Who will be blessed with new stars, or cursed with old ones taken away…
With the latest ‘Guide Rouge’ about to land, who is the Tyre Man going to pump up this year?
Armed with the results of our 2020 restaurant survey, we cast our eye over the candidates.
The awards ceremony will be in the Sloaney environs of the Hurlingham Club at 4pm next Monday, October 7.
What is your prediction? Please write and let us know.
Michelin three stars ☆☆☆
All existing award holders are marked in black bold. Potential promotions are in red.
- The Araki – will it hold on under Marty Lau now that the master has returned to Tokyo?
- ▼Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester – has never deserved three stars, will they rectify the position in any way (not very likely)?
- Core by Clare Smyth: media speculation is rife about whether Clare will be promoted from three stars. She deserves them. Also, she held three at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, so the Tyre Men would not have to be too brave to give her three here.
- The Fat Duck – probably safe as houses, although in our own survey it’s starting to lose a bit of its sheen (mostly ‘cos it’s so stupidly expensive)
- ▼ Gordon Ramsay – hasn’t deserved three stars for ages, will they finally demote Royal Hospital Road (not very likely)?
- The Waterside Inn – criticised a little more in our survey of late for being old-fashioned, but you could have said the same for the last 30 years: should be safe as houses.
Michelin two stars ☆☆
All existing award holders are marked in black bold. Potential promotions are in red.
- Andrew Fairlie at Gleneagles – we have seen no deterioration in feedback since AF’s sad loss, so can’t imagine Michelin will want to trample on his legacy.
- Aulis – Simon Rogan’s secret test kitchen experience was ignored by Michelin last year. It arguably deserves two stars but is it too left-field to be recognised?
- Bibendum by Claude Bosi – two stars is a reasonable award if not one our reporters totally agree with. According to Eater, Ladbrokes are offering good odds that he will be promoted yet further to three stars – a mistake in our view if they go for it.
- Casamia – Michelin are the only guide not to have gone utterly wild for this Bristol restaurant. A promotion from one star to two would raise not a single eyebrow…
- The Clove Club – hitherto this star of World’s 50 Best has looked like an omission by Michelin. Its ratings in our survey are not going the right way currently, though: this would not be the right year to promote the place.
- Core by Clare Smyth – see above.
- ▼ Dinner by Heston Blumenthal – long past its sell-by: should be demoted to a single star.
- Endo at Rotunda – if the history of The Araki (to which it is similar) is any guide, Endo Kazutoshi should get two stars this year, and three stars next.
- Elystan Street – Phil Howard is really into his stride here now; taking his star-rating up a notch would be a very easy award.
- L’Enclume – if it is re-rated it should be upwards: might they finally elevate Simon Rogan to the top league?
- Five Fields – winner of Harden’s London Restaurant Awards 2019 for Top Gastronomic Experience and one of the town’s most consistent starred restaurants. Worth bumping up?
- Le Gavroche – steady as she goes: perhaps at some point it will regain its third star.
- Greenhouse – Marina hates it, but no reason for it to lose its two stars this year.
- ▼ The Hand & Flowers – always a suspect award at two stars – nowadays increasingly sticking out like a sore thumb. Tom Kerridge has merely emphasised this fact by opening the (better) Coach just down the road.
- Hélène Darroze at the Connaught – likely to hang on to two stars despite its bizarrely stripped-down refit.
- Hide Above – The complaints about this place are that the food’s over-engineered and too expensive: surely a shoe-in for two stars then?
- Kitchen Table at Bubbledogs – last year’s elevation to two stars was one of Michelin’s best awards in recent times.
- The Ledbury – arguably should have had three stars for ages, but is not likely to win them this year.
- Lympstone Manor – Would be a worthy promotion for Michael Caines and seems likely (especially given his recent triumph at the AA awards).
- Maos – Same as Aulis: Nuno Mendes has created one of London’s best restaurants at this über-funky East End project but it doesn’t seem to be on the Tyre Man’s map?
- Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons – still a hit in our survey, but very nearly out of the GFG’s Top 50. Probably a banker, but you never know.
- Midsummer House – on our current survey, a one-and-a-half rating would be perfect here. Unlikely to change, though.
- Moor Hall – An unusually quick promotion last year by Michelin who followed the AA in awarding 5 rosettes. Might they just go absolutely wild this year, and step up to three?
- Nathan Outlaw – no changes expected down in Cornwall.
- The Raby Hunt – stellar if expensive: likely to retain its rating.
- Restaurant Sat Bains – despite the Crossroads motel setting might the editors go wild one day and give Sat star number three?
- Roganic – to quote our forthcoming guide: “the cuisine is undoubtedly Michelin quality, the venue less so”. Still it’s a bookie’s tip for promotion.
- Sketch – no changes expected.
- Story – is being touted in some quarters for a second star. It wouldn’t be a crazy award, but our ratings were more middling this year.
- Texture – performs extremely strongly in our survey again – Aggi Sverrisson is a far-from-ridiculous candidate for a second star.
- Umu – we used to be a bit cynical about Umu but increasingly think it not only fully deserves its two stars but should get three one day.
Michelin star ☆ (not comprehensive, but a few ideas…)
- Ametsa – It lost its star last year, but the cuisine here goes from strength to strength.
- Anglo – Mark Jarvis works wonders at this Farringdon 40-seater – wake up Michelin and give the lad a star.
- Artichoke, Amersham – this restaurant has fitted the bill for a Michelin star for many years.
- Brawn – one of the East End’s best performers: they could recognise it but have ignored it for so long they will probably go for a newer trendier name.
- Bright – long-shot, but the food is excellent and the Tyre Man likes East London nowadays.
- Caractère – winner of Harden’s London Restaurants 2019 top newcomer award: mad if it doesn’t get a star.
- Cornerstone – winner of Harden’s London Restaurants 2019 award for Best Fish & Seafood. Michelin ignored their chance to get down with the hipsters last year and to award a star. According to the bookies they will correct their mistake this year.
- Da Terra – deserves recognition on this well-known Bethnal Green site.
- Emilia – almost certain to get a star, as it’s on the same site as starred Bonham’s and, in part, run by the son of restaurant royalty.
- The Frog – either site should already have a star: there’s an outside case for two.
- Gauthier Soho – Bizarrely had its star taken away; when will they finally reinstate it? Don’t they like vegans?
- Indian Accent – [added in, by popular request, since first version of this article] – last year we noted how bizarre it was that this hugely accomplished Indian, which scores 5/5 in our survey, had been deprived a star and arguably two. See also Kutir.
- Kerridge’s – shortlisted for Harden’s London Restaurant Awards 2019 top newcomer: TV Tom’s celebrity is almost certain to help swing a star here.
- Kutir – Rohit Ghai should have won a star for Indian Accent when he helped open it: surely Michelin will award one for his newcomer here. After all, it’s easier for them to spot as it’s in Chelsea, and on a site that used to have a star.
- Launceston Place – Ben Murphy who joined in 2017 deserves a star: shouldn’t they give him one this year?
- Mana, Manchester – Manchester holds its breath! Marina has spoken. Will Michelin follow? Mana deserve it – it would be such an easy win, surely Michelin will put the ball in the back of the net on this one?
- Medlar – same as Gauthier – when will they recognise their mistake?
- Mere – ridiculous that it doesn’t have a star yet: will they finally put it right this year?
- Ooty – the food is good enough, the decor is good enough, the service is good enough…
- Rovi – why not burnish their veg-friendly credentials by recognising Yotam.
- Scully – if Ikoyi can have a Michelin star, why not nearby Scully too?
- The Small Holding, Kilndown – anyone who has been there raves – an easy award outside of The Smoke.
- Sushi Tetsu – If Michelin fully understood restaurant going, surely this place would have a star? Or two?
- ▼ Veeraswaamy – not a bad Indian, but no reason it should hold a star when many better establishments are ignored. Could safely be demoted.
- Roganic was originally incorrectly included under the single stars list.
- Indian Accent noted as per our version of this piece last year.