An undercover Michelin inspector has described the disgusting moment a cockroach “scurried across the table” during their first course at one of the world’s best restaurants.
In a tell-all interview published by Michelin Guide, a handful of inspectors revealed their worst dining experiences while reviewing some of the highest-rated restaurants in the world.
Notwithstanding the extortionate cost for a table at these establishments, the inspectors told horrifying stories ranging from rude staff to having to dine with mannequins.
One inspector reported that a cockroach scuttled across their table as the first course was being brought out.
But despite the disgusting and unhygienic incident, the inspector said staff were unapologetic and even dismissive.
They added that having cancelled the rest of their meal, the staff still demanded that they pay “full price”.
The inspector left the restaurant feeling both “desperate for a shower” and appalled at the behaviour of the “nonchalant” staff.
Another inspector said they were left “wanting to sink through the floor” after the staff brought a birthday cake to their table.
They believed the reservation system they used to book the restaurant had wrongly signalled to the establishment that it was their birthday, leading to the staff bringing out a small cake with a single candle lit in the middle.
“The restaurant was tiny, and tables turned and raised their glasses,” they said.
“I immediately realised that everyone in that room must have thought I was alone on my birthday, celebrating with a tasting menu. I wanted to sink through the floor.”
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During the pandemic, a third inspector was forced to eat alongside two mannequins as the restaurant looked for a creative way to fill out the dining room during a time of social distancing.
They said they did not take issue with the idea of filling out the room with mannequins but the reality of eating at a table with two of the inanimate objects made them feel “like the butt of a joke”.
They added that when they put in a large order in accordance with the requirements of their job as an inspector, the staff member tending to them remarked that they had over-ordered.
When they responded with a joke that they were ordering for three people, referring to their two mannequin companions, they said the staff member did not enjoy the joke.
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A fourth inspector recounted having to traverse a treacherous windy mountainside road “with a straight drop and no guard rail” for over a mile while trying to reach a restaurant.
After finding out halfway through the drive that the road ahead was blocked by a rockslide, they said they were forced to reverse their way back down the terrifying mountain.
They were not informed of the blockage and were unable to inspect the restaurant.
The remarkable stories prove that even fine dining establishments are sometimes guilty of the most basic mistakes.