Local gourmands and restaurant owners were star-struck when the results of the maiden Michelin Guide for Malaysia were announced. Only four establishments in Kuala Lumpur and Penang were bestowed with the prestigious one Michelin star distinction, which represents high quality cooking worth a stop.
The two KL restaurants that received the coveted accolade are Dewakan, known for honouring local ingredients and produce in its modern Malaysian dishes; and DC by Darren Chin, the TTDI-based establishment that crafts French classics with a strong Japanese undertone.
Up north, longstanding Peranakan favourite Auntie Gaik Lean’s Old School Eatery, as well as the 18-seater Au Jardin restaurant, which specialises in sophisticated European fare with a local twist, also bagged one star.
To break down the appraising mechanics, the selection criterion follows the Michelin Guide global standard, in which anonymous Michelin employed inspectors review the establishments based on the same five criteria used worldwide. They include quality of the ingredients, mastery of cooking techniques, harmony of flavours, a chef’s interpretation and personality in the cuisine and consistency, both over time and across the entire menu.
Location, decor, service and available facilities are not part of the selection criteria.
In addition, the Michelin Guide has revealed a list of 61 Selected Restaurants. For those who are shortlisted, this means the establishments have met criteria set by the Michelin inspectors, but they don't qualify for the Bib Gourmand or a Michelin star. These Selected Restaurants can be upgraded to a Bib Gourmand or Michelin star in the future.
Michelin Guide inspectors have also kept an eye out for service professionals deserving of the Michelin Special Awards. These include the Service Award to Leanne Lim from Dewakan; Sommelier Award to Mahammad Hafiz bin Abdullah from DC Restaurant; and Young Chef Award to Lim Yan You from Au Jardin.
A total of 32 restaurants and food establishments are awarded a Bib Gourmand distinction (Inspectors’ Favourites for Quality Cooking at Moderate Prices), with 15 based in Kuala Lumpur and 17 in Penang. They are:
Ah Hei Bak Kut Teh
Congkak (Bukit Bintang)
De Wan 1958
Hai Kah Lang
Heun Kee Claypot Rice (Pudu)
Hing Kee Bak Kut Teh (Jalan Kepong)
Lai Foong Lala Noodles
Nam Heong Chicken Rice
Nasi Ayam Hainan Chee Ming (Jalan Klang Lama)
Restoran Pik Wah
Wong Mei Kee
Bridge Street Prawn Mee
Communal Table by Gen
Duck Blood Curry Mee
Green House Prawn Mee and Loh Mee
Ivy’s Nyonya Cuisine
Ming Qing Charcoal Char Koay Teow
Moh Teng Pheow Nyonya Kuih
Penang Road Famous Laksa
Taman Bukit Curry Mee
Wan Dou Tou Assam Laksa
For more information, see here.