Uncle Boons, New York – one star
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Eating out in New York can be pricey at the best of times but add a Michelin star to the mix and you’re likely to topple your budget. Thai sensation Uncle Boons on Nolita’s Spring Street is different. Broiled mussels in red curry custard may seem extravagant but its price tag of $8 (AU$10) isn’t – and the same goes for large plates such as duck breast and maitake mushroom in a slathering of coconut milk, kaffir lime leaf and galangal is a very non-Michelin HK$29 (AU$37).
Barrafina, London – one star
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Barrafina may not do dinner reservations but it does do some of the best tapas plates in London. Earning a Michelin star in 2015, ingredients can be a little adventurous (lamb’s brain has previously featured) but one thing that won’t be pushed out on a limb is your wallet, with Michelin noting the prices slide between £18 (AU$32) and £44 (AU$78). Also, if you’re big on booking, there’s always lunch: the Adelaide Street outpost will accept lunch reservations.
Kyobashi Tempura Fukamachi, Tokyo – one star
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Although the Portuguese introduced the art of tempura to Japan in the 16th century, the country has made the deliciously crisp delicacy its own. At Tempura Fukamachi, the tempura is carefully battered and fried by chef Masao Fukamachi, who has spent the better part of 30 years perfecting the technique. Lunch at this sleek restaurant starts from a cool ¥3024 (AU$36) but beware: bookings require diners to devour a set menu, rather than à la carte options, which can drive up your bill. Image: Flickr Foodsters (CC BY 2.0).
Outlaw’s Fish Kitchen, Cornwall – one star
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Seafood is often accompanied by a hefty price tag but not at this charming Cornwall establishment. Owner Nathan Outlaw knows his way around sea dwellers just as well as he does a Michelin star – four of his eateries have one, thank you very much. At this Port Isaac outpost, menu choices are small yet mighty: a monkfish ceviche with tomato and sweet potato or turbot with cauliflower and hazelnut crust both come in under £14 (AU$24).
Tim Ho Wan, Hong Kong – one star
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Subsequent international outposts might not have shared the same successes (the Malaysian Tim Ho Wan shuttered permanently in July 2017) but in Hong Kong, the home of Tim Ho Wan, the same fervour for wallet-friendly dim sum remains. Not one, but two of the city’s locations have been graced with a star and both serve dim sum of braised, deep-fried, steamed varieties and beyond, typically at less than HK$30 (AU$4.90). Talk about guilt-free.
Sosakumenkobo Nakiryu, Tokyo – one star
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Ramen conjures images of starving students more readily than it does fine diners but at this Minamiotsuka restaurant, you’ll pay the price of the former to experience the latter. In fact, most steaming bowls come in under ¥1000 (AU$11.90), all featuring silky homemade noodles and out-of-this-world shio (the salt-laced bone broth all ramen goodies are suspended in). Image: Flickr Guilhem Vellut (CC BY 2.0).
Liao Fan Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice & Noodle, Singapore – one star
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When Michelin officials invited Meng Chan to the official gala dinner, the hawker owner thought it was part of a prank. But it’s no joke: you really can get a Michelin-starred snack at this unassuming Singapore stall for S$2 (AU$1.95). The simple yet stunning soy braised chicken over rice or noodles may be the stall’s only offering but the notable nod from Michelin proves the old adage: less really is more.
Harwood Arms, London – one star
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It’s no surprise this venue is good value – it’s actually a pub and the only Michelin-starred one in London at that. Head in between Tuesday and Friday during lunchtime for the blackboard special and two courses will only set you back £24.50 (AU$45) or, if you can’t decide between dessert of a starter, splurge on a third course for just £5 (AU$9) more. The wine list is stellar, lengthy and could add several pounds to your bill, but this is the sort of place where no one will bat an eyelid if you order a pint with your meal.
Canton 8, Shanghai – two stars
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Even two Michelin stars couldn’t influence this small eatery to set up a website. Thanks to the glowing reviews however, the buzz for Canton 8’s seafood-centric menu needs no additional promotion. Chef Jie Ming Jian and his staff serve up all manner of Cantonese dishes – a signature being the crystal prawn dumplings – and à la carte meals start at a perfectly reasonable CNY100 (AU$20).
Tori Shin, New York – one star
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Yakitori devotees flock to this Hell’s Kitchen eatery and Michelin’s recognition reflects the same enthusiasm: Tori Shin has been awarded a star every year for seven years running. If you’re wondering whether you can foot the bill for such a long-running favourite, rest assured – yakitori (simple yet delicious chicken skewers) with crispy skin start from $4 (AU$5.10) giving you the freedom to order those sticks of deliciousness with gusto.
Casa Marcelo, Santiago de Compostela – one star
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Expect the unexpected at this Japanese, Peruvian and local Galician fusion eatery in Spain. Through a wonky wooden door from a cobbled street, this lively, inclusive eatery (which welcomes diners with communal seating and the opportunity to peek into the kitchen) has a constantly evolving menu that celebrates Galician produce with Japanese technical flair (and a little Peruvian flavour thrown in). The final, unexpected element? The fact that tapas plates start from 8€ (AU$12). Image: Instagram @mangia_mangia_amore.