Top Mayfair sushi restaurant Araki where taster menu costs £310 pledges fresh start after losing all THREE of its Michelin stars in move that has shocked world of London fine dining
- Araki sushi restaurant lost all three of its Michelin stars from 2020 guide
- Happened after ‘master’ chef Mitsuhiro Araki left to set up Hong Kong restaurant
- But the Mayfair eatery – including £310 per head tasting menu – remains popular
- Protégé Marty Lau said the decision was a ‘shame’ but will ‘try again’
- Celebrities including the Beckhams and singer Ed Sheeran have been spotted dining out there
A luxurious Mayfair sushi restaurant chef has vowed to ‘try again’ after he saw all three of the restaurant’s Michelin stars wiped off in their latest guide.
Marty Lau had been Head Chef of the exclusive Araki eatery for just seven months when he received the shocking news that the fine dining spot had lost the coveted award it had held for two years.
The restaurant – one of London’s smallest, seating just 10 people at the chef’s counter plus a tiny extra private room – had been one of the hottest tickets in town.
Marty Lau (right) had been Head Chef of the exclusive Araki eatery for just seven months when he received the shocking news he would be losing his Michelin-starred status. Founder Mitsuhiro Araki had left the restaurant to start a new venture in Hong Kong earlier in the year
Araki was first awarded two Michelin stars in 2016, before moving up to three in 2017, a position it had retained until now
Sushi Master and former Head Chef Mitsuhiro Araki would serve up a 23-course tasting menu costing £310 per head, with Lau, then his protégé, learning the craft at his side.
But when Araki, who named the restaurant after himself, decided to leave to set up a new dining experience in Hong Kong, Lau took over the reins.
Lau told CNN that it was ‘a shame’ to have been removed from the 2020 guide.
‘But we take it as a fair judgment and a fresh start following the departure of our master Mitsuhiro Araki,’ he said.
‘We believed it placed Michelin in a difficult position to make a decision on how to score The Araki, as the master was here during half of the inspection period for 2020’s guide.’
He has not sought a reason from Michelin as to why the stripping of Araki’s stars was so dramatic – all in one year – saying chefs ‘get nowhere’ if they ponder over the loss of such recognition.
The restaurant – one of London’s smallest, seating just 10 people at the chef’s counter with a tiny extra private room – had been one of the hottest tickets in town
Master Araki (pictured here in Tokyo), who named the restaurant after himself, decided to leave to set up a new dining experience in Hong Kong, leaving his protege Lau to take the reins
‘What we hope the public understands that Master Araki has left the sushi-ya to the team that has followed him since the beginning. He is resolute in taking this situation as a great opportunity for us to earn our own accolades in our own light and not in his shadow.’
Lau has vowed to continue his work at the restaurant, using all the skills his Master taught him during his four years as a protégé, and the restaurant continues to attract punters.
However, the Araki isn’t the only London restaurant to be dropped from the guide.
Other London spots Galvin at Windows, inside the Hilton Park Lane, and Benares, an Indian restaurant in Mayfair both lost their only stars.
The Michelin Guide does not publish reasons for why former inclusions have lost their stars.
Araki: The high-end Mayfair sushi restaurant loved by the Beckhams and Ed Sheeran that went from award-winning to being stripped of its coveted Michelin stars
October 2014 – The Araki has its official opening in Mayfair under watchful eye of Mitsuhiro Araki
September 2015 – Awarded two coveted stars by the Michelin Guide London 2016
November 2015 – Features in The Sunday Times Top 100 Restaurant UK at number nine
September 2016 – Winner of Harden’s Best Gastronomic Experience London 2016
October 2017 – Master Araki is first awarded three stars by the Michelin Guide for 2018
December 2017 – Ranked as Harden’s Best UK Restaurants 2018 Rank no.1
March 2019 – Marty Lau becomes Head Chef of The Araki London, as Master Araki moves to Hong Kong for a new venture
September 2019 – Announced that new sushi restaurant by Master Araki is to open in Hong Kong’s House 1881 in Tsim Sha Tsui district
October 2019 – The Araki in Mayfair loses all three of its Michelin stars in the updated 2020 guide.