‘Penang Makan’ wins Best in the World cookbook for street food category

The book by Dayana Wong was nominated as a finalist for the Gourmand Awards 2022 held in Sweden.

Author Dayana Wong receiving her award at the Gourmand Awards 2022 (Photo: Bulan Press)

Penang Makan: Heritage Street Food Recipes, a cookbook by former investment banker Dayana Wong, has just won the Gourmand Awards 2022 in the Street Food category. Founded in 1995 by Edouard Cointreau, the award honours the best food and wine books, printed or digital, as well as food television. 

“I’m really truly honoured and grateful to win first place for Best in the World in the Street Food category. This being my first book and seeing the calibres of other books in the running. I’m also pumped up and inspired by this winning and others I’ve met during the event to continue to promote Malaysian food culture, specifically Penang,” says Wong during an email interview.


The lively scene from the awards ceremony this year (Photo: Bulan Press)

Wong’s inaugural cookbook is a compilation of family recipes, all carefully put together under the watchful supervision of her 69-year-old mum Hayati Ismail. Publishers did not see the value of the kind of cookbook she had in mind, so the finance graduate and her fiancé set up their own publishing house, Bulan Press.

“Penang Makan sheds light on a specific region in Malaysia with an in depth look into how locals ate and lived -- all wrapped up in a beautiful package like an artwork,” the judging panel told Wong.

Her win at the Gourmand Awards speaks volumes about the standard of Malaysian cookbooks, which further propelled our local fare onto the international food scene.


Wong recreates iconic street food dishes from Penang

“Malaysian cookbooks are on par with some of the best cookbooks in the world. We still have so much to offer and show on the global stage. I also believe there is a need and demand to delve deeper into the many ethnic and regional cuisines in Malaysia.”

Penang Makan is infused with little tales of life on the island and shines the spotlight on its famous hawker culture and authentic street food. Featuring more than 50 recipes from Asia’s most diverse street food city, the book will transport you from your kitchen to the food paradise that is Penang island.


'Penang Makan' cookbook


To re-create the iconic street food dishes from Penang, pick up a copy of Haven this week (complimentary with every purchase of The Edge). Purchase her book here.


Follow us on Instagram