The first Michelin guide to Hong Kong and Macau restaurants and hotels has drawn criticism from food critics and members of the public, who accuse it of missing the essence of the local dining scene by featuring mostly pricey restaurants. But the criticism has not dented sales of the first local edition of the culinary bible, with the public turning out in force for book-signing sessions with the guide's director, Jean-Luc Naret, yesterday and on Friday. Many foodies have been fiercely critical in various internet forums and newsgroups, including www. openrice.com, one of the most popular food websites for Hongkongers. A contributor using the name Siu Ming Chow lamented that the guide was only meant for foreigners. Another user, SeasonsJoE, said it was not a guide to good food but merely to expensive restaurants. The selection was compiled by 12 inspectors, two of them Chinese. Some of the Chinese characters in this, the first bilingual Michelin guide, are also wrong - among them those for Admiralty, Kwun Tong and Mong Kok's Langham Place Hotel. Some of those lining up to secure an autograph from Mr Naret at a bookshop in Admiralty yesterday expressed disappointment at the guide's selection of 1,200 restaurants. One of them was Shaggy Leung Wai-ying, 29, who said she was buying the guide as a gift for her husband, a chef. 'Many restaurants that are famous among locals are not even listed, or they did not get as many stars as expected. And the descriptions in the guide are too brief.' Mr Naret defended the guide, saying it was not just by westerners for westerners. 'It's not the nationality that makes you a good critic,' he said. 'You don't have to be Chinese to understand Chinese food and you don't have to be French to understand French food.' He denied the guide neglected the local dining scene. 'Plenty of noodle shops and plenty of restaurants made it to the selection ... We've been to the street. We selected restaurants that we believe needed to be recommended.' He said some restaurants were not in the guide 'because we didn't find good food'.