Monthly Archives: November 2008

Ishikawa Receives Michelin Three Stars

The Michelin Guide Tokyo 2009 was released today. They gave stars to a total of 173 restaurants over last year’s 150. 9 restaurants were awarded the three-star. One new restaurant was added to the existing three-star restaurants in the 2008 edition. Ishikawa, the newly-born Michelin three-star restaurant, went up from a two-star rating in 2008. I heard that the chef is from Niigata, which is my hometown. I’m really proud of it. Hideki Ishikawa, who is 43 years old, left for Tokyo when he was 20 years old and started his career in the restaurant business after a couple of years as a janitor and different waitering jobs. He has climbed the ladder step by step and finally made it to the top. Congratulations! 

Here’s the list of the three-star restaurants:

Japanese: Hamadaya, Ishikawa, Kanda, Koju
Sushi: Sukiyabashi Jiro, Sushi Mizutani
French: Joel Robuchon, Quintessence, L’Osier

Counter-action

I’ve been seeing an integration between the West and the East, in terms of the restaurant business. Restaurant interior décor is a good example of this:
L’ATELIER de Joel Robuchon at Roppongi Hills has counter seats like a sushi restaurant. It is said that Robuchon came up with this idea through Sukiyabashi Jiro, which is a Michelin three-star sushi restaurant in Tokyo. Customers can enjoy the openness and conversations with chefs over the counter.

Alan Ducuss recently opened his first restaurant in Osaka, Le Comptoir de Benoit. As the name says, the French bistro restaurant has counter seating, trying to create a casual atmosphere for outgoing Osaka gourmet customers. Osaka is called Town of Kuidaore, which means “bankrupt oneself with food.” They really care about the food and would never pay without a reason. They are all strewed businessmen. The market is very picky as well as stingy. An Osaka Terroir may be a terror…