Malaysia’s first ever Michelin Stars awarded to 4 restaurants in KL and Penang

By Michael Cheang and Abirami Durai

Four restaurants in Kuala Lumpur and Penang were awarded Malaysia’s first ever Michelin stars when the inaugural Michelin Guide Kuala Lumpur and Penang 2023 was unveiled tonight (Dec 13) at a ceremony at Berjaya Times Square Hotel, Kuala Lumpur.

The two KL restaurants recognised with one Michelin Star for their high-quality cooking are Dewakan, a restaurant presenting modern Malaysian dishes honouring provenance by using local and indigenous produce; and DC by Darren Chin, known for French classics with emphasis on regional live seafood and local produce.

The two Penang restaurants awarded one Michelin Star are: Auntie Gaik Lean’s Old School Eatery, which serves Peranakan cuisine made from Chef Auntie Gaik’s secret recipes and quality produce; and Au Jardin, which specialises in sophisticated European fare with subtle local twists.

93 other restaurants made it onto the guide, with 32 of them (17 in Penang and 15 in KL) awarded the Bib Gourmand, which recognises “friendly establishments that serve good food at moderate prices” (See full list below).

Three service awards were also given out on the night, with Leanne Lim of Dewakan taking home the Service Award, and Lim Yan You from Au Jardin winning the Michelin Young Chef award.

“It is a real milestone for gastronomy in Malaysia to have the Michelin Guide, and special thanks must go to my team and beautiful wife Nana,” said Chin, whose restaurant also earned the Sommelier Special Award.

“We are blown away. We did not expect two awards tonight,” said Au Jardin head chef Kim Hock Su. “All the awards (recognition) goes to my team, who are the ones that make it happen.”

The Michelin Guide dates back to 1900 when the first guide was compiled by brothers Andre and Edouard Michelin as free instructional material for travellers in France.

By 1926, the guide began awarding single stars to fine-dining restaurants and by 1936, it had a ranking system in place for one, two and three-starred eateries (three stars being the highest and most revered).

Anonymous Michelin inspectors employed by Michelin now rank eateries based on five key components: the quality of the ingredients, the mastery of cooking, the harmony of flavours, the personality of the chef through the cuisine, and consistency both over time and across the entire menu.

The full selection of the Michelin Guide Kuala Lumpur and Penang 2023 is available on the Michelin Guide website and on its app.

As published: The Star