The Best Local Michelin-Starred Restaurants
On the surface, there seems to be a disconnect between a tyre manufacturer and the world’s best restaurants. The Michelin Guide started by brothers André and Édouard Michelin was published to boost car sales and therefore tyre sales and included useful driver information such as repairing and changing tyres and lists of mechanics, hotels and petrol stations.
After the First World War, the guide was updated to include restaurants and as the popularity of the restaurant section of the guide grew, the brothers recruited a team of anonymous inspectors to visit and review restaurants. In 1926, the guide started to award stars for the best dining establishments and in 1931, the hierarchy of one, two and three stars made its debut. Five years later, they published their criteria for rankings:
One Star: A very good restaurant in its category (Une très bonne table dans sa catégorie)
Two Stars: Excellent cooking, worth a detour (Table excellente, mérite un detour)
Three Stars: Exceptional cuisine, with a special journey (Une des meilleures tables, vaut le voyage)
Here’s our guide to the best Michelin-starred restaurants near the Rathbone.
Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester *** Locate on Map
Alain Ducasse is one of the world’s most decorated chefs. Known not only for his incomparable French cuisine, he has created innovative dining concepts reflecting international influences and has earned a reputation for phenomenal cuisine.
Elegance, luxury and attention to detail are the hallmarks of Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester, where the atmosphere is warm and relaxed. The kitchen uses the best seasonal produce, whether British or French, to create visually striking, refined, modern dishes.
Hibiscus ** Locate on Map
Established since 2007 in the heart of Mayfair, chef Claude Bosi’s palate for seasonality and sourcing the majority of his ingredients within the British Isles is translated through his classically trained – yet modern day French- inspired – dishes. Select three, six or eight courses and be prepared for a surprise as the kitchen will choose them for you.
Claude Bosi’s cooking is as innovative as ever; the combinations of flavours and textures are well-judged and dishes are underpinned by fine ingredients.
The Araki ** Locate on Map
12 New Burlington Street, London W1S 3BH
020 7287 2481
Mitsuhiro Araki is one of Japan’s great Sushi Masters who closed his restaurant in the Ginza district of Tokyo to relocate to London for a fresh challenge. From one of only nine seats at the stunning cypress counter, watch him deftly prepare Edomae sushi using European seafood.
It’s very expensive – the only menu item is the sushi ‘omakase’ set menu at £300 per person but the different cuts of fish and seafood are ‘utterly fresh and utterly perfect’ and the rice, grown by his father-in-law in Japan, is also excellent. Araki has been described as ‘one of the greatest living proponents of high-art sushi.’
Le Gavroche ** Locate on Map
43 Upper Brook Street, London W1K 7QR
020 7408 0881
Perhaps the most famous restaurant in London, Le Gavroche is well-known the world over for classical, rich and indulgent French cuisine at Michel Roux’s renowned London institution. The large, smart basement room has a gentleman’s club-like, masculine feel; service is formal and structured but also has old-school charm.
Le Gavroche was the first UK restaurant to be awarded one, two and three Michelin stars. The chef de cuisine is Michel Roux Jr, who took over the reins from his father, culinary demi-god Albert in 1991.
Square ** Locate on Map
6-10 Bruton Street, London W1J 6PU
020 7495 7100
Philip Howard has been chef and co-owner of The Square since its opening in 1991. Whilst the style of his cooking has evolved and progressed, receiving many awards and accolades along the way, the fundamental backbone of his dishes remains unchanged. Impeccable seasonal ingredients are accurately cooked and brought together on the plate in a harmonious, elegant, yet satisfying manner.
The cooking is rooted in classic French cuisine but displays more than a healthy understanding of contemporary mores. The room is smart without being stuffy and the service professional yet warm.
L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon * Locate on Map
13-15 West Street, London WC2H 9NE
020 7010 8600
L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon is set over three floors with two exciting restaurants, a superb bar and roof-top terrace. The multi award-winning Michelin-starred restaurant is situated on West Street in the heart of London’s Theatreland, moments away from Covent Garden.
Executive Head Chef Xavier Boyer’s seasonal dishes are deliciously uncomplicated and beautifully presented, combining classic French inspiration, creative, skilled and occasionally playful cooking underpinned by imagination and the best possible ingredients delivered daily.
Barrafina * Locate on Map
Barrafina in Covent Garden is an authentic Spanish tapas bar owned and operated by restaurateurs Sam & Eddie Hart. The restaurant has an open kitchen, a beautiful marble-topped bar where guests can sit and watch the chefs at work and stylish red leather stools.
The a la carte menus, developed by Executive Head Chef Nieves Barragán Mohacho, comprise authentic regional dishes from all over Spain. There is also a daily changing Specials menu and the succinct wine list features the finest Spanish sherries, Cavas and wines.
Arbutus * Locate on Map
63-64 Frith Street, London W1D 3JW
020 7734 4545
Arbutus opened in May 2006 and is the brainchild of Anthony Demetre and Will Smith. Arbutus boasts an intimate dining area with a décor that does not compromise on style or elegance. A unique feature is that the whole wine list can be bought by the 250ml carafe and allows you to pair different wines with your meal.
Anthony’s modern European cuisine really shines with his ability to turn seasonal and inexpensive food items into affordable and interesting dishes.
Social Eating House * Locate on Map
There’s a something of a Brooklyn vibe to this Jason Atherton restaurant, with its bare brick and raw plastered walls. It’s great fun, very busy and gloriously unstuffy; the menu is an eminently good read, with the best dishes being the simplest ones. Chef-Patron Paul Hood continues to develop dishes closely with Jason, creating his own diverse and contemporary bistro menu that highlights his personal style of cooking.
The simple yet carefully created dishes are complimented by a relaxed and attentive service in the comfortable, humble setting. Inspired by the buzz of Soho, Jason’s vision has been to create a restaurant where diners can eat in an informal and social setting and where the surroundings are as vibrant as the food.
Hakkasan * Locate on Map
There are Hakkasan restaurants all over the world but Hanway Place was the original. It has the sensual looks, air of exclusivity and glamorous atmosphere synonymous with the ‘brand’. The exquisite Cantonese dishes are prepared with care and consistency by the large kitchen team and lunch dim sum is a highlight.
Executive Chef Ho Chee Boon, a Michelin-starred chef with 25 years’ experience employs traditional techniques and uses fresh local ingredients to ensure his contemporary dishes retain the essence of conventional Cantonese cuisine. With signature dishes such as the roasted silver cod with Champagne and honey to the crispy duck salad, his international expertise creates an impressive epicurean experience.