In the latest 2020 edition of the MICHELIN Guide Guangzhou released on 22 September, 12 restaurants — including two new debuts — received the coveted MICHELIN Star recognition. Among them, Imperial Treasure Fine Chinese Cuisine, the Guangzhou outpost of the popular Singapore-based chain, entered the two MICHELIN star ranks for the first time, while Lingnan House at the prestigious Rosewood Guangzhou, opened just last October, received its maiden MICHELIN star. In total, the restaurant selection for mainland China's fourth most populous city celebrates two two-MICHELIN-star restaurants and 10 one-MICHELIN-star restaurants, along with 31 Bib Gourmand restaurants and 46 Michelin Plate restaurants.
We got our MICHELIN inspectors to tell us more about the unmissable highlights and signature dishes that impressed them at each of the 12 starred restaurants in the city.
What Our MICHELIN Inspectors Said: "As in other branches of the Singapore-based chain, traditional Cantonese cooking takes centre stage here. From appetisers and double-boiled soups to live seafood, this kitchen team consistently does an excellent job — thanks to shrewd judgment and honed skills. Apart from the main menu, seasonal offerings are also worth checking out. Specialities include steamed slender shad with diced ginger, and crispy fried chicken stuffed with glutinous rice."
What Our MICHELIN Inspectors Said: "This elegant and relaxing décor shows a harmonious confluence of the East and West. Its classic Cantonese fare also strikes a fine balance between traditions and creativity, with an element of surprise and a touch of Japanese and Western influences. Specialities include roasted Wenchang Chicken with flaxseeds, and steamed Hele crab with sticky rice wrapped in lotus leaf. Dim sum, roast goose and char siu are also recommended."
One MICHELIN Star
MICHELIN Guide Guangzhou 2020
What Our MICHELIN Inspectors Said: "This main dining room and its 32 private rooms exude an understated glamour. Championing innovative and refined Cantonese fare, it serves hand-crafted dim sum at lunch, such as sachima with olive nuts, which is rarely seen these days. Special char siu uses pork belly that is marinated overnight and grilled till crisp. Other must-try items include stir-fried flat rice noodles with sliced beef, signature pineapple buns and roasted juicy goose."
What Our MICHELIN Inspectors Said: "This décor re-creates the old-time charm of luxury mansions in the Xiguan district, while the art and cut flowers add a sleek touch. The menu focuses on healthy cooking with seasonal, organic ingredients. Double-boiled soups are made with mountain spring water. Signature dishes include poached Hainan chicken with shallot sauce and chopped ginger sauce, braised sea cucumber with scallion and hairy squash, and street-style stir-fried flat rice noodles with sliced beef. Reserve a table two or three days ahead."
What Our MICHELIN Inspectors Said: "The founder has been in the business for over 40 years, and insists on making no-frills Cantonese fare. Opened in 2006, this location has its own speciality menu besides the standard one offered at all other branches. Soy-marinated chicken is seasoned with luo han guo instead of sugar for extra depth. The original brown sugar pork trotter is punctuated by gingery warmth. Steamed grouper fillet with pepper and salted potherb mustard also stands out."
What Our MICHELIN Inspectors Said: "Diners here unwind with a cup of tea freshly brewed by tea masters. The traditional garden, water features, exquisite woodwork and artisan Manchurian windows give it a serene feel. The food is, of course, no less impressive. Steamed sunflower seed-fed chicken is delivered straight from the farm daily. Baked pigeon with lemongrass and salt is another proud creation of the chefs. Also try various poultry and meats in white marinade."
What Our MICHELIN Inspectors Said: "With over 20 years of experience, chef Guo believes in the fine balance between aroma, taste and texture. He champions modern Cantonese cooking that is deeply rooted in tradition and uses only the best ingredients—even the stock takes hours to prepare. Call ahead to pre-order steamed sunflower seed-fed chicken, or his signature lemongrass-scented roast pigeon. Australian lobster on egg white custard, and Sichuanese stir-fries also stand out."
What Our MICHELIN Inspectors Said: "This may be an outpost of the Hong Kong-based chain, but it is a household name among locals and tourists alike. The menu is similar to other branches, with the emphasis on traditional Cantonese fare, including long-boiled and double-boiled soups. The chic dining room, adorned with elegant chandeliers, beige textured walls and embroidery art, is always full. Regulars usually pre-order popular items when booking a table, such as crispy roasted pork belly."
What Our MICHELIN Inspectors Said: "Since October 2019, diners have been flocking here for chef Feng’s Cantonese classics with unique touches. Having worked in prestigious hotels and a famous Cantonese restaurant chain for ten-plus years, he insists on using the best ingredients. His Shunde minced fish soup is nicely perked up with kaffir lime leaves, and his roast goose that takes 45 minutes to cook in the oversized grill tends to sell out fast. Order early to avoid missing out."
What Our MICHELIN Inspectors Said: "Christened after the dynasty and the owner’s last name, this award-winning space boasts pillars covered with dramatically lit, stainless steel bricks. Gigantic glass-feathered wings are hung from the mirrored ceiling and thereby lend an eerie sense of space. Most items on the menu are Sichuanese, with occasional offerings from other provinces. Signatures include spicy boiled tiger grouper, jujube wood-roasted 42-day Peking duck and spicy crab."
What Our MICHELIN Inspectors Said: "Popular among locals since its opening in 1992, this is the first outpost of the chain in Guangzhou. The décor has a retro Xiguan mansion feel, complete with hand-painted bowls and plates. Seafood and sizzling claypot dishes are big on the menu, with specialities like mantis shrimps in peppered salt, and Ze Ze oyster omelette. Don’t miss the artisanal ice cream in flavours like ginger, almond or durian. Reservations accepted for private rooms only."
What Our MICHELIN Inspectors Said: "Helmed by Chef Mai who has over 30 years of experience, this restaurant serves exquisite Cantonese dishes. Every course embodies the utmost finesse and detail-oriented approach thanks to the chef's expertise. The signature pan-fried shrimp stuffed sliced lotus roots with crab meat look effortless, but capture the heart and soul of Cantonese cooking in its entirety. The expansive view and the chic, very comfortable ambience is also a plus."