Korean restaurant wins 2 Michelin stars

Korean restaurant wins 2 Michelin stars

For the first time, a Korean restaurant has won two Michelin stars in the 2014 New York edition of the prestigious gastronomy guide, which has also awarded a record number of accolades.

Seven restaurants won the guide's highest three-star rating, unchanged from last year, earning the description of "exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey".

But in the two-star category of "excellent cuisine, worth a detour", the surprise breakthrough was Korean restaurant Jungsik, which is run by chef Jung Sik Yim in Manhattan's trendy TriBeCa neighbourhood.

"He's a brilliant young chef who worked in South Korea, New York and Spain at a three-star Michelin (restaurant)," Mr Michael Ellis, the international director of the annual guide issued by the French tyre company, told AFP. "It's a very personal cuisine, which combines his Korean origins with high-level European techniques for a superb cuisine d'auteur."

The number of two-star restaurants in New York fell from seven last year to five. They include Atera, run by chef Mathew Lightner in TriBeCa; Soto, a Japanese restaurant in Greenwich Village; the Italian Marea near Central Park and Momofuku in East Village.

A total of 55 restaurants got one star, up from 52 last year and nine of them for the first time.

New York holds onto its undisputed title as the most diverse culinary capital of the world with 61 different cuisines represented, including Persian, Tibetan, Sri Lankan, Peruvian, Polish, fusion and gastropub, not to mention European and Japanese.

Three French restaurants retained the top rank of three stars: Daniel, with chef Daniel Boulud; Jean-Georges, with chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, and chef Eric Ripert's Le Bernardin.

Masa Takayama's Masa, Thomas Keller's Per Se, Eleven Madison Park featuring Daniel Humm and Chef's Table at Brooklyn Fare made up the rest of the three-star list.

Gordon Ramsay's The London lost its two stars. So did Corton in TriBeCa, which lost chef Paul Liebrandt, and Gilt on Madison Avenue, which closed.

In all, 930 restaurants got a mention in the guide, up from 896 last year. Sixty-seven got stars compared to 66 in last year's edition.

Another 138 were highlighted as Bib Gourmand, which signifies good eating at good value.

Menus in this category offer two dishes and a glass of wine for a maximum of US$40 (S$50), excluding tax and service.

The 2014 guide includes dozens of restaurants where diners despairing of the city's high prices can eat for less than US$25.

Michelin also covers San Francisco and Chicago in the United States. Its reviewers, also called "inspectors", work anonymously and have a reputation for independence.

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