Michelin dreaming? From New York to London, four not to miss
Fancy some liquid vinegar encased in frozen vinegar that explodes in the mouth? Or is Bread of the Forest with moss butter more your style? We look at four Michelin-starred restaurants to put on your radar right now for your next trip away.
There’s every chance you’re familiar with the more tantalising restaurants close to home. But what about when you travel overseas? We give you the lowdown on some of the best places to eat abroad. All of them have been awarded at least two Michelin Stars and all promise to excite your taste buds in a whole new way.
The Ledbury, London
While The Ledbury may not enjoy the worldwide fame of Heston Blumenthal’s The Fat Duck, it has an exceedingly strong following among those in the know. Head chef Brett Graham hails from Newcastle, Australia, and opened the Notting Hill restaurant when he was just 25. One year later he was awarded his first Michelin star.
Now with two stars to its name, The Ledbury is frequently rated the best restaurant in London and the UK and is currently recognised as one of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants. And it’s with good reason. According to the Michelin guide inspectors, “Brett Graham’s husbandry skills and close relationship with his suppliers ensure the quality of the produce shines through and flavour combinations linger long in the memory”.
Signature dishes on the modern French menu include the likes of candy beetroot baked in clay with English caviar and smoked eel, plus Graham’s passion for hunting ensures there’s lots of game on the menu. (He recently launched two wild deer farms to produce locally-sourced meat for his restaurant.)
But rest assured he is big on vegetables too with The Ledbury offering a vegetarian tasting menu. Meanwhile, the restaurant’s vegetable plot relies entirely on the composted food left over from its patrons thanks to an innovative probiotic technique.
127 Ledbury Rd, Notting Hill, London
(+44) 207 792 9090
Aska, New York
New York restaurant Aska takes its inspiration from head chef Fredrik Berselius’s birthplace, Sweden. Located in a restored 1860s factory under the Williamsburg Bridge in Brooklyn, the 10-table restaurant has been awarded two Michelin stars in the 2017 guide – quite a feat since it only opened its doors in July 2016.
Berselius moved to New York in 2000, finetuning his skills at the likes of noted restaurants Aquavit and Corton. While he is influenced by his home country, he says his food is quintessentially ‘New York’ due to its strong grounding in locally sourced ingredients.
One dish which attracted the attention of the Michelin guide inspectors, however, draws on Scandanavian produce – the Finnish Carelian caviar with grilled onion bulbs, cultured cream, and ramp seeds in a lemon verbena-onion broth. They recommended it for being “extraordinary in presentation and flavour”. The restaurant’s charred squid and seaweed tart has also been lauded, again for its sheer beauty and taste.
The focus on local produce is assisted by the restaurant’s own small plot at a farm nearby.
47 S. 5th St., Brooklyn, New York City
If the ten stools are taken at the three Michelin starred Sukiyabashi Jiro Honten – reputedly Japan’s finest sushi – it’s well worth checking whether there’s a free table at Narisawa. You might just be in luck.
Boasting two Michelin stars and recognised as the second-best restaurant in Asia in 2017, Narisawa’s highly praised French-Japanese cuisine is very likely to tantalise your taste buds.
Chef Yoshihiro Narisawa is described as a trailblazer in the world of Japanese cooking and certainly some of his dishes are delightfully innovative, whether it’s the Bread of the Forest with moss butter or The Gion Festival eggplant, described by one diner as nearly too pretty to eat but worth it for its flavour. Another of Narisawa-san’s signature dishes is the wagyu beef roast.
“The theme here is innovative mountain village cuisine that brings together nature conservation and gastronomy … Yoshihiro Narisawa’s novel dishes are bursting with creativity.”
2-6-15 Minamiaoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Restaurant André, Singapore
While you can expect French fare at this two Michelin starred restaurant, the inevitable Asian influence makes Singapore’s Restaurant André a unique experience.
In fact, chef André Chiang is influenced by numerous countries – or arguably no country at all. Now living in Singapore, Chiang was born in Taiwan and grew up in Japan, only to be trained in French cuisine. Yet his desire to forge his own path is evident in his design of a personal framework – eight elements that he uses to guide his food and his way of living. These elements are set out in his book, Octophilosophy. They include unique, pure, texture, memory, salt, south, artisan and terroir.
The Michelin guide inspectors applaud his restaurant for being “innovative and sophisticated”, noting its playful elements and, at times, sense of theatre. Rated 14 in the World’s Best Restaurants 2017, Restaurant André wins plaudits for his “memory” dish of warm foie gras jelly with black truffle coulis. Another noteworthy plate is the Philippine influenced “idea” of kinilaw cevich.
It also may be worth trying some pre-dinner snacks. The restaurant’s Vinegar Ball, for instance, is intriguingly described as frozen vinegar encased in liquid vinegar which can explode in the mouth.
1 Bukit Pasoh Road, Singapore
(+65) 6534 8880