Food

Here’s The First MICHELIN Guide In KL & Penang 2023 With 1 Michelin Star Awarded To 4 Restaurants

The moment we Malaysians have been waiting for is finally here. The official MICHELIN guide in KL and Penang has been released. Out of these dining establishments, four were awarded the highly-coveted one MICHELIN star including Dewakan and Au Jardin! This is indeed a momentous occasion for Malaysia, so read on for the full list of restaurants awarded.

First MICHELIN Guide Has Landed In KL & Penang

On 13th December 2022, MICHELIN Guide Kuala Lumpur and Penang 2023 was announced with 97 restaurants being listed. Out of these, 32 eateries received a Bib Gourmand for delicious food offerings at moderate prices!

Only two restaurants in KL received one MICHELIN Star: Dewakan, a modern Malaysian restaurant honouring local and indigenous produce; and DC. by Darren Chin with French cuisine emphasising regional live seafood and local produce. The other two restaurants awarded one MICHELIN Star were in Penang: Auntie Gaik Lean’s Old School Eatery, classic Peranakan cuisine made from Chef Auntie Gaik’s secret recipes; and Au Jardin, a sophisticated European dining spot with local twists. 

4 Restaurants Awarded One MICHELIN Star

DC. by Darren Chin (Kuala Lumpur) receives one MICHELIN Star for their four- to seven-course menus, as well as one for vegetarians. Their dishes range from classic French to novel creations with Japanese influences cooked with exquisite skill. 

Dewakan (Kuala Lumpur) is awarded one MICHELIN Star for its prix fixe tasting menu that is truly Malaysian in every sense. Fermented or dry-aged items made in-house are widely used, alongside with seasonal fruits and herbs. 

Au Jardin (Penang) is recognised for their monthly-changing menu showcasing sophisticated European fare with subtle local twists. Every item served has been well thought out, from homemade sourdough with tomato butter to the palate cleanser that surprises in a pleasant way. 

Auntie Gaik Lean’s Old School Eatery (Penang) obtains one MICHELIN Star for its Peranakan cuisine crafted from secret recipes using quality produce. Many items here are made from scratch, including the heavenly pie tee and gulai tumis that uses over eight ingredients in the curry paste.

32 Establishments Awarded a Bib Gourmand (Inspectors’ Favourites for Quality Cooking at Moderate Prices)

A total of 32 restaurants and food establishments are awarded a Bib Gourmand distinction, with 15 based in Kuala Lumpur and 17 in Penang. 

Bib Gourmand Establishments Kuala Lumpur 

Ah Hei Bak Kut Teh is a 30-year-old shop that makes bak kut teh daily with a blend of 16 Chinese herbs. Diners can choose from spareribs, tripe, intestine, or belly.

Aliyaa is the perfect place to experience Sri Lankan cuisine. Beef, mutton, chicken, seafood, or veggies mingle with distinctive spices to great effect. 

Anak Baba gets a nod from the MICHELIN Guide inspectors for authentic Peranakan cuisine that melds Indo-Malay flavours with Chinese influences. The nasi lemak with ayam goreng earns unanimous praise. 

Congkak (Bukit Bintang) nestled in a residential area not far from the city center, is worth visiting for its classic local flavours. The nasi ambeng platter, popular among locals, offers a multitude of texture and combinations that go nicely with sambal.

Dancing Fish presents classic Malay-Indo flavours that keep gourmets coming back. Needless to say, “Dancing Fish” is the unmissable signature here in which the fish is nicely fried with a tender meat in crunchy batter. The enticing sambal and savoury sauces are also favourites of many for good reasons.

De. Wan 1958 is held dear by its local flavours made by the infamous Chef Wan. Be it pomelo salad with crispy prawn cheeks in kerabu lime dressing, or bakar bakar that comes with a choice of appetizing sauces.

Hai Kah Lang ensures only the freshest catch can make it to the table here. A variety of seafood noodles are offered. First-timers should order mixed noodles that includes crab, clams, squid, and shrimp in a briny-sweet fish bone broth. 

Heun Kee Claypot Chicken Rice (Pudu) is a no-frills shop serving claypot rice prepared over a charcoal stove. The menu here also offers a variety of soups, vegetables, and sides to enrich meals.

Hing Kee Bakuteh (Jalan Kepong) serves a well-balanced soup with subtle use of herbs and light-sweet flavours. Their dry version with a richer and thicker consistency is equally good.

Lai Fong Lala Noodles was once a humble street stall that now occupies two floors. The shop prides itself of its Lala Bihun (clam noodles). The broth is aromatic with Shaoxing Huadiao (Chinese yellow wine) and ginger while the noodles is best served with prawns.

Nam Heong Chicken Rice has been famous locally for its Hainanese chicken rice for over eighty years. They offer two kinds of chicken: the veggie farm chicken with leaner and firmer flesh, and the free-range with fattier and softer meat. 

Nasi Ayam Hainan Chee Meng (Jalan Kelang Lama) has been a staple to the local dining scene since 1965. This family business is now run by the second and third generations. They use local bird to make their signature Hainanese chicken dish. 

Restoran Pik Wah is a hidden gem serving authentic Chinese food that includes not only the familiar Cantonese staples, but also rarer items not easily found elsewhere, such as frog and venison. The sizzling claypot dishes are also well known for its quality.

Sao Nam serves their iconic phở bò – rice noodle soup with sliced beef. The broth takes more than 10 hours to make, and it’s packed with tons of flavour. 

Wong Mei Kee attracts foodies here for their char siew, roast chicken, and siew yok. The latter boasts crackling skin and succulent meat, best enjoyed with the homemade chilli sauce.

Bib Gourmand Establishments Penang 

Bridge Street Prawn Noodle is a family run business that started in the 60’s and has become a favourite spot for locals to enjoy hearty Hokkien prawn mee. The spicy prawn broth, loaded with exceptional flavours, is now prepared by the third generation. 

Communal Table by Gēn presents modern dishes that melds Peranakan and Malaysian flavours made with local ingredients. Aged duck breast in a steamed bun, the signature here, is appraised with crispy skin and a tangy sauce. 

Duck Blood Curry Mee’s discreet location in a Malaysian-style café hasn’t stopped customers from visiting. Their mee in a savoury-sweet white curry base made with coconut milk is phenomenal. It is best enjoyed with roasted pork and their homemade chilli sauce.

Green House Prawn Mee & Loh Mee gets a MICHELIN Bib Gourmand for more than three decades of loyal fandom. The Hokkien prawn mee and loh mee here attracts a crowd thanks to the deep umami in their soups.                                                          

Ivy’s Nyonya Cuisine is a simple Peranakan restaurant serving set menus of great value. The restaurant is famous for its Kapitan chicken curry that exhibits balanced taste and tender flesh and Joo Hoo Char (stir-fried mixed veggies in chili paste) that packs serious heat. 

Ming Qing Charcoal Duck Egg Char Koay Teow celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2022. Regulars queue up here before it opens for the koay teow that is stir fried with duck egg over charcoal fire. The noodles demonstrate exceptional wok hei and is best enjoyed with an extra over-easy egg. 

Moh Teng Pheow Nyonya Koay founded in 1933, is no stranger to locals for its authentic kuih. In 2016, the family’s second generation opened this spot with al fresco seating behind the factory. Kuih Lapis, Kuih Talam, Ang Ku Kueh and Nyonya Chang are on offer – all freshly handmade.

Neighbourwood serves European dishes with Asian influences and chargrilled choices. The menu changes regularly but the three dishes meant for sharing always stay: Half roast chicken, Berkshire pork loin and Fish en papillote.                                           

Penang Road Famous Laksa earned its fame with the sardine broth that exudes exceptional depth and flavours. The char koay teow with duck egg is unmissable too.

Rasa Rasa’s Nyonya combo sets guarantee for a fulfilling dining experience. The pandan nasi lemak is plated nicely on banana leaf served with a choice of toppings and homemade sambal. 

Sardaarji presents Northern Indian dishes at its store in Little India. Must try dishes are: Amritsari made with red snapper, black lentil soup and desserts gulab jamun just to name a few. Live performances of Indian instruments add to the experience.                          

Taman Bukit Curry Mee gets a MICHELIN Bib Gourmand for its curry mee. For more than 40 years, this stall has prided itself for the curry mee soup that is made from coconut milk and spicy curry paste. Gourmets can never get enough of their half-cooked cockles loaded with briny sweet taste and juice.

Teksen is a no-frills joint that has won the hearts of many with its traditional Cantonese fare and fusion creations with a local twist. A long queue at peak hours waits to sample the deep-fried homemade tofu, as well as dishes seasoned with assam tumis or sambal.

Thara is helmed by a native Thai kitchen team, and the food here is authentic and prepared with the freshest ingredients. The tom yum seafood soup and appetiser Miang Kam are especially good. 

Theeni Pandarams offers generous portions with their biryani on banana leaf that gives good flavour and texture. Fish dishes served in claypot is not to be missed, with choices including stingray, shark and king mackerel.                               

Tho Yuen gets a MICHELIN Bib Gourmand for its Cantonese cuisine. Standing firm for eight decades, this teahouse still makes their dim sum the traditional way – every morning at 3:30am. Apart from dim sum, fried noodles, bee hoon and fish balls are also good to try.

Wan Dao Tou Assam Laksa’s secret family recipe of over 50 years is passed down to the third-generation owner. The famous laksa soup strikes a fine balance between sweetness, sourness and spiciness. 

MICHELIN Special Awards

As the MICHELIN Guide inspectors dine, they also keep an eye on service professionals who are worthy of the MICHELIN Special Awards. For the inaugural edition of the MICHELIN Guide Kuala Lumpur and Penang, our inspectors have found three worthy recipients. 

MICHELIN Service Award: Leanne Lim, Dewakan (One MICHELIN Star, Kuala Lumpur) 

Leanne Lim is passionate, attentive, and polite with good engagement skills. She is friendly and knowledgeable about the products served in the restaurant.

MICHELIN Sommelier Award: Mahamad Hafiz Bin Abdullah, DC. by Darren Chin (One MICHELIN Star, Kuala Lumpur) 

Mahamad Hafiz Bin Abdullah receives a nod from the MICHELIN Guide inspectors for his reputation and experience in the local food and beverage industry. He possesses extensive wine knowledge and is recognised for his wine recommendations as well as pairings. 

MICHELIN Young Chef Award: Lim Yan You, Au Jardin (One MICHELIN Star, Penang) 

Chef Lim Yan You (32 years old) is Malaysian-Chinese and chef de cuisine at Au Jardin. He has worked with owner Chef Su for 8 years and is a graduate from Penang’s local culinary school.

Just The Beginning For Malaysia’s Gastronomy

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. 

Every hotel in the Guide is chosen for its extraordinary style, service, and personality — with options for all budgets — and each hotel can be booked directly through the MICHELIN Guide website and app. The selection for Malaysia features the country’s most spectacular hotels, including sustainability pioneers like JapaMala, urban resorts like The Ruma, luxury island getaways like The Datai, and the traditional stilted cottages of Bon Ton Antique Wooden Villas.         

Link(s): Website | Facebook 

Source: MICHELIN Guide Malaysia Press Release

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