Two South Korean restaurants received three highly-coveted stars in the first Seoul edition of a famed food guide book published Monday by French tire company Michelin.
In the book, 24 restaurants earned stars for the first time, with three stars going to Hotel Shilla's high-end traditional Korean restaurant, La Yeon, and Gaon, a fine restaurant run by ceramic maker Kwangjuyo, for their "exceptional" cuisine worth a special journey.
Two Korean restaurants -- Gotgan and Kwon Sook Soo -- and Pierre Gagnaire, a French fine dining restaurant at Lotte Hotel, were decorated with two stars worth a detour for excellent cuisine, and 19 others with one star.
Michelin rates hotels and restaurants by awarding stars. Among 21,000 restaurants listed, just over 100 were awarded three stars. The acquisition of a star can have dramatic effects on the success of a restaurant.
"We have applied the same global standards in our evaluation," a Michelin Korea official told a press event, adding Michelin maintained consistency in its evaluation "while respecting and reflecting Korea's unique dining culture".
The Michelin guide has selected the best restaurants and hotels in 28 countries to highlight local culinary scenes, new trends and emerging young chefs. The 2017 Seoul guide, the fourth edition in Asia after Japan, China and Singapore, has 140 restaurants and 30 hotels in Seoul.
Last week, Michelin unveiled the list of 36 restaurants that have received a Bib Gourmand award given to restaurants offering a quality menu for a maximum of 35,000 won (30 US dollars).
The Bib Gourmand menus included 16 styles of dishes such as -- cold noodle soup, Korean-style dumplings, pig trotters boiled in special sauce, mudfish stew and pollack soup.
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