When grain goes gourmet: Michelin-approved rice dishes
Quique Dacosta’s eponymous restaurant in Spain had the rare distinction of being on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list and also having earned three Michelin stars. In London, his Mediterranean restaurant is a celebration of rice. Valencian-style paella (with rabbit, chicken or beans) is cooked in iron pans on wood-fired stoves. The huge pans are delivered to the table, so guests can share and scrape up the toasty bits at the bottom. Also on the menu is rice with smoked eel and a black garlic aioli. And, as is fitting for a fancy restaurant, black rice with truffle.
Kam’s Roast Goose
Hennessy Road, Hong Kong
Kam’s, run by a third-generation restaurateur of the same name, seats only 30, but in Hong Kong, everyone queues for a good meal. Kam earned a Michelin star four months into its launch. Kam’s Roast Goose, served on a bed of rice, is sweet, with a crisp top layer.
No tables available till April 2021, despite the pandemic. the three-Michelin-starred Massimo Bottura’s 12-table restaurant is widely considered the best in the world. There’s always some rice or risotto in the multi-course meals. Green Over Brown Over Black features risotto cooked three ways: with herbs, chicken and squid. No butter or cheese, but critics have described it as creamy and buttery, while still retaining three distinct flavours.
Liao Fan Hawker Chan
Chan Hon Meng earned a Michelin star in 2016 for his rice and noodle food stall, and ended up becoming the man who served the world’s cheapest Michelin-starred meal — chicken rice for the equivalent of about Rs 200. He partnered with Hersing Culinary a few years ago to open Liao Fan Hawker Chan, a slightly more comfortable place to dine, but with the same food. The rice comes with a signature soy-sauce blend, and the restaurant now has outposts and pop-ups around the world.
Modern British cuisine in some of the grandest surroundings imaginable — they insist on a jacket and tie. The one-Michelin-starred restaurant serves several classics (Beef Wellington and Gateaux St Honoré), but for breakfast they serve a rice dish with roots in the Indian khichdi. The original dish is a mix of curried rice, smoked haddock and eggs. At the Ritz, it comes deconstructed, and worthy of a photo shoot.
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Drive past rice fields and sit down to a locally sourced rice-based meal at Meena. There are traditional Thai and modern classics, and most preparations come garnished with edible flowers and fruits, which explains why they’re so popular on social media. Their signature offering: five-colour rice balls made with different types of rice and dyed using local flowers and herbs. No Michelin stars but a special mention in the guide.
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