Michelin deems Hong Kong restaurant top Italian outside Italy

Michelin deems Hong Kong restaurant top Italian outside Italy

Michelin Guide 2012 also puts Tokyo back on its world-beating food pedestal
How can a vulcanized mantire who looks like a marshmallow know so much about haute cuisine?

Rome. Florence. Venice. Hong Kong?

If you're looking for a world-class pasta dinner, and you take your food recommendations from the judges at the Michelin Guide seriously, go ahead and add the food-crazed Chinese city to the list of places where you can find the world's best Italian.

The famed guide's 2012 edition names Hong Kong's 8 1/2 Otto e Mezzo BOMBANA as the first Italian restaurant outside of Italy to receive its renowned three-star rating.

The homecooking-as-fine-dining restaurant is headed by chef Umberto Bombana, aka King of Truffles, formerly of the reknowned Toscana at the old Ritz-Carlton.

Hong Kong's standby French proposal spot L'atelier de Joel Robuchon is also awarded three stars in this year's guide. It joins the Four Seasons' three-star restaurants Lung King Heen and Caprice

More than 40 other Hong Kong restaurants receive two- or one-star designations.

Robuchon a Galera is the only restaurant in Macau to receive three stars in the 2012 guide. Macau's The Eight, Wing Lei and Zi Yat Heen restaurants each earn two stars.

Tokyo continues to run away with Michelin star count

For the fifth consecutive year, Tokyo receives the most Michelin stars in the world.

With the inclusion of Yokohama and the coastal Shonan area alongside Tokyo, the Kanto area now has 17 three-star restaurants -- 16 in the capital and one in Fujisawa, Kanagawa Prefecture.

By comparison, Paris has just ten restaurants that hold the coveted trois étoiles bestowed by the French tire company.

More on CNNGo: Tokyo regains Michelin title as world food champ

How can the rest of Asia not be jealous? Michelin plans to launch a new guide in Japan, this time covering Hokkaido, the northmost prefecture known for its rich soil and fishing area. 

''Hokkaido is a gold mine of diverse food,'' said Nihon Michelin President Bernard Delmas at a press conference in September. 

Also on CNNGo: Hong Kong City Essentials

Hiufu Wong is CNN Travel's staff writer.

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