Tokyo Confirmed as World’s Culinary Capital with 36 More Michelin Stars


Michelin has released its selection of recommended hotels and restaurants in the MICHELIN guide Tokyo 2009. The new edition features 203 establishments in all, a number that includes 173 restaurants and 30 hotels. Tokyo is tied with Paris for the number of three-star eateries. “Tokyo’s gastronomy has improved and evolved in the course of the year and the rise in stars shows that,” said Jean-Luc Naret, Director of Michelin Guides. “There is great potential in Tokyo and it can get even more stars.”

In the 2009 selection:- Ishikawa joins the three star selections.- 14 restaurants join the selection of two-star and 35 restaurants join the one-star.- With 227 stars in all, Tokyo strengthens the position of world leader in gourmet dining with more “stars” than any other city. This is 36 more stars than the 191 awarded to Tokyo last year. Michelin updates MICHELIN guides every single year in order to provide readers most reliable information possible. All the restaurants and hotels selected in 2008 edition are reexamined, and establishments which are not selected and which could be interesting for Michelin readers are also inspected. Just after the launch of 2008 edition, specially assigned inspectors, both Japanese and European, full-time employees of Michelin, have been anonymously evaluating restaurants and hotels.

The 2009 selection covers 13 “Ku” (wards), wider area of Tokyo than the previous year by adding 5 “Ku”. And to honor its outstanding cuisine, the unrivaled quality of the products used, the cooking techniques employed, its rich heritage and its culinary traditions, which are passed on from one generation to the next, the selection in the MICHELIN guide Tokyo 2009 continues to comprise exclusively of “starred” restaurants, like the 2008 selection. Japanese cuisine continues to represent more than 60% of the selected restaurants. Michelin guide is well known by its pictograms, fork-and-spoon symbols (ò to ö) meaning the comfort for restaurants and pavilions (j to l) meaning the comfort for hotels. MICHELIN guide Tokyo 2009 has new features, by creating two pictograms, in order to adapt Japanese customs. One is “take-off the shoes (0)” and the other is “good selection of Sake (1)”.
The Peninsula Tokyo and Conrad Tokyo were amongst the hotel’s to have restaurants awarded stars. The Peninsula Tokyo’s Hei Fung Terrace was been awarded a Michelin star, one of only seven Chinese restaurants to receive this prestigious honor. The restaurant offers authentic Cantonese cuisine in a Suzhou garden setting, reiterating the hotel’s proximity to the Imperial Palace Gardens. Set lunch menus at Hei Fung Terrace start from just JPY 4,280. 

In awarding Gordon Ramsay at Conrad Tokyo one star the Michelin Guide particularly noted its “striking” open kitchen and Chef’s Table. Conrad Tokyo’s China Blue restaurant was also awarded a Michelin star for the second year running. “There are very few Chinese restaurants in the Guide”, noted Michelin Director Jean-Luc Naret. “We only deal with the absolute best of the best in each category so the Chinese restaurants that appear in this 2009 Guide are outstanding”. Gregor Andréewitch, the Conrad Tokyo’s General Manager, said the prestigious accolade “reaffirmed the standard of excellence upheld at China Blue and recognised an enormous investment by the team at Gordon Ramsay at Conrad Tokyo over the past year. “Tokyo is fast building a reputation as the ‘dining capital of the world’. At the Conrad Tokyo, we are proud to be at the heart of this – providing a unique experience in design, space and culinary excellence”. Gordon Ramsay, the multi-Michelin starred chef said he was delighted to receive the award. “Tokyo is one of the most amazing cities in the world in terms of restaurants and produce and therefore a great source of inspiration for a chef. This recognition from Michelin is wonderful news and I am very proud of my team there led by the talented head chef Shinya Maeda”.

For more information or reservations please visit Peninsula Tokyo and Conrad Tokyo websites.

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