The Michelin Guide has recently made its foray into Guangzhou, China, whereof the 63 restaurants included in the guide, eight have received a coveted star and 20 have received a Bib Gourmand recognition, meaning they are considered “a good value for the money.”
One ancient Chinese proverb says, "Be born in Suzhou, play in Hangzhou, eat in Guangzhou, and die in Liuzhou," which is a testament to the city’s culinary traditions. According to Michelin Group Gastronomic and Tourist Activities Director Alexandre Taisne, “Cantonese food has been well received worldwide by food lovers. There are over 200 Cantonese restaurants in Michelin Guides around the world. Now we are pleased to add the home of Cantonese food to our Michelin Guide selection.”
Michelin has praised the city’s “wealth of astonishing restaurants with a strong and historical Cantonese background.” The restaurants that received one star include Bing Sheng Mansion, Lai Heen, Lei Garden (Yuexiu), Wisca (Haizhu), and Yu Yue Heen, all of which specialize in Cantonese cuisine.
Guangzhou, which has a rich history dating back 2,200 years, was an important stop on the Silk Road, the ancient network of trade routes that linked the East and the West. Today, the city, the second largest in China, continues to be a major maritime and transportation hub.
Only three other Chinese cities - Shanghai, Macau and Hong Kong - have received Michelin guides. The Shanghai guide, which was released in 2016, has been criticized for focusing on “high-end and expensive” restaurants and not capturing the “essence of local delicacies.”
Michael Ellis, International Director of the Michelin Guide, says, “This very first Guangzhou selection highlights a great local gastronomic interest. In this city, the culinary scene reflects great talent in the kitchen, wonderful ingredients and a mastery of different flavors. In summary, Guangzhou has a wealth of astonishing restaurants with a strong and historical Cantonese background.”
Among the restaurants recognized, Jian Ji was awarded the Respectable Recipe Award for its homemade E-Fu noodles, which have been elaborated for over 50 years using the same traditional method, and Ze 8 was awarded the Revitalized Cuisine Award for transforming traditional Cantonese clay pot dishes into modern delicacies.
Among the one star recipients, travelers may enjoy Bing Sheng Mansion, which serves “innovative and refined Cantonese cuisine in its elegant 32-room restaurant where diners have the opportunity to taste some ingenious dishes,” Jade River, which specializes in meat dishes like “steamed sunflower seed-fed chicken delivered straight from the farm daily,” and Lai Heen, whose executive chef Gordon Guo, uses first-rate ingredients for his own take on traditional Cantonese cuisine.
An additional 35 restaurants were awarded a Michelin Plate that celebrates quality cooking and fresh ingredients that are prepared with care, a sure sign of a great meal.