The head chef of a London restaurant known for his celebrity guests says he has not received any explanation from Michelin since losing all three of his prestigious stars.

Marty Lau says he and his team have been "left in the dark" at Araki – a sushi restaurant in Mayfair.

Well-known clients include fashion designer and former spice girl Victoria Beckham and her husband David.

The Guide Michelin is one of the oldest restaurant guides of the tire company Michelin. The guide awards up to three stars to selected restaurants. Removing Michelin stars can affect the trade and reputation of a restaurant.

The Araki opened in 2014 and is one of the smallest restaurants in the capital. It has only 10 customers at the chef's counter and six more in an optional private room.

It also has a high price: guests pay £ 310 apiece for the omakase, the chef's sushi menu.

Former chef Mitsuhiro Araki awarded the restaurant a Michelin star less than a year after opening its doors. Previously, he owned a restaurant in Tokyo that earned three stars.

In March, however, he decided to move to Hong Kong to open a new restaurant, leaving the Araki to his apprentice Marty Lau, whom he had trained for four years.

The 31-year-old told Sky News that he did not know why the restaurant did not get stars from the guide.

"We had no previous warning, we had no explanation, we were completely ignorant of why," he said.

"We leave it to Michelin's discretion."

Mitsuhiro Araki (left), when he received three stars in 2010 for the first time
Image:
Former chef Mitsuhiro Araki (left) received three stars in 2010 for the first time

But Mr. Lau went on to say that he and the team behind the Araki had no negative feelings about the Michelin guide and said he considered the experience "character building".

"I believe that Michelin performs a master reset in a positive mindset and judges it under my name, not under his [Mr Araki],

"We had a lot of newspapers that did not ask for a comment, they just said we lost stars as if it was the end of the world, that's not very nice, but it's just inspiring," he said.

"As disappointing as it is not to have stars right off the bat, I am humble as my Master started without stars.

"I take it honestly by the chin."

Mr. Lau explained that his education differs from traditional western restaurant culture.

"I have always been inspired by the martial arts and the relationship between the apprentice and the master, and you always take care of the sensei [person born before another]The apprentice is supervised by the master. That's the ultimate romance for me.

"I think Western culture is more about being independent," said Mr. Lau.

The chef said it would be nice if he regained the restaurant's Michelin stars – but it was not all that.

"Of course it would be fantastic, every award is wonderful, but in the end, every one of my clients is the inspector," he said.

"The guests are the judges and we have received some really positive messages.

"We're going to have some guests going:" Oh, you're not a Michelin, and that's fine, it motivates me to work harder, to prove myself, and I think it inspires the team ,

"The best form of advertising is word of mouth, which is what we do." Michelin is just a nice addition.

"It's not just a dinner, it's something you come and testify and experience, and I've been told it changes my life a few times."

When asked what he would say to those behind the Michelin Guide, Mr. Lau simply said, "Thank you, I will do my best."

The Michelin Guide has been asked for comments.