Luxury Insider

Luxury Insider

It’s official – the first edition of the Michelin guide in Singapore will be unveiled on July 21, with the prestigious awards ceremony held at Resorts World Sentosa, attended by the International Director of the MICHELIN guides, Michael Ellis. The guide is an extension of a religious selection process applied across 28 countries, and a prevailing exemplar in creating the standard for fine dining.

In selecting restaurants for the guide, the famously anonymous Michelin inspectors will review all kinds of cuisines, considering nothing more than the quality of the food. In other words, factors unrelated to food such as service, facilities, place and décor are disregarded in the selection process.

According to Michelin Guide Singapore Programme Director Michelle Ling, a one star rating would signal a need to try the food if you happen to be around the vicinity, while two stars calls for “a detour” if you are around the area yet not quite nearby. Finally, a three-star rating describes something so compelling that you simply must “fly over to try it”.

Each establishment is chosen based on the exact five criteria used all over the world by Michelin inspectors. That includes the quality of the ingredients used, how the chef projects his personality in his cuisine, mastery of flavors and cooking techniques, value for money and consistency in relation to its entire menu and over time.

Yet, for something that has been around for more than a century, the guide still has a couple of lesser known facts and common misconceptions. Of them, here are three things you absolutely need to know about the guide and its mystical stars:

If your impression of Michelin-starred restaurants are all about the fancy pants and fine china, think again. The stars are awarded to a wide range of restaurants, and remember there’s no minimum price to pay for a good experience. Remember when Tim Ho Wan was awarded a Michelin-star? That was the Hong Kong dim sum chain’s modest Mongkok outlet. Further, one of the more recent awardees was a little ramen noodle bar in Tokyo, by name of Tsuta, where you can get a delicious bowl for just $10.

It’s a glorious thing for a Hollywood star to get their prestigious Oscar or coveted Emmy. The esteem lives on long after their career has waned or after their bones have turned to dust in their graves. In other words, the award sticks for life.
But not the Michelin stars. As the guide gets an annual update, closure of the restaurant during the year they were assessed, or failing to maintain standards in that year can cause a restaurant to lose its stars.

Finally, there simply isn’t quite a thing as a Michelin-starred chef. Not even if you’ve worked in a Michelin-starred restaurant, and certainly not if you’ve owned a bunch of said restaurants.
The food is the most critical factor in scoring any star, and there’s no way a chef could take off with the stars, even if he technically “earned” it.

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