The Michelin Guide Seoul released Thursday awards stars to 26 restaurants in the capital but casts doubt on the entire enterprise with its sloppy production values.
As usual, Korean cuisine dominate the list, with 13 of the starred restaurants serving local fare or fusion.
The first edition two years ago awarded three stars to Korean restaurants Gaon and La Yeon, and they managed to hold on to them this year. Three of the five restaurants that bagged two stars this year also serve Korean cuisine. The rest scored one star.
But one beady-eyed lawmaker, Rep. Lee Dong-sup of the Bareun Mirae Party, says he spotted 130 errors in last year's guide, from lexical howlers like "infamous" for "famous" to listing a restaurant that no longer existed.
The Korea Tourism Organization is under attack from local patriots who feel let down because it invested W2 billion in the guide to promote tourism.
Kang Sung-gil at the KTO said, "For fairness in the rankings, the guide is written in complete secrecy, so we can't check for mistakes ahead of the release." But there were also complaints that the star ratings were leaked well in advance of publication.