Michelin Bib Gourmand

Cheap Eats

The Michelin Guide was invented by brothers Andre and Edouard Michelin in France back in 1889. The brothers founded an eponymous tyre company and decided to produce a guide with information for travellers to accompany their car business. Today, the guide has become the bible of cuisine and rates over 40,000 restaurants in 24 countries. Being enlisted on the little red book is the most prestigious honour to many restaurants. The infamous chef Gordon Ramsey once admitted in a talk show that losing a star in Michelin guide is like “losing a girlfriend” or “losing the Champions League”.A total of 17 Bib Gourmand-rated eateries in Hong Kong have been added to the guide this year. The guide features 238 restaurants in Hong Kong and Macau, including 80 starred restaurants and 75 Bib Gourmand-rated eateries. However, to what extent can the guide reflect the quality of the local restaurants? What impacts does the guide have on them?The guide rates a restaurants according to the five criteria below:1. Quality of the products
2. Mastery of flavour and cooking techniques
3. The personality of the chef in his cuisine
4. Value for money
5. Consistency between visits

Emilie Chan, a Hong Kong-based food blogger, speaks about her view on Michelin recommended restaurants in town. Chan started her Instagram “foodsearchers” in 2011 and has attracted around 118k followers to-date.1. What do you think about the restaurants in the Michelin Guide in Hong Kong?Many people see the Michelin guide as the ultimate food bible. For me, I think you can take it as a reference for the top restaurants. You will realise that the lists for the top restaurants, I mean the two-starred or above ones, they don’t change as much. The ratings are solid for those and I think it’s pretty hard to get there.2. Can the guide reflect the quality of the restaurants in Hong Kong?I don’t think the Michelin recommended ones can reflect the food quality in Hong Kong completely. A lot of times, the Michelin recommended restaurants in Hong Kong are pretty average. To be fair, I can’t speak for everyone but the judgement on food can be very subjective.3. According to you experience, is there any difference before and after a restaurant has been enlisted?The crowd always increases dramatically after the restaurants get enlisted because everyone in Hong Kong loves to try out new stuff. For the smaller family-run restaurants, they have limited resources and can be overburdened easily. Very often, this lowers the quality of the food as well as the service. I have seen cases where restaurants ended up closing after being listed on Michelin because they couldn’t tackle the change.4. Is it a good thing or a bad thing for a restaurant to be enlisted on the Michelin Guide? Why?Surely it can increase the fame and number of customers of the restaurants. But actually a lot of the Michelin recommended restaurants are already quite popular in their neighbourhood. Therefore, being on the list doesn’t necessarily mean much to these restaurants as in attracting more customers. On the other way round, the restaurants can be overburdened and suffer from a higher production cost overtime.

Eng Kee Noodles

Location: 28 High St, Sai Ying Pun

The restaurant opened 23 years ago. It serves Hong Kong style noodles and the average price per meal is below $50.

Food: 4/5

Service: 5/5

Environment: 3/5