The revered Michelin Guide has awarded its top honor of three stars to three restaurants in Hong Kong and Macau, all in hotels.
The French restaurant Caprice added one star this year to score the best-possible three-star rating, joining Cantonese eatery Lung King Heen two floors down at the Four Seasons hotel. Veteran chef Joel Robuchon retained his five Michelin stars, including three for his Galera a Robuchon ,in Macau, located in the Hotel Lisboa.
Giving such honors to hotel restaurants is more typical of Asia than in Europe or the Us. Alan Zeman, chairman of Lan Kwai Fong Holdings, Ltd, which manages properties in Hong Kong’s largest bar and nightlife district said that such awards show the “mentality of the business in Hong Kong, where named chefs are not found in standalone street restaurants like in North American or Europe. Reviewers from overseas tend to gravitate first to restaurants in the hotels they stay in.”
This edition of the Michelin Guide reviewed 245 restaurants in its Asian guide, and 53 in Macau. Nine establishments were given two star awards and 39 were giving one star ratings.
Two-thirds of the 51 star-rated venues in Hong Kong and Macau are housed in hotels or high-end shopping centres and just over half serve Cantonese cuisine. Among the new inclusions in Macau are Lei Garden in Las Vegas Sands Corp.’s sprawling 3,000- room Venetian Macau Resort-Hotel, and Wing Lei in Wynn Resorts Ltd.’s Wynn Macau casino and hotel.
Zeman also said he hoped that as the Michelin Guide became more established in Asian cities, it would include more local restaurants. “Last year’s guide attracted criticism from managers of Chinese restaurants who said not enough were included,” Zeman said. “Until it gets recognized by the Chinese-restaurant community, a Michelin award will remain just another award.”