CHEF Barry Quek of Whey restaurant receiving news that he had been awarded by the Michelin Guide.

THE Michelin Guide Hong Kong Macau 2022 unveiled new additions to its list during a press conference streamed on Jan. 19. The Michelin Guide highlighted 71 restaurants in Hong Kong (HK) and 15 in Macau, 11 of which are new additions or have received additional stars.

The Michelin Guide was launched as a guide book by the tire company in 1904. In the 1930s, restaurants along the early motorways of France were awarded stars: one star for “a very good restaurant in its category,” two stars for “excellent cooking, worth a detour,” and three stars for “exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey.” The Michelin Guide and the star system then spread to the rest of the world (or at least, its most cosmopolitan cities).

The Guide arrived in Hong Kong and Macau and rated their restaurants in 2009. Gwendal Poullennec, International Director of the Michelin Guides said, “We have been glad to witness the evolution of their food scene for 14 years now.

“Together they represent the gastronomic diversity and excellence of Hong Kong and Macau: two cities that combine both culinary traditions with a deep sense of innovation.”

The new starred restaurants include Cantonese fine dining spot Yan Toh Heen and Italian restaurant Octavium, each receiving two Michelin stars. A statement from the Michelin Guide said that its inspectors praised Octavium for “its house-made artisanal pasta and degustation menu with a focus on seasonal produce.” They praised Yan Toh Heen for “for showcasing excellence in fine Cantonese cuisine through time-honored Chinese cooking techniques, top quality ingredients and modern presentations.” Both restaurants join others with two stars in the region.

The new one-starrers include restaurants Belon, Hansik Goo, IM Teppanyaki & Wine, Sushi Wadatsumi, and Whey. Four restaurants that had been recommended by the guide have been promoted to one-starrers, namely: Chaat, Mono, Seventh Sun, and Yong Fu.

Three-star awardees were also revealed during the press conference, showing the best of the best in the region. These included Caprice, L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon, Lung King Heen, 8 1/2 Otto e Mezzo – Bombana, T’Ang Court, Sushi Shikon, and Jade Dragon in Macau.

“We are fully aware of the challenges that 2021 brought to the hotel and restaurant industry; challenges that as we speak, continue to be of concern, but which all of you, chefs and restaurateurs, have been facing with determination, resiliency, and creativity,” said Mr. Poullenec. —  JLG