Patrick Crichton-Stuart, Head of Dining for Ten Lifestyle Group, , takes a look at which restaurants might make the cut this October:
“The Michelin Guide to Great Britain and Ireland 2019 rankings will be announced in October and with the help of our team of dining specialists we have been placing our bets on which London restaurants deserve stars this year.
“Back in 2015 one of the biggest stories on London’s food scene was Monica Galetti was leaving Le Gavroche. A popular (and fierce) judge on BBC’s Masterchef: The Professionals, Galetti had worked alongside Michel Roux Jr for 12 years, so the decision to go it alone came as a shock to the industry. However, excitement quickly built when she announced a new project with her husband, sommelier David Galetti. Fast-forward three years and Mere is a Fitzrovia favourite. The precise cooking and beautifully calm dining room is testament to her impeccable attention to detail and exacting standards and if this doesn’t attract the eye of the inspectors, we don’t know what will.
“Similarly, Clare Smyth broke away from her long-time mentor Gordon Ramsay setting up her own venture in 2017. No one doubted the chef who received three stars at the Ramsay flagship, but few expected Core to be quite so fantastic. We’ve been lucky enough to dine here on a few occasions and have been blown away every time. The restaurant wasn’t open long enough to secure a place in last year’s guide, but we’re going to predict that it will jump straight in with two stars in October. We’re holding out hope that it could even be the first to ever receive three off the bat.
“Across town, it’s been a year since Jean-Georges Vongerichten marked his return to London, opening at the Connaught hotel. He is no stranger to Michelin and we think his take on classic British dishes with a signature Southeast Asian twist will tick all the boxes. As with The Mark and ABC Kitchen in New York, he works closely with local producers to inform his farm-to-plate approach and it’s this type of detail that could see him clinch a star.
“However, no one does the farm-to-plate thing quite like Simon Rogan who uses ingredients from his own smallholding up in the Lake District to influence the ever-changing menu at Roganic. The immensely popular project returned earlier this year, seven years after its successful pop-up in 2011. Unsurprisingly, it delivers on every level and is the type of accessible, contemporary cooking that Michelin has been backing in recent years.
“Ollie Dabbous follows the same stripped back, ingredient-led style and his first solo project, Dabbous, which received critical acclaim from the likes of the late AA Gill and Fay Maschler within weeks of opening. Despite the trendsetting restaurant’s success, it quietly closed in July 2017; but we knew this wasn’t the end for the ambitious chef. Early this year he was back with a new venture in the shape of Hide. Spread over three storeys, it’s a 250-seat restaurant and wine bar with two distinct personalities. Ground, on street level, serves a casual all-day menu, while Above, on the second floor, is focused on fine dining with an evening tasting menu and a set lunch menu for daytime dining. Below is the downstairs bar run by his business partner and cocktail aficionado, Oskar Kinberg. It’ll be very interesting to see what Michelin makes of it – we predict two stars for Above and one for Ground.
“And of course, no list can be complete this year without mentioning the counter at Sabor. Winding through the famed tapas bars in Andalucía, stopping by the traditional wood-fired Asadors of Castile, and the seafood grills that dot the Galician coastline, this debutante from Nieves Barragan and the team at JKS is one of our favourite openings so far this year. We’d award a Michelin star for the chorizo tortilla alone. In our eyes, this has to make the cut.”