Michelin awards 2 stars to 5 restaurants in Thailand, 1 star to 24

Outstanding chefs pose for photos at the Michelin Star Revelation Thailand event held at Bangkok Marriott Hotel The Surawongse on Tuesday morning. (Photo by Varuth Hirunyatheb)

A total of 34 stars were granted on Tuesday to 29 restaurants in Thailand by the Michelin Guide, the world’s longest-running and most revered hotel-and-restaurant guidebook.

Much anticipated by a fervent crowd of international food enthusiasts and restauranteurs, the Michelin Star Revelation Thailand -- held at Bangkok Marriott Hotel The Surawongse on Tuesday morning -- revealed the 2020 selection of the country's best dining establishments. The edition covers Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket and Phang-Nga.

Twenty-four restaurants -- 20 veteran and two new -- received a single star, with a variety of cuisines honoured: southern Thai, northern Thai, traditional Thai, contemporary Thai, European, Japanese and street-food eateries.

Fresh to this year's list are Table 38 by New York's Michelin-starred Thai chef Andy Yang; Chef's Table by Hong Kong's 3-Michelin-starred French Chef Vincent Thierry; 80/20 innovative cuisine restaurant; and Khao Thai restaurant, all from Bangkok.

The two-star rating was retained by Sühring (German) Le Normandie (French) and Mezzaluna (French). Newly admitted to the two-star club were R-Haan Thai restaurant and Sorn southern Thai cuisine restaurant, which join only a handful of Thai restaurants around the world to garner two-star recognition. 

However, Bangkok's Gaggan, which was awarded two stars in each of the previous two years, closed down three months ago as Chef Gaggan Anand moved on. 

Bangkok's much-loved shophouse eatery Jay Fai retains its one-star accolade for the third year in a row, and is still the only street food eatery on the list.

This year a total of 61 restaurants throughout Thailand were granted Bib Gourmand recognition.

Michelin Guide's rating follows a very strict protocol, and inspections take place anonymously without warning. The meals are paid for by the company and the inspectors are not allowed to speak to the media.

The stars are re-evaluated every year, and awarded to establishments and not chefs. One star indicates the food is very good, two stars mean the restaurant is excellent and worth travelling to, while three stars denote an exceptional gastronomic experience that justifies a special journey. 

Michelin Guide Thailand is a five-year project that aims to boost tourism by raising the standards of Thai gastronomy and building up the country's image as a world-class food destination.