Malaysia got its first-ever MICHELIN Guide last week which saw 97 restaurants in Kuala Lumpur and Penang listed, with four awarded their first MICHELIN Stars.
Dining authority The MICHELIN Guide debuted its first-ever guide for Malaysia earlier this month. MICHELIN Guide Kuala Lumpur and Penang 2023 highlights Malaysia’s two key culinary capitals, recognising 97 dining establishments covering over 20 different cuisine types. Among the entries are four restaurants that received one MICHELIN Star, with 32 awarded the Bib Gourmand accolade and another 61 granted MICHELIN-Selected status.
Two restaurants in Kuala Lumpur received their first MICHELIN Stars. There’s modern Malaysian restaurant Dewakan and refined modern French restaurant DC. By Darren Chin, both of which lean on local Malaysian produce. Two Penang eateries similarly received their stars. There’s Auntie Gaik Lean’s Old School Eatery that serves up traditional Peranakan classics, as well as Au Jardin, which offers sophisticated European fare with a subtle Malaysian twist.
Then there’s the Bib Gourmand-awarded establishments, which have been given the culinary distinction for offering good food at moderate prices. Many of these entries shine a gastronomic spotlight on Malaysia’s traditional cuisines.
The 15 Bib Gourmand awardees in Kuala Lumpur include Congkak (Bukit Bintang), which offers an excellent nasi ambeng, while Ah Hei Bak Kut Teh and Hing Kee Bakuteh (Jalan Kepong) both serve up the old-school pork rib soup specialty so beloved by Kuala Lumpur’s Malaysian-Chinese community. Veteran Malaysia culinary celebrity Chef Wan gets on the list with his De. Wan 1958.
Penang gets 17 Bib Gourmand entries. There’s family-run Bridge Street Prawn Noodle and Green House Prawn Mee & Loh Mee both which attract hordes for their prawn noodle soup, while Penang Road Famous Laksa gets its accolade for Penang’s specialty (although its char koay teow with duck egg is a hit too). Neighbourwood offers up Asian-influenced European grub, while Sardaarji and Theeni Pandarams represented Malaysia’s Indian community – one with its Northern Indian dishes, and the latter with its banana leaf biryani.
But the culinary prowess of Penang’s vaunted Peranakan community is also put on the MICHELIN pedestal in the MICHELIN Guide Kuala Lumpur and Penang 2023 guide. And rightly so. On one end is Ivy’s Nyonya Cuisine, a simple Peranakan restaurant famous for its Kapitan chicken curry, and on the other is the more modern Communal Table by Gēn which presents a more contemporary take. And not to forget Moh Teng Pheow Nyonya Koay with its freshly handmade Nyonya kuih delicacies.
Also announced were the MICHELIN Special Awards. The MICHELIN Service Award was won by Leanne Lim of Kuala Lumpur’s Dewakan, while Mahamad Hafiz Bin Abdullah of DC. by Darren Chin picked up the MICHELIN Sommelier Award. Chef Lim Yan You of Penang’s Au Jardin was awarded the MICHELIN Young Chef Award.
“Our first selection in Malaysia highlights the diversity of cuisine on offer in Kuala Lumpur and Penang, reflecting the uniqueness of the country’s multi-ethnic culture in gastronomy,” said Gwendal Poullennec, International Director of the MICHELIN Guide.
“This is just the beginning for Kuala Lumpur and Penang’s gastronomic journey. Our inspectors have been more than pleased by the new creations in Malaysian cuisine; inheritance of traditional cooking and evolution of various national cuisine, Poullennec added. “The vitality of a city such as Penang, which includes as many Bib Gourmand restaurants as the capital city, is pleasing and very encouraging for our inspection team, who is looking forward to exploring a lot more of Malaysia, and to tasting the diverse offerings of local culinary talents.”
For more information about the MICHELIN Guide Kuala Lumpur and Penang 2023, visit: https://guide.michelin.com/my/en.
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