The Michelin Guide KL & Penang 2023

Now that the Michelin Guide has announced the recipients of the stars and bib gourmand ratings, the question arises on how some of them were even selected in the first place to be in the review. It is said that they would speak to locals in the know who would make suggestions of the places for them to consider.

Since the Malaysian edition is a partnership that includes Tourism Malaysia, the state offices could have possibly been made suggestions too. Could they have checked and scoured the Internet for an indication? It is possible but uncertain. And you can write them to make suggestions, as one friend has done and actually received a reply.

The restaurants that made the select list were:

Kuala Lumpur Penang
Akar Air Itam Sister Curry Mee
Anjo Ali Nasi Lomak Daun Pisang
Beta Bali Hai Seafood Market
Bref by Darren Chin Bao Teck Tea House
Cava Bee See Heong
Cilantro Bibik’s Kitchen
loominie Bite N Eat Dindigul Biryani
Eat and Cook BM Yam Rice
Elegant Inn Chao Xuan
Ember Curios-City
Flour Fatty Loh Chicken Rice
Gai Feringgi Grill
Hide Flower Mulan
Kayra Gen
La Suisse Goh Thew Chik Hainan Chicken Rice
Li Yen Il Bacaro
Limapulo Jawi House
Marble 8 Kebaya Dining Room
Nadodi Kota Dine & Coffee
Open House La Vie
Passage Thru India Lao San Tong Bah Kut Teh
Playte Misai Me Jawa (Butterworth)
Qureshi Pitt Street Koay Teow Soup
Skillet The Pinn
Soleil Tok Tok Me Bamboo Noodle
Sri Nirwana Maju WhatSaeb Boat Noodles
Sushi Kazu Woodlands
Sushi Ori  
Sushi Taka  
Tamarind Hill  
The Brasserie  
Yun House  
The Michelin Guide Kuala Lumpur & Penang Select List

Interestingly, while the Curate Group was one of the companies that brought the Michelin Guide in, only one of their outlets made the selection.

Food tasting is always going to be subjective. The Michelin guide would have a certain guideline for their reviewers to follow and none of us are going to agree with all of them but they are going to serve as a guide. After all that’s in their name. So I won’t question their preference. 

The guide is the *supposed* benchmark for good food everywhere and it does its job by drawing international attention to a country’s cuisine and its purveyors. And for that, I don’t think there’s a guide that does better than them.

It’s like some of us here going to Bangkok and making a bee line to Raan Jay Fai and even willing to wait in line for hours to sample it. Why? Because she has 1 star. Many locals there won’t bother though some will. Foreigners will because for them it’s part of the experience of the trip. I have been one of those that played into this. Did the Michelin guide factor in my decision to visit Bangkok coming out of the pandemic. It certainly did.

As a local, are you going to agree with all their assessment? Probably not. Hey, we almost could not agree on a PM, what more when it comes to food. 

But for foreigners, it means there is a body that “TRIES” to evaluate dining establishments in a way that’s consistent or perhaps even homogenized throughout the world. 

I emphasise TRIES because it will not be perfect when the sample size is a handful of reviewers. Even with a larger sample size, how many times have you been led astray by Google Map reviewers even when they are local. I know I have.

And it means that we can finally tell Singaporeans we have Michelin rated eateries too. How can we let them have all the glory.

Congratulations to those that won a Michelin star and had a Bib Gourmand rating.

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