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Mainland China’s First Michelin Guide Debuts in Shanghai to Mixed Reviews

Michelin’s first-ever mainland China guide debuted last month to mixed reviews.

On September 21, the esteemed French restaurant guide unveiled its Shanghai edition, reports Today. Michelin's latest guide features 26 eateries, many of them Cantonese, including the three-starred T’ang Court as well as the world’s least expensive two-star restaurant, Canton 8.

However not everyone was pleased with the fine dining guide. Some argue that Michelin placed greater emphasis on a restaurant’s price tag than its food quality, according to another Today article, while others took the opposite view, calling out Michelin for its inclusion of local street food – not unlike the hawker stalls featured in Singapore’s Michelin Guide – and suggesting these roadside eateries could not compare to the haute cuisine of fine dining restaurants.

Other critics of the guide felt it had not done enough to include local restaurants, the news source writes, pointing out that a total of 29 Singaporean eateries had earned Michelin stars compared to just 26 in Shanghai.

Michelin’s executive vice president Claire Dorland-Clauzel defended her company’s work.

“We have to adapt to the country,” Dorland-Clauzel was quoted by The Staras saying. “Our role is to promote quality food everywhere, not (only) French food.”

Either way, the Michelin guide is already having an impact on local eateries. The South China Morning Post pointed out that Michelin-starred restaurants often see a business boom after the release of the guide, though in the case of the recently reviewed Taian Table, this definitely won't be the case: just a day after earning a Michelin star, the restaurant closed for business, reports BBC, after lacking the proper licenses to operate.

[Photo via SCMP]

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