TOKYO, Nov 30 — The tenets of traditional Japanese cuisine called washoku, which focuses on highlighting the best of natural, seasonal ingredients, are given a special place of honor in the 10th edition of Michelin’s guide to dining in Tokyo.
New for the 2017 edition, Michelin inspectors inducted four new restaurants into the two-starred club, all of which serve traditional Japanese cuisine.
“Washoku traditional Japanese cuisine, whose cooking style is to concentrate on getting the best of natural ingredients, has become the focus of worldwide attention and makes up of the majority of this selection,” said international director Michael Ellis in a statement.
“Soba and Sushi are well-known representatives of Washoku and are said to be Edo’s traditional local cuisine. There are also other cuisines whose origins were from outside Japan but which have now become Washoku after evolving in Japan, such Ramen and Yoshoku.”
New two-starred members for 2017 include Amamoto and Masuda, both of which specialize in sushi; Miyasaka, a Japanese restaurant; and Ginya which serves tempura.
Washoku cuisine was inscribed as an Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2013 and is described as a social practice associated with respect for nature and the sustainable use of natural resources, typically seen during New Year celebrations.
To welcome the deities into the new year, for example, the Japanese will pound rice cakes for special meals that usually include locally sourced fish, vegetables and edible wild plants.
Meanwhile, all 12 three-starred restaurants held on to their distinction.
For four dining destinations — Joel Robuchon, Kanda, Quintessence and Sukiyabashi Jiro Honten — this year marks the 10th consecutive year that they’ve held onto their triple-starred standing.
The city also earned an impressive 19 new, one-star restaurants representing a cross-section of international cuisines including Chinese, French, Italian, and Japanese.
Three of the new inductees were promoted from a Bib Gourmand standing (which features good value eats).
“We can confidently say that Tokyo is one of the best and the brightest gastronomical cities in the world and we will continue to shine a light on the food of the city,” Ellis said.
Overall, the guide includes 542 restaurants and 43 accommodations including hotels and one ryokan.
Here’s the star count for Michelin Guide Tokyo 2017:
** 54 (4 new)
* 161 (19 new)
Bib Gourmand 315 (48 new) — AFP-Relaxnews