A Michelin Star Experiment…

22nd July 2015


Not long after the Michelin guide (read more about the guide here) announced its awards for 2015, The Better Half (TBH) and I had a discussion about what differentiates a one star, two star and a three star restaurant from each other. Having eaten in a few one star and two star establishments before, to my untrained eye it is hard to make that distinction. I decided to do an internet search on what Michelin use as their criteria when awarding their stars and found nothing conclusive. All the Michelin guide says is:

One star: Very good cooking in its category

Two star: Excellent cooking, worth a detour

Three star: Exceptional cooking, worth a special journey

TBH and I decided to do our own research by dining at a one star, then a two star and finally a three Michelin star restaurant to see if we could spot the difference. We created our own rules to ensure that we were comparing apples with apples, as the saying goes.

1. All the restaurants have to serve the same type of cuisine. In this experiment, we chose French. Mainly because it seems that there is a wider range of this type of restaurant that holds 1,2 and 3 stars in London that we would be able to try. (Saying that though, finding a three star restaurant with availability at lunch time is proving a challenge!)
2. We have to have the set menu. This will keep the experience as consistent as possible. It also ensures we don’t completely break the bank!

So far we have had our 1 Michelin Star lunch at Alyn Williams at The Westbury. The 2 Michelin star lunch will be at Hélène Darroze at The Connaught and I am yet to choose the 3 Michelin Star experience.

Keep an eye out over the coming weeks for the full reviews of the restaurants we visited. Hopefully we’ll have a better idea of the criteria Michelin looks for when awarding their much sought after stars.

Until we eat again!

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  • Reply Frankie The Mayfairy 24th July 2015 at 05:57

    Oooooh this is super interesting, Sam. I’m going to be checking back to see your comparison. Be brutally honest! (Like you’d ever be anything else XD)

    • Reply SamTheFoodfan 24th July 2015 at 07:39

      I was really surprised not to be able to find a definitive list of criteria! Will be interesting to see if I can see a difference other than the price!

  • Reply Connie @connieconsumes 26th July 2015 at 19:41

    Very interesting experiment indeed! My other (not better lol) half and I often discuss the various Michelin star restaurants we’ve been to and compare them… we’ve been debating whether there are even slightly different standards in different countries?! So far this year we’ve been to 6 one star restaurants in the UK and there are definitely some which have stood out more than others!

    • Reply SamTheFoodfan 26th July 2015 at 21:06

      Connie – I was really surprised not to be able to find a definitive criteria any where, which makes me believe it’s all very subjective! Will be interesting to see how different all these experiences will be!

  • Reply Andrea Petersen 31st July 2015 at 13:12

    This is such a great idea Sam! Can’t wait to see where you go for number 3 🙂 Lots of love, Andrea xxx

    Andrea’s Passions

    • Reply SamTheFoodfan 31st July 2015 at 13:45

      Thanks Andy, it’s been interesting so far and rather enjoyable! 😊

  • Reply Louise | Cygnet Kitchen 14th August 2015 at 22:14

    An interesting experiment Sam! I am very lucky enough to have eaten at many one, two and three Michelin star restaurants both here and in France and Europe. I would say that in a lot of cases there isn’t a hugely noticeable difference between one and two stars, but most three stars really stand out as exceptional. I would also say that those restaurants who have just attained two or three star status are usually worth a visit. Some restaurants that have stars for a long time can get a bit set in their ways and are not so innovative. Have fun! Lou x

    • Reply SamTheFoodfan 15th August 2015 at 07:42

      Thanks Lou! I’ve already noted a difference between one and two. Can’t wait to see what three is like!

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