Michelin’s announcement of the full selection of its Seoul guide—also its 5th Asian publication--proved to be a celebration of Korean cuisine with 11 out of 24 honored restaurants dedicated to serving Korea on a plate.
The Bib Gourmand—named after Bibendum the Michelin Man, the friendly official mascot for the Michelin Group—is a non-starred rating category which recognizes dining establishments that serve quality food at moderate prices.
As Michelin inspectors travel and test hundreds of fine dining restaurants around the world, they are also on the constant look out for establishments that offer its diners high-quality food at affordable prices. These accumulated observations resulted in the creation of a separate rating category to acknowledge the excellence of such restaurants.
When this category was introduced in 1957, the selected restaurants were marked with a red “R” symbol to convey to readers that they were destinations that served “good cuisine at reasonable prices.” These restaurants would typically serve a three-course meal within a fixed price range–€35 in most European cities, US$40 in American cities, Y5,000 in Tokyo and ₩35,000 in Seoul.
In 1997, the Bib Gourmand symbol – the image of the Michelin Man licking his lips – debuted in the Michelin Guide for the first time. Since then, Bibendum has received just as much attention from diners seeking value-for-money experiences.
Thanks to Bib Gourmand, Michelin inspectors have noticed the increase in the number of friendly establishments dedicated to providing authentic dining experiences with quality food at affordable prices.