Miche­lin launches first main­land China guide in Shang­hai

The Myanmar Times - - The Pulse -

THE sto­ried Miche­lin food guide launched its first edi­tion in main­land China yes­ter­day, award­ing stars to el­e­gant lux­ury estab­lish­ments as well as to a humble haunt serv­ing up Can­tonese sta­ples.

The in­au­gu­ral edi­tion cov­ers the com­mer­cial hub of Shang­hai and gives stars to 26 restau­rants, in­clud­ing the world’s least ex­pen­sive two-star es­tab­lish­ment, Can­ton 8, a pop­u­lar lunchtime spot cater­ing to lo­cal fam­i­lies.

“Can­ton 8 is a re­flec­tion of what can be found in Shang­hai – mas­ter­ful, de­li­cious and very good qual­ity cooking,” said Michael El­lis, in­ter­na­tional di­rec­tor of the Miche­lin guides.

The pub­li­ca­tion of the in­au­gu­ral main­land China edi­tion fol­lows its first guide to Sin­ga­pore in July, when Miche­lin in­spec­tors also gave out stars to the city-state’s fa­mous street food stalls.

The guides, first pub­lished in France more than a cen­tury ago to pro­mote au­to­mo­bile travel, now cover 28 coun­tries and spot­light di­verse cuisines in­clud­ing Brazil­ian, Burmese, Ca­jun, Peru­vian and Ti­betan.

But they are not with­out their crit­ics, who ques­tion whether the qual­ity of street fare in places like Hong Kong and Sin­ga­pore can com­pare to the French haute cui­sine on which its rep­u­ta­tion was made.

“We have to adapt to the coun­try,” said Claire Dor­land-Clauzel, ex­ec­u­tive vice pres­i­dent at Miche­lin.

“Our role is to pro­mote qual­ity food ev­ery­where, not [only] French food.”

The China guide awarded its high­est three-star rat­ing to T’ang Court, a cosy six-ta­ble Can­tonese restau­rant in the Lang­ham ho­tel, fa­mous for dishes that in­clude braised sea cu­cum­ber and Wagyu beef.

“The tal­ented and cre­ative chef Justin Tan of­fers cui­sine in which tra­di­tional Can­tonese dishes rub shoul­ders with some very mod­ern dishes,” El­lis said. The restau­rants earn their rat­ing fol­low­ing re­peat vis­its by dif­fer­ent in­spec­tors, who pay for ev­ery­thing they con­sume and make the de­ci­sion jointly.

Restau­rants that have won a star from the culi­nary bi­ble in the past have built huge busi­nesses af­ter be­ing recog­nised, with Hong Kong’s Tim Ho Wan and Tai­wan’s Din Tai Fung turn­ing into in­ter­na­tional fran­chises.

Can­ton 8 can likely ex­pect to see a sim­i­lar surge in cus­tomers, al­though on the night of Septem­ber 20, be­fore the re­lease of the guide, the in­ex­pen­sive two-storey restau­rant was filled with only around 20 din­ers feast­ing on crys­tal prawn dumplings and lob­ster por­ridge.

A cos­mopoli­tan city with a sprawl­ing, tree-lined French Quar­ter, Shang­hai is the lat­est Asian city to fea­ture in the guide, fol­low­ing the launch of edi­tions fo­cus­ing on Hong Kong, Taipei and Sin­ga­pore.

“What makes Shang­hai par­tic­u­larly ex­cit­ing is it’s been an eco­nomic and cul­tural cross­roads for decades and the gas­tron­omy of Shang­hai re­ally re­flects that rich his­tory,” El­lis said.

Photos: AFP

Mas­ter chef of Can­ton 8 restau­rant Jie Ming Jian cooks veg­eta­bles in the kitchen of the restau­rant, which was awarded two Miche­lin stars.

A dessert at T’ang Court.

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