When it comes to searching for the top restaurants, it can get quite confusing. Star ratings are all over the place these days with the ability to review and rate as you dine on a number of different platforms. Google, Trip Advisor, Yelp and many more have their own star systems. Therefore, if you are looking for that 5-star experience, what you are really looking for is Michelin starred restaurants.
The Michelin star is the signature accolade for tip top restaurants. First published in 1900, the Michelin Guide is now the premier rating system for top class eateries. The Michelin star system is the holy grail to chefs, restaurateurs, foodies, and critiques alike. It is the final word, after all other rating systems. Unlike other ranking classifications Michelin stars only go up to 3, and the process of how those three little stars are achieved is a closely guarded secret. Visits are often anonymous, and rate the service, food, and the décor of the establishment. Eateries are targeted through combing the other review sites out there, as well as established food critique blogs, newspapers, and magazines.
So, what do Michelin stars mean? Apparently the first star signifies ‘a very good restaurant’, the second means ‘excellent cooking worth a detour to visit’, and the three-star ultimate accolade is only accorded to those with ‘exceptional cuisine worth a special journey’.
The process takes literally years and so is painstaking for those involved. It is all about quality, creativity, personality, and consistency. This last part is why visits take place months, sometimes years apart. Therefore, restaurants shooting for the Michelin stars need to treat every night as though it is an inspection. It is about being meticulous, well disciplined, and people pleasing.
Restaurants with high ratings across the board are those who invest back into the eatery. Rather than banking the profits, the best restaurants plough profits straight back into the place, through training staff, keeping décor up to date, improving suppliers, incentivising staff, and advertising. In the food world you must continually evolve and challenge yourself and your staff to keep the diners on their toes. As a diner you only go back to the places you know are going to offer you something different, but of equal quality to your first visit. This freshness is where the majority of stars come from; Michelin or otherwise.
Having said that Michelin stars are the finest mark of quality in the food world, there is no doubt that you can find some absolute gems from other rating systems with those that achieve the coveted 5 stars. You may happen to stumble across the finest restaurant that the Michelin reviewers haven’t yet. Your review could be the one that catches their eye.
It is hard to quantify what makes diners give a restaurant 5 stars. There will surely be stunning food, made with the finest and freshest ingredients and presented on the plate with flair. Atmosphere is another big thing when racking up the stars, but that of course depends on what type of night you are after. If you go to a bustling bar for a romantic meal you are unlikely to be happy at the end of the night. Value for money is something other star systems take into account, which is always a good thing. Public diners also tend to be more honest when rating service staff which can give you a great insight into the restaurant.
So although Michelin is the quality mark to look out for, you can still find some fantastic food and revolutionary restaurants by looking for those 5 little stars on other rating sites.
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