Home Britain ‘No explanation’ as London restaurant loses all three Michelin stars

‘No explanation’ as London restaurant loses all three Michelin stars

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The head chef of a London restaurant known for its celebrity diners says he's had no explanation from Michelin since losing all three of his prestigious stars.

Marty Lau says he and his team at The Araki – a sushi restaurant in Mayfair – were "left in the dark" over the decision.

Famous customers have included fashion designer and former Spice Girl Victoria Beckham and her husband David.

The Michelin Guide is one of the oldest restaurant guides, published by the tyre company Michelin. The guide awards up to three stars to a select few restaurants. Michelin removing stars can affect a restaurant's trade and reputation.

Opening in 2014, The Araki is one of the capital's smallest restaurants, sitting just 10 customers at the chef's counter and another six in an optional private room.

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It also carries a high price tag, with guests paying £310 per head for the omakase, the chef's set sushi menu.

Former head chef Mitsuhiro Araki earned the restaurant a Michelin star less than a year after the doors opened. He previously owned a restaurant in Tokyo, which had pulled in three stars.

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However, in March, he decided to move to Hong Kong to open a new restaurant, leaving The Araki in the hands of his apprentice, Marty Lau, who he had trained for four years.

The 31-year-old told Sky News he didn't know why the restaurant hadn't picked up any stars from the guide.

"We had no previous warning. We had no explanation. We were left completely in the dark as to why," he said.

"We leave it to Michelin's discretion."

Image: Former chef Mitsuhiro Araki (left) when he got three stars for the first time in 2010

But Mr Lau went on to say that he and the team behind The Araki had no ill feelings towards the Michelin Guide, saying that he saw the experience as "character building".

"I believe that Michelin, in a positive way of thinking, is doing a master reset, judging it under my name, not his [Mr Araki].

"We had a lot of newspapers not requesting a comment. They all just said we lost stars, like it was the end of the world. That's not very nice, but it's only going to inspire," he said.

"As disappointing as it is not to have any stars straight away, I am humbled to be starting off like my master did without any stars.

"I take it on the chin, honestly."

Mr Lau explained the way he was trained differs from the traditional Western restaurant culture.

"I've always been inspired by martial arts and the apprentice and master relationship. You always look after the sensei [person born before another], the apprentice is looked after by the master. That to me is the ultimate romance.

"I think that in Western cultuRead More – Source