Japanese food in Nihonbashi
笹田 (Sasada) - Japanese food
さざんか (Sazanka) - Teppan Yaki
ザ・ジョージアン・クラブ (The Georgian Club) - French food
三亀 (Sankame) - Japanese food in Ginza
シェ・イノ (Chez Inno) - French food in Nihonbashi
シェ トモ (Chez Tomo) - French food in Shirokane
シェ・松尾 (Chez Matsuo) - French food in Shibuya
シグネチャー (Signature) - French food in Nihonbashi
重よし (Shigeyoshi) - Japanese food in Harajuku
シュマン (Chemins) - French food in Tameike-Sanno
招福楼 (Shofukuro) - Japanese food
真 (Shin) - Sushi in Hiroo
すがわら (Sugawara) - Japanese food in Ebisu
すし おおの (Sushi Ohno) - Sushi
鮨 さいとう (Sushi Saito) - Sushi
すし匠 齋藤 (Sushisho Saito) - Sushi
鮨 なかむら (Sushi Nakamura) - Sushi in Roppongi
すずき (Suzuki) - Japanese food in Gakugei Daigaku
赤芳亭 (Sekihotei) - Japanese food in Omote-Sando
竹やぶ (Takeyabu) - Soba in Roppongi
たつむら (Tatsumura) - Japanese food in Akasaka
タテル ヨシノ (Tateru Yoshino) - French food in Shiodome
田はら (Tahara) - Japanese food in Azabu
竹葉亭 (Chikuyotei) - Unagi
チャイナブルー (China Blue) - Chinese Food in Shiodome
中国飯店 富麗華 (Chugoku Hanten Fureika) - Chinese Food
トゥールダルジャン (La Tour d'Argent) - French food
とうふ屋うかい (Tofuya Ukai) - Japanese food
と村 (Tomura) - Japanese food
とよだ (Toyoda) - Japanese food in Ginza
ドン・ナチュール (Dons de la Nature) - Steak House in Yurakucho
中嶋 (Nakajima) - Japanese food in Shinjuku
なだ万山茶花荘 (Nadaman Sazanka So) - Japanese food
なだ万ホテルニューオータニ店 (Nadaman New Otani) - Japanese food
ナルカミ (Narukami) - French food in Ginza
花山椒(Hanasanshou) - Japanese food in Shiodome
青空 (Harutaka) - Sushi
万歴龍呼堂 (Banrekiryukodo) - Japanese food in Higashi-Azabu
ピアット スズキ (Piatto Suzuki) - Italian food
樋口 (Higuchi) - Japanese food
ひのきざか (Hinokizaka) - Japanese food
ひらまつ (Miramatsu) - French food
ひろ作 (Hirosaku) - Japanese food in Shinbashi
深町 (Fukamachi) - Tempura in Kyobashi
福樹 (Fukuju) - Japanese food in Ginza
ブノワ (Benoit) - French food in Jungumae
ベージュ (Beige) - French food in Ginza
まき村 (Makimura) - Japanese food
末能一 (Minoichi) - Japanese food
ミラヴィル (Miravile) - French food
六雁 (Mutsukari) - Japanese food
室井 (Muroi) - Japanese food in Ginza
メゾン・ド・ウメモト 上海 (Maison d'Umemoto Shanghai) - Chinese Food
メゾン ポール ボキューズ (Maison Paul Bocuse) - French food
モナリザ (Monnalisa) - French food
桃の木 (Momonoki) - Chinese Food
森本XEX (Morimoto XEX) - Teppan Yaki in Roppongi
山さき (Yamazaki) - Japanese food
やま弥 (Yamane) - Fugu in Ginza
有季銚 (Yukicho) - Japanese food in Ginza
ゆう田 (Yuta) - Sushi in Azabu
幸村 (Yukimura) - Japanese food in Azabu-Juban
よこ田 (Yokota) - Tempura in Azabu-Juban
与太呂 (Yotaro) - Tempura in Roppongi
よねむら (Yonemura) - Japanese food in Ginza
よねやま (Yoneyama) - Japanese food in Yotsuya
ラ・ターブル・ドゥ・ジョエル・ロブション (La Table de Joel Robuchon) - French food in Ebisu
ラ・トゥーエル (La Tourelle) - French food in Iidabashi
ラノー・ドール (L'Anneau d'Or) - French food in Yotsuya
ラプリムラ (La Primula) - Italian food
ラ・ボンバンス (La Bombance) - Japanese food in Nishi-Azabu
ラリアンス (L'Alliance) - French food
ランベリー (L'Embellir) - French food
リストランテ濱崎 (Ristorante Hamasaki) - Italian food
リストランテホンダ (Ristorante Honda) - Italian food in Kita-Aoyama
ル・シズィエム・サンス (Le 6eme Sens) - French food
ル・ジュー・ドゥ・ラシェット (Le Jeu de l'Assiette) - French food in Daikanyama
レ・クレアシヨン・ド・ナリサワ (Les Creations de Narizawa) - French food in Aoyama
レザンファンギャテ (Les Enfants Gates) - French food
レセゾン (Les Saisons) - French food
分とく山 (Waketokuyama) - Japanese food in Hiroo

Official list from Japanese Michelin web site here

Last edited by sanji on Fri Jun 06, 2008 3:12 am; edited 7 times in total

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PostYou have posted in this forum: Mon Jun 23, 2008 11:38 pm Back to top

Thanks you for a list and article's sample. Tokyo are just the most "stared" city with a 1st version of Michlin Tokyo ! All restaurant got at least 1 star, it's historical !

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PostYou have posted in this forum: Tue Jun 24, 2008 11:17 am Back to top

Historical does not mean anything in the situation...

The Michelin guide has overrated a lot of restaurants, which some never win a star in Paris (remember the Cogito experience, listed here by Sanji and I). It's also seems that they never tested some restaurants of the list, but just got references adress by japanese advises. For me, this Michelin guide is just another bubble of non-sense criticism. I'm just amazed by this fabulous marketing launch...

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PostYou have posted in this forum: Tue Oct 28, 2008 10:36 pm Back to top

Two more internet links in Japanese about Michelin restaurants : : possibility to search restaurants by many features (prices, late dinner, access without reservation, ...) : with prices for lunch and dinner, and location on maps

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PostYou have posted in this forum: Tue Nov 18, 2008 1:03 pm Back to top



See this link for details : Michelin 2009


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PostYou have posted in this forum: Thu Apr 23, 2009 7:40 am Back to top

A fresh news from AP :

Quote: › TOKYO: It's official. Tokyo has unseated Paris as the world's culinary capital.

That's according to Michelin Guides, the French bible of gastronomy, which announced a Tokyo edition Monday — its first outside Europe and the United States.

Michelin's Tokyo guide awarded 191 stars to 150 restaurants in the Japanese capital, the most number of stars awarded in any city. Previously, Paris had the most stars, at 65.

Eight restaurants in Tokyo, including two sushi eateries, received Michelin's highest three-star rating. But Paris can still claim to have the most top-rated restaurants, with 10.

Michelin also crowned 82-year-old Jiro Ono of Sukiyabashi Jiro sushi restaurant in central Tokyo the world's oldest three-star chef.

"Tokyo is a shining star in the world of cuisine," Michelin Guides Director Jean-Luc Naret said at a press conference in the capital, after announcing the picks to gasps from hundreds of Japanese reporters gathered there. He declared Tokyo "the world leader in gourmet dining."

Clutching his Michelin plaque as he mixed with other chefs at a cocktail party later Monday, Ono said he was stunned by his three-star rating.

"I never dreamed this would happen. I've just always tried to make good sushi using the freshest fish," Ono said. "But with global warming, our catch is going down. From now on, I will make the best of what resources we have left," he added.

A team of three undercover European and two Japanese inspectors spent a year and a half visiting 1,500 of Tokyo's estimated 160,000 restaurants to decide on the ratings, according to Michelin. The famed guidebook series rates establishments on excellence in cooking, service, decor and upkeep.

There were so many good restaurants that all entries in Michelin's Tokyo edition have at least one star, a first for any city, Naret said. Five of the eight awarded top honors served Japanese cuisine, while three served French.

In another first, two restaurants received top ratings despite getting rapped for their service, which the guidebook rates separately.

Sukiyabashi Jiro and Sushi Mizutani were awarded three stars even though their "Category of Comfort" rating was just 1 out of a scale of 5. Even the top sushi chefs here tend to serve their fare in small, starkly decorated eateries with minimal table service.

"That doesn't mean the cuisine is anything less than first rate," said Taku Suzuki, spokesman for Michelin in Japan.

On top of formal Japanese "kaiseki" cuisine, the guide includes shops specializing in puffer fish, deep-fried tempura, grilled eel, teppanyaki-style barbecue and soba noodles.

The entries in Michelin's Tokyo edition appeared to have eased local skepticism that the French can be the best judge of Japan's culinary traditions.

"The French do not understand anything about sushi ... how can they judge us?" Yoshikazu Ono had told The Associated Press in March when the Tokyo guide was announced. Ono, a chef at Sukiyabashi Jiro and son of Jiro Ono, beamed at his father's side at Monday's party.

Toru Okuda, who won three stars for his modern Japanese restaurant, Koju, said it was about time the world recognized Tokyo's culinary brilliance.

"Tokyo is delicious, whatever you eat, wherever you eat," Okuda said. "I wonder why Michelin didn't come here earlier," he said.

The first Michelin guide was published in 1900 as a handbook for French motorists. Guides to 23 countries are published by the Clermont-Ferrand-based tire company of the same name.

Michelin will announce a guide to a second Asian city next year, according to Naret.

source :

Et la nouvelle en français, d'une différente source (AFP) :

Quote: › Tokyo est devenue lundi la ville la plus "étoilée" du monde par le guide Michelin qui, pour sa première incursion hors du monde occidental, a fait pleuvoir sur les restaurants de la capitale japonaise le nombre record de 191 "macarons", deux fois plus qu'à Paris.

Pour la première fois des 108 ans d'histoire du fameux guide français, la totalité des 150 établissements sélectionnés ont reçu au moins une étoile, un hommage à la "cuisine hors pair" du Japon, selon Michelin.

Huit restaurants --cinq de cuisine japonaise et trois de cuisine française-- ont reçu la distinction suprême des trois étoiles, qui honore un établissement censé valoir à lui seul le voyage. Vingt-cinq autres restaurants se sont vus attribuer deux "macarons", et les 117 restants un seul.

La cuisine japonaise représente 60% de la sélection. Parmi les 59 restaurants "étrangers" (dont la plupart sont tenus par des chefs japonais), on en dénombre 44 de cuisine française, huit de cuisine italienne, cinq de cuisine chinoise et deux de cuisine espagnole.

"Tokyo devient la ville de la haute gastronomie mondiale, la ville la plus étoilée au monde", s'est félicité lors d'une conférence de presse le directeur des Guides Michelin, Jean-Luc Naret.

"C'est grâce à la qualité si incomparable des produits utilisés, aux techniques de cuisson employées, à cet héritage et à ces traditions culinaires transmis de génération en génération et qui continuent de se développer grâce au talent des chefs, que le guide Michelin Tokyo offre une sélection de restaurants tous étoilés", a-t-il ajouté.

Les 191 "macarons" de Tokyo représentent près du double de ceux distribués aux restaurants de Paris (97) et plus du triple de New York (54).

Parmi les "triples étoilés" figurent les restaurants de cuisine traditionnelle nippone "Hamadaya", "Kanda" et "Koju", ainsi que les maisons de sushis "Sukiyabashi Jiro" et "Sushi Mizutani".

D'autres étoiles honorent la haute cuisine "kaiseki", les nouilles de sarrasin "soba", les grillades "teppanyaki", les sushis, tempuras ou encore le "fugu", un poisson aux entrailles empoisonnées que seuls les chefs spécialement licenciés sont autorisés à manipuler.

"L'Osier", du chef Bruno Ménard, et un autre grand restaurant français, "Quintessence", obtiennent également les trois macarons.

"Je serai viré si je n'obtiens pas les trois étoiles", avait déclaré à la presse Yuichiro Watanabe, chef du restaurant "Joël Robuchon", situé dans une imitation de château Renaissance du quartier d'Ebisu.

Au moins pour cette année, sa carrière est sauvée.

"Beige", enseigne-phare du chef français Alain Ducasse à Tokyo, créé la surprise en n'obtenant qu'une étoile.

M. Naret a en outre raconté qu'un des restaurants de cuisine française les plus connus de la ville, qu'il a refusé de nommer, était absent du guide, les inspecteurs n'ayant rien trouvé d'extraordinaire dans leur assiette.

"Nous ne faisons pas ce guide pour donner une Légion d'honneur à un chef. Nous faisons ce guide pour plaire à nos lecteurs", a expliqué M. Naret.

Publié en japonais et en anglais, le guide sera mis en vente mercredi soir.

Sa parution, très attendue dans un pays où la bonne chère fait quasiment figure de religion, a été précédée de vifs débats entre chefs, critiques gastronomiques et bloggeurs, certains affirmant d'emblée qu'un guide étranger serait incapable de bien juger la cuisine japonaise.

Le "guide rouge" n'est pas rancunier, puisqu'un des chefs qui s'était le plus vertement répandu en critiques contre le guide, Yoshikazu Ono, voit son restaurant de sushis "Sukiyabashi Jiro" décrocher les trois étoiles.

Pour affirmer encore plus sa "japonitude", le "guide rouge" sera béni mercredi lors d'une cérémonie shintoïste dans un sanctuaire dédié à Daikoku-sama, le dieu des affaires, dans le vieux quartier tokyoïte de Kanda.

source :

Voir également cet article sur le blog de François Simon...

Last edited by sanji on Thu Apr 23, 2009 7:40 am; edited 5 times in total

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