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26 restaurants listed on the Food Bible

Reporter: Cui Hui'ao 丨 CCTV.com

09-23-2016 02:47 BJT

The much anticipated Michelin Guide’s Shanghai Edition was released today with more than two dozen restaurants being awarded the coveted Michelin stars. But one food blogger does not think the list represents the best food in Shanghai. In fact, one Shanghai resident even posted this on social media: “If you want to read a book of jokes, then pick up the Michelin Guide Shanghai Edition.”

A dish in T

A dish in T'ang Court [Photo: mywine.com]

A total of 26 restaurants were awarded Michelin stars at the grand ceremony. Only one restaurant received the top rating of three stars—the Cantonese restaurant T’ang Court in Xintiandi. Seven other restaurants were given two stars and 18 picked up one star. 

“I totally didn’t see this coming. I was actually quite nervous down there. If there is any secret in our cooking, I think it’s the strict control of our ingredients, and the way we simplify the very process of cooking. We put a lot of emphasis on the flavor of ingredients themselves,” said Justin Tan, Chinese executive chef of T’ang court

The restaurants to make the grade were selected from thousands of restaurants in Shanghai. A Michelin Guide executive says they hire local inspectors and train them for months so that they fully understand the guide’s criteria, while remaining independent. 

“There are five criteria to evaluate. It’s quality of the ingredients, the capacity of the training skills of cooking, the personality of the chef in the cooking, the regularity, and the value for money,” said Claire Dorland-Clauzel, executive vice-president of Michelin.

But not everyone is convinced the best restaurants were selected. One food critic raises questions about the selection process. 

“From my perspective, the list might be a bit unfair to restaurants that specialize in Shanghainese cuisine. Most of the starred Chinese restaurants are Cantonese. Secondly, some of the restaurants on that list, which I have been, have great settings, nice presentations, and are very innovative, but personally I don’t think they taste that good,” said food blogger Yu Fei.

Michelin says it plans to publish more guides for cities on the Chinese mainland in the future.

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