Ever since the Michelin Tire company published it's inaugural guide to restaurants in 1900, the Michelin Guide has been the gold standard for quality restaurants. Gaining or losing a Michelin Star can make or break a restaurant. To maintain their starred status, restaurants often stick to the hallmarks of fine dining and French cuisine.
However, this hasn't stopped the following six Michelin awarded restaurants, who are leading the culinary industry in innovation:
The Man Behind The Curtain- Leeds, England
This Leeds eatery has been compared to the legendary The Fat Duck, with its out of the box conceptual, yet accomplished cooking. The Guardian calls the food “Bonkers. Engagingly bonkers…”, and that seems apt. You can check out head chef & founder Michael O’Hare’s imaginative dishes on The Great British Menu, where he was a contestant in 2015 and judge in 2016 and 2017. O’Hare’s self stated goal is”[to produce] things first and foremost to look great. Anyone can make something taste nice”. With dishes like ‘Emancipation’, which “smells like fish and chips… tastes like fish and chips, but looks like Siouxsie Sioux”, The Man Behind The Curtain is pushing the boundaries of food as art.
Band of Bohemia- Chicago, USA
As the first Michelin starred brewpub, Band of Bohemia is a unique experience in the world of fine dining. Focusing on food that pairs with beer, rather than pairing drinks with the food, Band of Bohemia is forging a new direction for Michelin restaurants. With a team full of Alinea and Momofuku alumni, Band of Bohemia’s cuisine is both creative and technically excellent. It’s rotating taps of beers flavoured by ingredients like jasmine rice, fennel and beets “…are matched seamlessly to the kitchen’s boundless small and large plates, which defy expectations with delicious success”.
The ‘progressive American’ cuisine paired with modern beer flavours sets this restaurant apart from its molecular gastronomy focused contemporaries, and it’s “gypsy spirit” displays a new direction in Michelin dining.
Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice and Noodle- Outram, Singapore
One of the first street food locations awarded a Michelin Star, Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice and Noodle is also the cheapest place in the world to have a Michelin starred meal. At roughly $1.50 USD for a plate of rice and noodles, there is a daily wait of several hours for the opportunity to taste the famed chicken. But the chef and owner Chan Hon Meng refuses to lower the quality of his food by trying to cook more chickens each day. Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice and Noodle is raising the profile of “hawker food” and redefining the types of food deserving a Michelin award.
De Kas- Amsterdam, Netherlands
With amazing farm to table cuisine, served inside a massive, historic greenhouse, De Kas is integral part of any trip to Amsterdam. As the restaurant that pioneered the farm to table movement in the early 2000s, De Kas is so focused on fresh ingredients that they harvest them every morning from their own farm. Everything is cooked and served inside a giant, light filled space, and the menu changes weekly to incorporate seasonal flavours. The atmosphere, decor and food all serve to enhance De Kas’ drive towards organic, local food.
The Fat Duck- Bray, England
Although as well known as The French Laundry, no list of inventive restaurants would be complete without mention of The Fat Duck. With a separate kitchen just for innovation, The Fat Duck incorporates psychology into its food, causing you to question your senses and expectations. The dishes range from Alice in Wonderland inspired Mock Turtle Soup (where a gold leaf watch is dissolved in a pot of tea), to a “Sound of the Sea”, which comes with an iPod, so that the diner can listen to ocean sounds while enjoying their meal, to a Meat Fruit that looks shockingly like a mandarin orange but is made of chicken liver pate. There is a reason that The Fat Duck has been named the best restaurant in the world several times, because this restaurant is leading the culinary industry in creativity and service, far beyond fine dining.
Noma- Copenhagen, Denmark
This year, legendary Noma reopened after a year hiatus. Having started a New Nordic cuisine revolution fifteen years ago, Noma is said to now be serving food from “the future”. Dishes like sea snail bouillon, plankton and rhubarb infusions and 100 year old bivalves are all part of the Noma experience, with its focus on local, seasonal, sustainable and experimental foods. Having inspired an entire generation of chefs with his unusual cuisine, Rene Redzepi has the entire industry waiting to see what he will do next.
Which restaurant do you think is going to be the next game changer? Let us know in the comments!
Love experimenting with new food trends? Read about Korean Temple Food here.
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