If there is one thing all Malaysians can agree on, it is that we love our food with a passion. So it is not difficult to imagine the frenzy that struck the F&B scene when word on the street spread that Michelin Guide will be making landfall end of the year. Well, the rumour has materialised as the iconic guide announced today that its inspectors are in the midst of making their rounds in two of the country’s well-loved culinary destinations: Kuala Lumpur and Penang.
“We are ecstatic to welcome KL and Penang to the Michelin Guide family,” said Gwendal Poullennec, international director of the Michelin Guide. “This upcoming selection will unveil a new page in Asia’s gastronomic prowess, spotlighting the wonders of Malaysian cuisine and the abundance of home-grown culinary talents. Our famously anonymous inspectors are already in the field to experience this colourful culinary scene and find the best local gems.”
The Michelin Guide appraises its restaurant reviews through an extensive system of distinctions, the most revered of which are its globally renown Michelin Stars. One star is awarded to restaurants for “high-quality cooking that is worth a stop,” two for “excellent cooking that is worth a detour,” and three for “exceptional cuisine that is worth a special journey.”
In addition to the star ratings, the selection will also include the Bib Gourmand category, awarded to establishments that provide value-for-money meals (look out for your favourite street food vendors!).
How are they evaluated, you ask? Michelin Guide’s in-house team of independent inspectors and food critics rely on five key criteria: quality of the ingredients; mastery of cooking; harmony of the flavours; expression of the chef’s personality in the cuisine; and consistency, both over time and across the entire menu.
According to Michelin Guide, the inspectors have found KL and Penang to present very distinct yet vibrant culinary complexity, which truly reflects the uniqueness of Malaysia’s multiethnic culture.
“Kuala Lumpur, the country's economic and business hub is a fast-moving city flocked with sizable venues, independent restaurants, and new inspirations for gastronomy. Penang, with its strong Peranakan influence, is a gastronomic hotbed of small-scale restaurants and street food that embodies Malaysia’s distinctive streetside dining culture,” Poullennec added.
The full selection of the Michelin Guide Kuala Lumpur and Penang 2023 will be unveiled in December. Stay tuned for updates.