We all know that the rich aren’t like other people. They don’t take the bus, they don’t shop on high street, and they don’t pay taxes. We also now know that they don’t much like eating food – or at least, food as the rest of the human race understands it.
The 2017 World’s 50 best restaurants awards were held in Melbourne last night, naming 50 of the strangest and most expensive bistros in the world. Three UK establishments were named, all in London: The Clove Club, The Ledbury, and Heston Blumenthal’s Dinner. Each of them is, in its own way, quite removed from your local chicken shop.
The make-up of the list is voted on by more than 1,000 “international leaders in the restaurant community”, all of whom have very expensive taste.
We took a look at a few of these restaurants’ Instagrams to see what food looks like from some of the very best restaurants in the world.
Eleven Madison Park in New York is officially the world number one. Its food is apparently modular, and as this article continues, it will become clear that the rich don’t like plates.
Osteria Francescana, an eatery based in Modena, Italy, has three Michelin stars, which in this case means its menu is both eye-wateringly expensive and only tangentially resembles the human notion of food.
El Celler de Can Roca in Spain is therefore Europe’s second finest restaurant. It apparently does slightly more substantial food than the plate of flowers depicted below, but there isn’t a hog roast in sight.
Central, a restaurant in the Peruvian capital of Lima, is South America’s best establishment. It uses local produce to make the authentic cuisine of the pre-Hispanic Andes, which to be fair looks delicious, even if it does all come on funny-shaped stones.
Bankok’s Gaggan is the best restaurant in Asia. Billing itself as “progressive Indian cuisine”, most of its stuff does look delicious in an off-kilter way, but this picture of strawberry halves frozen solid in ice and sprinkled with gold leaf was too good to pass over.
Narawisa, in Minato, is the best restaurant in Japan, though it seems to specialise in giving little twists to western food.
What do the oligarchs eat? Sea urchin with the spikes still on at Moscow’s White Rabbit, of course.
At 26th in the list, The Clove Club in London’s Shoreditch is semi-officially Britain’s best restaurant. Its full menu costs £110 per person without booze, or you can experience a shorter meal for a cool £75. Its proprietors are claiming, apparently with straight faces, that it’s “a restaurant for our generation”.
The Ledbury, in the leafy north London suburb of Maida Vale, comes in at 27th. Its Instagram presence is basically more absolutely proof that very rich people like very small, separate lumps of food sitting in several coloured pools of sauces.
In at 36 is Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, the last UK eatery on the list. When he’s not jujjing up branches of Little Chef or weirding people out on telly, Heston likes nothing more than to make food that looks like other sorts of food. Pictured here is his legendary meat fruit – it looks like a satsuma, but it’s full of chicken liver parfait. You also get some fancy bread. Price: £18.50.
Here’s the full list of the top 50 restuarants:
- Eleven Madison Park (New York City)
- Osteria Francescana (Modena, Italy) - Best restaurant in Europe
- El Celler de Can Roca (Girona, Spain)
- Mirazur (Menton, France)
- Central (Lima) - Best restaurant in South America
- Asador Etxebarri (Biscay, Spain)
- Gaggan (Bangkok) - Best restaurant in Asia
- Maido (Lima, Peru)
- Mugaritz (San Sebastian, Spain)
- Steirereck (Vienna)
- Blue Hill at Stone Barns (Pocantico Hills, New York) - Highest climber
- Arpege (Paris)
- Alain Ducasse Au Plaza Athenee (Paris) - Highest re-entry
- Restaurant Andre (Singapore)
- Piazza Duomo (Alba, Italy)
- D.O.M. (Sao Paulo, Brazil)
- Le Bernardin (New York City)
- Narisawa (Tokyo, Japan)
- Geranium (Copenhagen)
- Pujol (Mexico City)
- Alinea (Chicago)
- Quintonil (Mexico City)
- White Rabbit (Moscow)
- Amber (Hong Kong)
- Tickets (Barcelona)
- Clove Club (London)
- The Ledbury (London)
- Nahm (Bangkok)
- Le Calandre (Rubano, Italy)
- Arzak (San Sebastian, Spain)
- Alleno Paris au Pavillon Ledoyen (Paris) - Highest new entry
- Attica (Melbourne) - Best restaurant in Australasia
- Astrid (Lima, Peru)
- De Librije (Zwolle, Netherlands)
- Septime (Paris) - Sustainable restaurant award
- Dinner by Heston Blumenthal (London)
- Saison (San Francisco)
- Azurmendi (Larrabetzu, Spain)
- Relae (Copenhagen)
- Cosme (New York) - New
- Ultraviolet by Paul Pairet (Shanghai)
- Borago (Santiago)
- Reale (Castel di Sangro, Italy) - New
- Brae (Birregurra, Australia) - New
- Den (Tokyo), - Last year's one to watch, new
- L'Astrance (Paris)
- Vendome (Bergisch Gladbach, Germany)
- Restaurant Tim Raue (Berlin)
- Tegui (Buenos Aires) - New
- Hof Van Cleve (Kruishoutem, Belgium)