World’s Best Sushi Restaurant Stripped of Michelin Stars

Sukiyabashi Jiro no longer qualifies for the distinction

A man walks past the board of Sukiyabashi Jiro sushi restaurant (2nd R) in Tokyo on November 26, 2019. - The famed Tokyo sushi restaurant where Barack Obama is said to have enjoyed the best sushi of his life has been dropped from the latest Michelin gourmet guide after it stopped accepting reservations from the general public. (Photo by Behrouz MEHRI / AFP) (Photo by BEHROUZ MEHRI/AFP via Getty Images)
A man walks past the board of Sukiyabashi Jiro sushi restaurant (2nd R) in Tokyo on November 26, 2019. - The famed Tokyo sushi restaurant where Barack Obama is said to have enjoyed the best sushi of his life has been dropped from the latest Michelin gourmet guide after it stopped accepting reservations from the general public. (Photo by Behrouz MEHRI / AFP) (Photo by BEHROUZ MEHRI/AFP via Getty Images)
By Bonnie Stiernberg / November 26, 2019 10:22 am

The world’s best sushi restaurant, Sukiyabashi Jiro, has been stripped of its three Michelin stars.

However, as the Guardian notes, the decision has nothing to do with the Tokyo institution’s quality sushi; the restaurant is losing its stars because it is no longer open to the public.

“We recognize Sukiyabashi Jiro does not accept reservations from the general public, which makes it out of our scope,” a spokesperson for the Michelin Guide said in a statement. “It was not true to say the restaurant lost stars but it is not subject to coverage in our guide. Michelin’s policy is to introduce restaurants where everybody can go to eat.”

Sushi Saito, another restaurant in Tokyo, also lost its three stars for the same reason.

Sukiyabashi Jiro was the subject of the 2011 documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi, and up until this year, it received three stars from the Michelin Guide every year since the culinary guide launched its Tokyo edition in 2007. Diners must book through the concierge of a luxury hotel, be regulars or have special connections to get in. The restaurant, where Barack Obama once dined in 2014, currently can only seat 10 guests at a time.

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