November 15, 2019 13:36
The gourmet Michelin Guide's Seoul edition published on Thursday awards its coveted stars to 31 restaurants in the capital.
Most of the starred restaurants are stalwarts, with modern Asian restaurant Mosu in Hannam-dong rising from one star to two.
But French eatery L'Impression, which only opened in Sinsa-dong in November last year, immediately landed two stars, while seven other new restaurants garnered one star in this year's guide: Terreno (Spanish), Myomi (Korean), Votre Maison (French), Evett (modern Korean), Auprès (French), Onjieum (Korean) and Pierre Gagnaire à Séoul (French).
The focus remains on Korean cuisine. Gaon and La Yeon, which rated three stars when the first Seoul guide came out back in 2017, stayed at the top for the fourth year running.
Food columnist Lee Hye-rim said, "That means Michelin Guide has a consistent set of standards for selecting restaurants in Seoul and is not swayed by changing trends or external factors."
There have been allegations that some of the starred restaurants signed a deal with a coordinator for Michelin Guide inspectors to earn a star. But Michelin Guide denied this, saying an internal investigation after similar suspicions were raised last year "found nothing." It insisted that its anonymous inspectors do not identify themselves, so if anyone asks for money, that means they are not Michelin inspectors.
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