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Thailand ranks as the most affordable country for Michelin gastronomy

While being a foodie doesn’t necessarily mean going for the most expensive food you can find, it certainly can’t be avoided – seeing as many people are willing to pay big bucks to get the best of it. that there is better in their bellies.

However, the price does not determine the quality of the food. You could get the best tasty food you’ve ever had at a cozy mom and dad shop in a low cost housing area. Conversely, you could also get the most disgusting and sorry excuse for a meal at one of the fancyest establishments around.

When it comes to the coveted Michelin star (s), price isn’t necessarily a big factor. It can swing back and forth on the money ladder. What matters most is the dining experience, and of course, the taste.

Food enthusiasts at Sydney-based international food magazine Chef’s Pencil searched the menus of 450 two- to three-star restaurants around the world, according to the latest Michelin Guide. With it, they released their ranking of the most affordable and expensive places in the world to dine at a top rated Michelin restaurant.

Here is the truth.

Thailand is the most affordable country in the world to dine at a top rated Michelin restaurant.

IMAGE: Siam Wisdom / BK Asia

The prices that have been developed relate to a Michelin restaurant’s tasting menu, which is typically an eight to twelve course meal for dinner.

And for Thailand, the average price of the tasting menu was recorded at US $ 173 (per person, excluding drinks and taxes). This makes it the most affordable country in the world to have a Michelin meal. Affordable if you earn in US dollars, of course.

Thailand is also the only country in Southeast Asia to make it into the Top 10 Most Affordable Countries. Chef’s Pencil points out that the country’s affordability could be attributed to its geography and the strength (or lack thereof) of the local currency, the baht.

Add to that the inflation and standard of living, it’s not hard to believe that a Michelin meal is not so unattainable if you have the extra cash to spend on a special occasion.

The Sorn restaurant in Thailand has won two Michelin stars. IMAGE: World Travel Magazine

Ireland (US $ 212), South Korea (US $ 213), Taiwan (US $ 213), Portugal (US $ 217), Spain (US $ 218), Belgium (US $ 224) , Austria (US $ 230) rounds out the Top 10 most affordable countries. ), the Netherlands (US $ 236) and Germany (US $ 247).

Interestingly, when you look at things on a small scale and focus on the more affordable citiesThailand’s capital Bangkok also leads the way with an average tasting menu of US $ 168 at a two-Michelin-starred restaurant. But if you look closely, you can even find tasting menus starting at US $ 105.

“Bangkok’s food scene has grown dramatically over the past 10 to 15 years and caught up with Asian food heavyweights such as Singapore, Seoul and Tokyo,” Chef’s Pencil said.

Singapore is the second most expensive country in the world to dine at a Michelin restaurant.

The Cairnhill Steakhouse at Labrynth, a Singapore restaurant that held a Michelin star from 2017 to 2020. IMAGE: Restaurant Labrynth

The average full tasting menu in Lion City costs US $ 364, more than double the average price of the same offerings in Thailand. But really, are you so surprised?

Singapore, even without its fancy Michelin restaurants (and there are a ton of them), is already one of the most expensive places in the world to live, both nationally and city-wise. And it’s not a one-off thing either. The country consistently finds itself in various Top Five or Top 10 lists detailing the most expensive countries in all kinds of categories.

Naturally, this also means that the standard of living in the city-state is significantly higher than that of its neighbors, Malaysia and Indonesia. And with a higher standard of living comes higher purchasing power.

Singapore’s Hawker Chan became the world’s cheapest Micheilin starred meal in 2016. But it lost its name in September 2021. IMAGE: TODAY

To top it off, the country also holds the strongest currency in Southeast Asia, with US $ 1 corresponding to S $ 1.35 at current exchange rates. So yes, no wonder. Everything becomes clear.

Denmark and its capital Copenhagen take the top spots among the most expensive countries and cities to dine at a Michelin restaurant, with average tasting menu prices rising to US $ 404 and US $ 448, respectively.

As for the rest of Southeast Asia, they haven’t made it into any of the Top 10. That can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on what you think of Michelin restaurants and their position on the global food scene.

Take a look at the full leaderboard here.

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Cover image from Robb Report and Khaosod English.

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Cory E. Barnes

The author Cory E. Barnes

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