The Michelin Guide descended on Phuket’s Old Town this morning (May 15) to announce the launch of the legendary dining guide in Phuket.

The Phuket edition of the Michelin Guide will be released in November 2018 as part of the second edition of the Thailand guide, which is now extended to Bangkok, Phuket and Phang Nga.

According to Michelin country director Segsarn Trai-Ukos, the guide will also expand its Bangkok scope to include the city’s parameters. 

Though no announcements have yet been made about which Phuket restaurants will make the guide, the focus this morning—as when the Michelin Guide launched in Bangkok—was firmly on street food.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand, Michelin’s main sponsor in Thailand, took a group of journalists including BK on a tour of the Old Town’s street-food stalls and shop-house restaurants in anticipation of the announcement, while the promotional video for the guide’s Phuket debut featured a notable absence of any fine-dining restaurants. 

The Michelin Guide, though famous for its 1-3-star fine-dining recommendations, has since 1996 also recognized cheap restaurants offering exceptional food under its “Bib Gourmand” designation.

On the Bangkok launch of the guide, only one street-food restaurant, Jay Fai, managed to win an actual Michelin star. 

The arrival of the Michelin Guide in Phuket marks the second step of a five-year plan to cover the whole of Thailand, according to Segsarn. 

“Our only limitation is the number of inspectors,” said Segsarn. “They consume 250 meals a year [for the Michelin Guide], so it’s not possible to cover the whole of Thailand. Next year we will expand to another province and train more inspectors.”

Segsarn also stressed that they are recruiting inspectors whose knowledge covers the breadth of food cultures found on Phuket, singling out Hokkien, Malaysian, Italian, French and Russian cuisines.

Also read: Our guide to Phuket’s best local restaurants