Meituan Dianping have released their homegrown awards list
for the second year in a row, and it’s… it’s… a work in progress. Called the Black Pearls, they work like the Michelin system: three pearls is the highest. I’m a supporter and more — I was a judge this year
— based on the simple premise that I think Michelin is arrogant and outdated and I’m happy to see some competition trying to erode their influence. Did the Black Pearls get it all right this year? No. They are trying, but… no. They didn’t. Still, they did a good job with the more rarefied restaurants in the higher categories, and that’s a start. So who got Pearls?