10 minutes with: Instagram's @datingmrmichelin

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 1st September 2017

Meet Brian and Rebecca Robinson, the couple who have dined at over 200 Michelin star restaurants across the globe.

The Staff Canteen talk to Brian about his love for good food and find out from Rebecca what it’s like to date her very own Mr Michelin.

How did the couple started eating at Michelin starred restaurants?

Salted hake, parsley stems & Finish kaviar in buttermilk from Geranium

Salted hake, parsley stems &

Finish kaviar in buttermilk

from three Michelin starred

Geranium

Since 2013, Brian and Rebecca have been regularly travelling from their home in the Philippines, to eat at the best restaurants the world has to offer. Brian explains that, “Michelin does a wonderful job at choosing the ‘must eat’ places and so we want to keep travelling to try what’s on the guide list.”

Brian’s first Michelin-star experiences include Lei Garden and Fook Lam Moon, both in Hong Kong. After he found the ratings to be reliable and with a passion for good food, Brian continued to follow The Michelin Guide’s recommendations, with Rebecca by his side.

The couple will usually take a one or two week trip every month. On each trip, they will dine every day at a Michelin star restaurant for both their lunch and dinner.

“There are no Michelin starred restaurants in our country so we have to travel to eat, which means that it’s not just the meal, it’s the whole thing. My wife and office staff have sleepless nights booking reservations, hotels and flights,” says Brian. “It doesn’t come cheap, but when I visit a three Michelin star restaurant it gives me the feeling of food at its highest level.”

“It can get very stressful if I am being totally honest,” adds Rebecca. “Sometimes it feels like a full-time job. I am a cheapskate in general, so I would rather not know how much it has all cost, lest I may never eat in one again!”

Favourite Michelin-starred restaurants.... so far!

The couple agree that one of their best Michelin starred experiences to date was at Restaurante Martín Berasategui in San Sebastian, Spain.

“The food was superb and Mr. Berasategui was so sweet,” explains Rebecca. “He surprised my husband by asking staff to bring him to the kitchen where he presented Brian with a chef's uniform he had signed as well as writing a personal dedication for him. That was a very nice gesture, one we will not easily forget.”

Brian and Rebecca Robinson
Brian and Rebecca Robinson

Another restaurant that makes it to their list of favourites, for being one of the cheapest yet still one of the best, is Tamawarai. Described by Rebecca as, “a gem of a buckwheat noodle house,” the restaurant is tucked away in a quaint neighbourhood near Harajuku, in Japan.

She explains, “Tamawarai may be cheap but it’s honestly delicious. Expect to stand in line for about two to three hours but I can guarantee, soba this good is totally worth the wait!”

“Michelin starred restaurants often have an impression that it is expensive,” states Brian. “I don’t think it is expensive, I feel it is worth it. Sometimes there are lunch deals or weekday offers and it makes Michelin even more worth it. So much work goes into one dish and the Michelin inspectors make our lives so much easier by telling us where to eat.”

There are some restaurants however, that have proved particularly difficult for Brian and Rebecca to get into. For over two years, Rebecca has tried to book at Sukiyabashi Jiro, in Japan. With the hope of getting to experience Mr Jiro Ono’s sushi magic slowly fading, the couple has very recently had some good luck and to their excitement, they have finally managed to secure a booking at Jiro.

Family cooking

Beef tenderloin for miyazaki from three Michelin starred Kanda in Tokyo

Beef tenderloin for miyazaki 

from three Michelin starred

Kanda in Tokyo

Although Brian is not an avid cook himself, he describes his wife as a, “half-star Michelin cook”. However, Rebecca believes that it is her parents who make the best food, despite her efforts.

“Their food is always made with love, so nothing beats it. Dad makes super whole roasted turkeys and my mum makes spaghetti that my husband loves. It’s the first thing he looks forward to upon returning from a Michelin trip. My cousin also makes everything from delicious stews to homemade gelatos, which Brian says are Michelin quality.”

Since the couple have been together, Brian has always been fond of dining at Michelin restaurants.

“Eating at Michelin restaurants has always been ‘normal’ for me, because that’s our life together,” explains Rebecca. “I didn’t realise how unique this was until I was looking through Brian’s photos of over seven hundred Michelin starred plates.”

“I decided to properly document the photos on Instagram so they wouldn’t go to waste. It’s like a modern day scrapbook of our dates. I named it @datingmrmichelin as it stands for two things, one is me dating my very own Michelin man and the other is Brian dating his Michelin meals. I was so taken aback at the response it has gotten from people all over the world. It’s really touching and overwhelming. It’s nice to know that the page makes both Brian and my followers happy.”

By Alice Lewis

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 1st September 2017

10 minutes with: Instagram's @datingmrmichelin