Michelin Guide 2018 awards three stars to The Araki

By Sophie Witts contact

- Last updated on GMT

Twitter @MichelinGuideUK
Twitter @MichelinGuideUK
A nine-seat sushi bar in Mayfair has become the first Japanese restaurant in the UK to win three Michelin stars.

The Araki, which serves one set menu priced at £300 a head, received the award at the launch of the 2018 Michelin Guide Great Britain & Ireland in London today (2 October).

It is the first new three-star restaurant to be announced in the UK in seven years, after Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester won the triple rating in 2010.

Just five restaurants now hold the top accolade, including The Fat Duck and The Waterside Inn in Bray, and Restaurant Gordon Ramsay in London.

The award marks a return to the top for chef-owner Mitsuhiro Araki, who closed his celebrated three-star restaurant Tokyo to open the London site in 2014. 

“I have a responsibility to my customers and for our future to do my best,” an emotional Araki said at the ceremony.

Double win for Bibendum

A total of 17 new one-star restaurants were announced, while Claude Bosi at Bibendum was the only new two-star entry.

The French chef opened his venture at London’s Michelin House building this year ​after closing his two-starred Mayfair restaurant Hibiscus in 2016.

“I wasn’t expecting to win two stars, to be honest, I don’t think my head chef has any nerves left,” Bosi told BigHospitality​.

“This is the third time I’ve won stars, but this time it was very special. A lot of people say there is something about my food now that was missing at Hibiscus, but it’s because I love the place, For me it’s just about being happy, when you’re happy with what you do it reflects in your food.”

One stars

The new one-star restaurants included formal venues such as Michael Caines’ Lympstone Manor in Devon and Whatley Manor in Wiltshire, alongside more casual sites such as Tom Kerridge’s Marlow pub The Coach and Peter Sanchez-Iglesias’ Paco Tapas in Bristol.

Sanchez-Iglesias, who named the restaurant after his father Paco, told BigHospitality​ the family were ‘emotional’ about winning.

“We’ve held the Michelin star at [Bristol restaurant] Casamia for ten years now, so to win for the tapas bar, where it’s all about simplicity, is mental,” he said. “We knew the inspectors had been in but I still can’t believe it, my dad is totally blown away.”

Chef Andrew Wong, who reopened his parent’s London restaurant as A.Wong in 2012, won a star for his contemporary Cantonese cooking.

He told BigHospitality​ he had only found out about his star during dinner service on Saturday.

“I think it was a bizarre experience for the customers as the staff started hugging each other during the middle of service,” said Wong. “Once you win a star the important thing is to maintain that level. Chinese food in London is constantly evolving so we need to keep trying new things.”

Michelin also awarded 27 new Bib Gourmands, given to restaurants serving three courses for under £28. To view the full list click here.

New Michelin stars 2018

NEW THREE STAR (Exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey)

  • The Araki, Mayfair 

NEW TWO STAR  (Excellent cooking, worth a detour)

  • Claude Bosi at Bibendum, London

NEW ONE STAR (High quality cooking, worth a stop)

ENGLAND

  • The Latymer at Pennyhill Park, Surrey
  • Lympstone Manor, Devon
  • Coworth Park, Berkshire
  • The Clock House, Surrey
  • The Dining Room at Whatley Manor, Wiltshire 
  • Moor Hall, West Lancashire 
  • The Coach, Marlow 
  • Paco Tapas, Bristol 
  • A. Wong, London 
  • Jamavar, London 
  • La Dame de Pic in the Four Seasons hotel, Ten Trinity Square London 
  • Vineet Bhatia, London 
  • Aquavit, London 
  • Elystan Street, London 

SCOTLAND

  • Loch Bay, Isle of Skye

IRELAND

  • The Wild Honey Inn, Burren, co. Clare

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