Japanese cuisine has put Britain on the map in the world of the Michelin Guide. The Araki, a sushi restaurant that opened on Regent Street in 2014, has just been knighted with three stars by the inspectors of the venerable red guide. The restaurant is helmed by sushi master Mitsuhiro Araki, who now joins the ranks of Alain Ducasse and Gordon Ramsay in bringing the number of top-rated restaurants in the UK to five.
This isn’t Araki’s first time in the spotlight from earning Michelin’s highest accolade. Before moving to London three years ago, Araki pulled off the same feat back in Tokyo, where he ran another eponymous Edomae sushi restaurant. In a short span of time, Araki has steadily regained his three Michelin stars, testifying to the Japanese chef’s mastery of the cuisine.
Following that, Araki didn’t just kick his feet up and bask in his success. At his restaurant in London, the sushi master challenged himself to use mostly European fish in his dishes. The results, as described by Michelin director Michael Ellis, are “simply sublime.”
The Araki only seats nine diners at its counter, an arrangement that, according to the restaurant’s website, means that “every seat is at the chef’s table”. The restaurant also has a fixed omakase sushi menu for £300 a person.
Besides The Araki, four other restaurants in the UK retained their three Michelin-star ratings: Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck, and Alain Roux’s Waterside Inn, Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester Restaurant and Gordon Ramsay in London, which, after Clare Smyth’s departure, is now headed by chef Matt Abé.
Another big winner in the 2018 edition of the Michelin guide for Great Britain and Ireland is Claude Bosi at Bibendum, where the restaurant’s sophisticated French cuisine earned two stars.
Overall, 20 restaurants were awarded two stars, while the single-starred category features 150 addresses, 17 of which are new. The Michelin Guide Great Britain and Ireland 2018 hits book stores October 5.