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published time By Mithila Mehta published time 25 Oct, 2017 Share image 0 Shares

It is considered to be the most prolific culinary award in the world – the Michelin Star. Usually, it is awarded to the usual suspects, basically fancy fine-dine restaurants run by celebrity chefs. But there are a few exceptions to the norm. In this piece, we round up the most unusual restaurants to have received a Michelin Star – some quirky, some surprising and some plain unbelievable.

1. Quince, San Francisco: Michelin Starred restaurants are no strangers to a little bit of flair and drama, but the three starred Quince in San Francisco manages to up that a few notches – the restaurant serves one of its most popular dishes on an iPad (instead of a plate). Can you believe it? The dish in question happens to be called ‘A Dog in Search of Gold’, serving a “chestnut crisp and a celeriac, porcini and ricotta truffle’ dusted with porcini powder” on the gadget. While you're visiting the United States, you must go clubbing at one of these raging party cities.

2. Alinea, Chicago: Alinea is special – not just because it has three Michelin Stars, but because every dish served is a work of art. Picture this: The Chef literally “draws” the dessert directly onto your table with various ingredients to create a culinary masterpiece! One of their most iconic dishes is an edible helium balloon dessert – created from green apple taffy and filled with real helium by renowned chef Grant Achatz.

3. Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice and Noodle, Singapore: In July 2016 the world learned you could buy a Michelin star meal for a little over a pound. For the first time in the guide’s history, it named two hawker stalls (the other was Hill Street Tai Hwa Pork Noodle) in the Singapore Michelin guide. Its modest owner-cum-head chef, Malaysian-born Chan Hon Meng, only serves a handful of dishes, including Cantonese soya sauce chicken and BBQ pork.

If you're visiting Singapore, here is a list of offbeat, non-touristy things to do!

4. Sukiyabashi Jiro Honten, Tokyo: With three golden Michelin Stars, this restaurant is located in a very unusual location – the underbelly of the busy Ginza metro station. It’s so tiny, that only about ten people can fit in at a time to eat – making it notoriously difficult to get into. Its Chef, Jiro Ono, is a sushi magician who has dedicated his life to the art Sushi preparations. The restaurant has extensive rules on how to eat its sushi – including soy sauce usage and chopstick management – and given this is among the best sushi in the world, you’d best stick to them.

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5. Tsuta, Tokyo: A tiny Tokyo noodle shop became the first ramen bar to join the ranks of the world’s top restaurants.  The nine-set Tsuta serves up the soup and noodle concoction in the north Tokyo district of Sugamo. You can find gourmet offerings such as rosemary flavored barbecued pork and soy sauce ramen with a hint of porcini mushroom.  This just adds to the world class dining in Tokyo which has the most Michelin starred restaurants of any city in the world.

6. De Kas, Amsterdam: The atmosphere of a Michelin Star restaurant can also make it unusual.  De Kas in Amsterdam resides in an old converted greenhouse.  Eating in the twenty-six-foot high glass building is an adventure of itself.  The freshest possible ingredients are what makes the food worthy of the starred honour however.  The ingredients are harvested in the field at sunrise and served in the same day making this one delightful and fresh meal.


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