Six new London restaurants were awarded a Michelin star last night at the unveiling of the 2019 Michelin guide to the UK, while Clare Smyth’s Core in Notting Hill scooped two stars off the bat.
Echoing Claude Bosi’s immediate two-star rating for his high-end venture Bibendum in Chelsea last year, Claire Smyth, who held three stars while at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, was the big winner at last night’s ceremony.
Husband and wife duo James Knappett and Sandia Chang will also have been cracking open the Champagne last night after their chef’s table concept, Kitchen Table, housed inside hotdog and grower Champagne venue Bubbledogs in Fitzrovia, was awarded a second star, having won its first back in 2015.
Six other London restaurants had reason to celebrate, including Simon Rogan’s revived Roganic in Marylebone, which won its first star after reopening this spring.
Wine Mecca Hide in Mayfair, headed up by Ollie Dabbous, also scooped a star, as did Tomos Parry’s Basque-inspired grill restaurant Brat in Shoreditch and neighbouring Leroy, which also had a star under its former guise – Ellory in London Fields.
Proving that she’s no one-trick pony, Spanish chef Nieves Barragán was awarded a star for her debut solo venture Sabor on Heddon Street, having previously won a star while at Sam and Eddie Hart’s Barrafina in Soho.
Another welcome newcomer to the Michelin stable is the innovative, West African-inspired Ikoyi in St James’s, run by Iré Hassan-Odukale and Jeremy Chan.
At the top of the Michelin tree, The Araki in Mayfair, Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester and Restaurant Gordon Ramsay in Chelsea held onto their three stars apiece.
In addition to Core and Kitchen Table, eight two-star restaurants: Claude Bosi at Bibendum; Dinner by Heston; Le Gavroche; The Greenhouse; Hélène Darroze at The Connaught; The Ledbury; Sketch and Umu retained their rankings.
The big upset of the night was the demotion of Marcus Wareing’s eponymous restaurant at The Berkeley hotel from a two to a one star venue. Prior to its demotion, the Mayfair restaurant had held two stars since 2009.