Northern Ireland restaurants Ox and Deanes Eipic retain Michelin stars in 2017 guide
Belfast restaurants Ox and Deanes Eipic have retained their Michelin stars for the 2017 guide.
The new edition of the exclusive Michelin Guide for the UK and Ireland for 2017 was launched on Monday.
The guide is considered the foremost authority on the world's greatest dining establishments.
Both Ox, on Oxford Street and Deanes Eipic on Howard street, made the coveted list for its 2016 edition and were confirmed as retaining the status for 2017.
Eipic is the most sophisticated in the Deanes restaurant portfolio - which includes Deanes Meat Locker, Deanes Love Fish, Deanes Deli Bistro & Vin Café, Deanes at Queens and Deane & Decano.
Ox, the brainchild of chef Stephen Toman and Alain Kerloc'h has enjoyed huge success since it joined Belfast's growing restaurant landscape in March 2013.
Meanwhile, taking a bib gourmand in this year's edition is James Street South, Deanes at Queen's and Home, in Belfast. Also Fontana in Holywood, the Old Schoolhouse Inn in Lisbane and new to the list, Wine & Brine in Moira.
The Bib Gourmand is presented to those establishments which offer "good quality and good value cooking".
Commenting on the success of the Northern Ireland restaurants, Colin Neill, chief executive, Hospitality Ulster said: “We congratulate Eipic and OX on the news that they have retained their Michelin stars.
"Maintaining such a high standard in such a competitive industry is a difficult thing to do and they must be applauded for their hard work and dedication. It is also fantastic to see that six restaurants here have also been awarded the prestigious Bib Gourmand accolade.”
“Such awards send out a strong message to visitors and tourists that our restaurant scene is vibrant and growing stronger which is important in maintaining the 45,000 jobs of those who work in the food and drink service alone here in Northern Ireland.”
Restaurateur Michael Deane said: "We are absolutely delighted to hold the Star and retain our Bib Gourmand. It’s a true reflection of the dedication to high standards and the dogged hard work of the team at Deanes.
"It’s also wonderful for our city to boast two Michelin Starred restaurants and there’s no doubt that impacts on our tourism industry."
The number of Michelin-starred restaurants on both sides of the border in Ireland to 12.
In Dublin, the Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud retained its two Michelin stars, while Chapter One, L'Ecrivain and The Greenhouse held on to one star each.
One star was also retained by Aniar and Loam restaurants in Galway, Campagne and Lady Helen at Mount Juliet Hotel in Kilkenny, and House Restaurant at Cliff House Hotel, in Ardmore, Waterford.
Those named among the list are considered to be among the world's best eateries.
Anonymous inspectors travel the world to grade the restaurants, always paying their bills.
Rebecca Burr said: “There have been some excellent additions to the guide across both Great Britain and Ireland - restaurants that are producing consistently good food using excellent ingredients.
"Every year we actively seek out new candidates whilst reassessing restaurants already in the guide. Consistency is key."