The MICHELIN Guide Makes its Malaysian Debut: 97 Restaurants Recognised, Including 4 Michelin Stars

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  • Kuala Lumpur and Penang’s dining establishments make their debut in the MICHELIN Guide with 97 listings, covering over 20 cuisine types. 
  • 4 restaurants receive one MICHELIN Star and 32 establishments awarded Bib Gourmand.
  • 3 restaurants receive the MICHELIN Special Awards: Service Award, Sommelier Award and Young Chef Award

The MICHELIN Guide made its Malaysian debut on the 13th of December, recognising 97 restaurants for consistent culinary excellence – with four of them receiving the much-coveted Michelin Star. 32 of the night’s establishments were awarded a Bib Gourmand, an accolade that recognises eateries that serve good food at affordable prices. 

Kuala Lumpur and Penang earned two stars each, with the selections all specialising in different types of cuisine and serving to highlight the sheer variety of options available in the Southeast Asian nation when it comes to food. 

Dewakan, a restaurant presenting modern Malaysian dishes honouring provenance by using local and indigenous produce, took home a star for Kuala Lumpur; as did DC. by Darren Chin, a restaurant known for its French classics with an emphasis on regional live seafood and local produce. 

The two restaurants awarded a MICHELIN Star each in Penang were: Auntie Gaik Lean’s Old School Eatery, serving Peranakan cuisine made from Chef Auntie Gaik’s secret recipes and quality produce; and Au Jardin, an establishment famed for its sophisticated European fare with subtle local twists.

“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. 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,” he continued. 

It isn’t all about the stars though, as a number of other eateries and personalities also picked up awards recognising their continued dedication to providing the best in their respective categories. 15 restaurants in Kuala Lumpur and 17 in Penang were awarded the Bib Gourmand with a range of cooking styles to be found among them – from Ah Hei Bak Kut Teh, which has perfected the craft of serving Malaysia’s famous herbal soup dish to Anak Baba with its authentic Peranakan cuisine, and Sardaarji with its delectable brand of Northern Indian cuisine.

Three service professionals picked up a MICHELIN Special Award each for managing to impress the famously anonymous and notoriously scrupulous inspectors. They were Leanne Lim of Dewakan, given the MICHELIN Service Award for her friendly disposition and formidable product knowledge; Mahamad Hafiz bin Abdullah of DC. by Darren Chin, who received the MICHELIN Sommelier Award for his spot-on wine recommendations and pairings; and Chef Lim Yan You of Au Jardin, awarded the MICHELIN Young Chef Award for the excellence displayed so far in his promising culinary career. 

The full selection of the MICHELIN Guide Kuala Lumpur and Penang 2023 will be available free of charge on the MICHELIN Guide website and app. The restaurants will join the MICHELIN Guide selection of hotels, which features the most unique and exciting places to stay in Malaysia and throughout the world.

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