The inaugural Michelin Guide KL & Penang 2023 was finally unveiled last night with four restaurants awarded the one Michelin star distinction.
The restaurants in KL that won the much-coveted one-star Michelin distinction were Dewakan and DC Restaurant by Darren Chin.
Meanwhile, the Penang winners were Restaurant Au Jardin and Auntie Gaik Lean’s Old School Eatery.
Three restaurants also received the Michelin Special Awards: Leanne Lim from Dewakan for the Michelin Service Award, Mahamad Hafiz from DC by Darren Chin for Sommelier Award, and Lim Yan You from Au Jardon for Michelin Young Chef Award.
Michelin Guide KL & Penang 2023
A total of 97 Malaysian restaurants made their debut in the Michelin Guide KL & Penang, with 32 establishments receiving a Bib Gourmand for offering good food at affordable prices.
The list also covers 20 cuisine types with most restaurants on the Michelin Selected list.
We had the privilege of eating at some of these establishments over the years. Please find below the list of the restaurants we visited.
However, we do like to point out that some of these posts are old, and our views reflect our experiences at that point in time. Hence, the quality and preferences may have changed from then. While taste is subjective, we hope this list will be a useful guide for you.
Michelin Bib Gourmand Restaurants – KL
Located in Jalan Beremi not far from Bukit Bintang city centre, Congkak serves Nusantara dishes such as Daging Masak Kicap, Ikan Goreng Sambal Tumis and Tauhu Telur. However, the star dish here has to be the Nasi Ambeng – a rice platter served with crackers, ikan masin, salted egg, acar rampai, sambal jawa, and various types of sambal. See our post here.
Dancing Fish in Bangsar Shopping Centre serves classic Malay-Indo dishes that are similar to the ones at Congkak (see above). During our last visit, we enjoyed the Tauhu Telur, Dendeng Belado, and the signature Dancing Fish – fish that’s deep-fried to yield tender meat in crispy batter.
Check out our post here.
Michelin Bib Gourmand Restaurants – Penang
Operating off Lebuh Chulia, Moh Teng Pheow has been making nyonya kuih since 1933. Now operated by the third generation – the kuih factory/canteen continues to dish out more than 20 varieties of Nyonya kuih Penang on a daily basis as well as other local delicacies.
We found the kuih to be tiny in size, with the Bengka Ubi and Pai Tee to be the better offerings from the establishment. We had since found other better kuih selections in Penang, but do check out our post here.
Michelin Selected Restaurants – KL
Helmed by Sharina and Brandon who trained at Le Cordon Bleu – Playte showcases local ingredients done in contemporary and European cooking techniques. We enjoyed the Cold Capellini and Unagi & Foie Gras from our recent visit. Check out our post here.
Michelin Selected Restaurants – Penang
Ali Lemak Daun Pisang serves nasi lemak bungkus wrapped in banana leaves at affordable prices. There are five types of toppings to choose from:- ikan bilis and telur (anchovies and egg), ikan (fish), ikan masin (salted fish), sotong (squid), and udang (shrimp). The sambal packs some serious heat and is not for the faint of heart. Check out our post here.
There are a lot of establishments that claim to serve the original Bukit Mertajam yam rice, but the progenitor can only be found here in Bukit Mertajam. We found the Yam Rice here to be superbly delicious, and the pork soup to be very balanced in savouriness and sweetness, with a mind tang from mustard greens. We recommend checking out this spot if you’re in Bukit Mertajam. Read our post here.
We had one of our best meals of 2021 at gēn Penang (pronounced “Ghern” with a silent “r”). Gēn 根 offers a unique concept as the kitchen (helmed by Chef Johnson) showcases local quality produce to recreate nostalgic flavours using innovative cooking methods.
Each dish highlights a local produce which featured strongly in the chef’s childhood memories, or is relevant within the cultural context. We won’t be surprised if this restaurant earn a Michelin star next year. Read more in our post here.
4. Pitt Street Koay Teow Th’ng, Lebuh Carnavon
We’ve just recently visited this restaurant which serves one of the best koay teow th’ng (flat rice noodles in duck-based soup) on the island! The restaurant’s main specialty is its fish balls that are made with local eels, which gives its a distinctive texture and taste. Check out the post here.
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