Taste awards: Michelin announces latest London and New York stars

A photo of two dishes, left: azpacho with mustard ice cream. Right: chard and ricotta tortellini with girolles, and a parsley foam
The newest Michelin stars have been announced for New York and London. Pictured: the cuisine of Bonhams London who have been awarded one new star. Left: gazpacho with mustard ice cream. Right: chard and ricotta tortellini with girolles, and a parsley foam.
(Image credit: Richard Cannon)

Viewed as a global epicurean currency of sorts, Michelin’s star system translates well anywhere in the world, with gourmands and chefs alike chasing the coveted awards. Originally published in 1900 as a travel guide for French motorists, the now familiar three-star system was introduced in 1931 to denote excellence in varying degrees – from the merely exceptional to those restaurants representing the pinnacle of gastronomy.

New York and London’s ongoing association extends to the famous little red guide, as their respective editions are released within weeks of one another. While London’s 2016 edition preceded that of its transatlantic sibling, New York’s 2016 updates offer similar insights into its sprawling dining landscape.

The latest round of awards have largely gone to unconventional choices, as ultra-focused Asian restaurants have seen deserved accolades. Notably, London’s Umu (opens in new tab) has been upgraded from one- to two-star status, while Japanese sushi master Matsuhisa Araki’s eponymous Mayfair sushi counter has debuted with two stars (its previous iteration in Tokyo held the full three – this is Araki’s first year in London). Similarly, New York’s high-end Japanese counters Cagen (opens in new tab), Hirohisa (opens in new tab) and Sushi Yasuda (opens in new tab) have received their first stars, as has Tempura Matsui (opens in new tab), which focuses on tempura in a seasonal omakase (chef’s selection) format.

Unjustly seen as cheap and unrefined despite its burgeoning popularity, Thai cuisine has also made inroads in Manhattan with the awarding of single stars to the East Village’s slick Somtum Der (opens in new tab) – which specialises in the fiery flavours of Thailand’s northern Isan region – and Uncle Boons (opens in new tab), a more casual affair run by two former Per Se chefs. Brooklyn’s Semilla (opens in new tab) – which specialises in vegetarian tasting menus – has also been awarded its first star, adding further diversity to a guide traditionally filled with lumbering French restaurants.

That’s not to say there aren’t plenty of those too; every three-star restaurant in each city has retained its stars, and the guide still errs heavily towards classical Gallic and modern European dining rooms, a source of criticism for detractors who question the guide’s contemporary relevance.

Few would argue there are more relevant restaurants in London now than Lyle’s – James Lowe’s stripped down modern British eatery in Shoreditch – and Portland (opens in new tab), a fine casual hotspot lauded for its creativity, both of which received their first stars. 'The next generation of chefs are really coming through to give the established chefs a run for their money,' explains Rebecca Burr, the Guide's editor. 'They all have their own individual style and their ability – coupled with their confidence – looks set to lead them on to great things.'

A photo of an Asian dish from Umu restaurant in London.

The latest round of awards have most noticeably gone to unconventional choices, as ultra-focused Asian restaurants have seen deserved accolades. Pictured: the food of Umu in London, which has been upgraded from one to two stars

(Image credit: TBC)

A photo of a large piece of raw meat next to a meal. The meal is on a board with a cooked steak on a traditional Asian brass animal. A salad dish is next to the brass animal.

New York and London’s ongoing association extends to the famous little red guide, as their respective editions are released within weeks of one another. Pictured: further offerings from Umu

(Image credit: TBC)

Inside Brooklyn’s Semilla featuring a large wooden table which stretches through the restaurant.

Brooklyn’s Semilla – which specialises in vegetarian tasting menus - has also been awarded its first star.

(Image credit: Melissa Hom)

A soup-like dish inside a grey pot.

Restaurants like Semilla add welcome diversity to a guide traditionally filled with lumbering French fare.

(Image credit: Signe Birck)

Inside Lyles restaurant with a dozen single two seater tables in a light and bright room.

James Lowe’s stripped down modern British eatery Lyles, in London's Shoreditch, has been awarded one star

(Image credit: TBC)

Cuisine from Lyles. Pictured left: eel broth. Right: peas and Ticklemore

Cuisine from Lyles. Pictured left: eel broth. Right: peas and Ticklemore

(Image credit: TBC)

Pictured: tartare of Cornish rump cap, raddichio, anchovy mayo, grated yolk

London's Portland has also been awarded its first star. Pictured: tartare of Cornish rump cap, raddichio, anchovy mayo, grated yolk

(Image credit: TBC)

Pictured: Portland's Yuzu tart on a black plate.

'The next generation of chefs are really coming through to give the established chefs a run for their money,' explains Rebecca Burr, the guide's editor. Pictured: Portland's Yuzu tart

(Image credit: TBC)

The interior of Blanca with an L shaped bar seating in-front of the kitchen.

The interior of Blanca in NYC, which has retained two stars

(Image credit: TBC)

Pictured: food from Blanca - a green leaf in a white dish.

'They all have their own individual style and their ability – coupled with their confidence – looks set to lead them on to great things,' Burr continues. Pictured: food from Blanca

(Image credit: TBC)

INFORMATION

More information can be found via Michelin (opens in new tab)