Michelin yesterday launched the third edition of the Michelin guide Hong Kong Macau.
The biggest news is the addition of a new restaurant with three stars. Sun Tung Lok, now joins the two restaurants from the Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong with three Michelin stars: Caprice and Lung King Heen.
When probed on the entry of the Cantonese restaurant into the prestigious three-star list, Jean-Luc Naret, Director of the Michelin Guides, said at the press conference, “We had no doubt after eight visits that this restaurant deserves three stars.” Two additional Hong Kong restaurants are included in the two star list: 8 ½ Otto e Mezzo and Pierre. There are some grumblings about Sun Tung Lok’s new three-star fame. The restaurant is known for its sharks fin specialties. Some environmentalist worry the recognition may promote shark’s fin consumption.
The Michelin guides are highly respected, and chef around the world desire to receive a star. With its beginnings in France, Michelin, it is continuing to grow in Asia. It prides itself in using anonymous inspectors who pay for their own meals. Asian Palate asked Naret on how much these inspectors know the local cuisine here in Asia. The Michelin Director assured me of their competence. He said: “Like every single country in the world covered by Michelin- we have Spanish in Spain, Japanese in Tokyo and Chinese in Hong Kong- we have a team of local Chinese inspectors we have trained in the past three years.” He emphasizes that these local inspectors are always counterchecked.
Naret says: “At one stage, we have a team from Europe, or Japan who come here. They will go and taste the restaurant as well. Like we have Italian inspectors, trying the Italian restaurants here to make sure they have the same stars as abroad. All together the team is local, at the same time we have team of other international inspectors who make sure it is the same level as international restaurants abroad.”
The just released guide for Hong Kong/Macau includes: four three-star restaurants (three in Hong Kong and one in Macau); 12 two-star restaurants (nine in Hong Kong and three in Macau) and 53-one star establishments coming from a diverse range of Asian and Western cuisines.
Text by Maida Pineda. Photo courtesy of Michelin Guides.