Ramen Shop Wins Michelin Star as Tokyo Keeps Gourmet Crown

By Reuters
December 01,2015
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Mt. Fuji is seen beyond buildings in Tokyo July 21, 2015. REUTERS/Toru Hanai

TOKYO (Reuters) - A restaurant featuring ramen, a humble Japanese noodle dish, took its place among the more exalted gourmet restaurants as Tokyo kept its crown as the Michelin guide's dining capital of the world for the ninth straight year on Tuesday.

Among the establishments gaining three-star ratings in the 2016 Michelin guide to Japan's capital was one serving blowfish that is poisonous if improperly prepared and a sushi restaurant whose master chef is in his late 80s.

The guide also widened its listing of foods in the "Bib Gourmand" section that emphasizes cheaper restaurants to include Japanese-style curry and gyoza, the Japanese version of Chinese potsticker dumplings.

"The number of restaurants in Tokyo is just huge, and the breadth of the offerings very wide, making it an extremely appealing city for fine dining," said Michael Ellis, international director of the Michelin guides, in a statement.

Thirteen restaurants gained the coveted three-star rating, one more than last year, with the promotion of "Kohaku" - a Japanese restaurant featuring elaborate courses of elegant traditional dishes - to three stars from two.

In a world first, "Tsuta," a restaurant featuring ramen, or noodles in soup, was awarded a single star.

As many as 217 restaurants gained stars, down from 267 last year but still the most for any world capital city, a Michelin spokeswoman said.

The first Michelin restaurant guide, aimed at drivers in the early days of motoring, was published by the tire company in 1900, with the star rating system introduced in the 1920s. Tokyo was the first Asian city to have a guide devoted to it.

Following is a list of the 13 top-rated Tokyo restaurants, according to the 2016 Michelin guide that goes on sale on Friday.

1. Ishikawa

2. Esaki

3. Kanda

4. Quintessence

5. Kohaku

6. Saito

7. Joel Robuchon

8. Sukiyabashi Jiro Honten

9. Makimura

10. Yamadaya

11. Yukimura

12. Yoshitake

13. Ryugin

 

(Reporting by Elaine Lies; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani)