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The Michelin Guide is coming to Kuala Lumpur and Penang

After years of planning and numerous tedious processes, The Michelin Guide has finally announced its arrival to Malaysia in December 2022. The Michelin Guide teases with two Malaysian cities — Kuala Lumpur and Penang, two food capitals that have fascinated locals and visitors from all over the world with the amazing spread of culinary and dining experiences.

The Michelin Guide Kuala Lumpur and Penang 2023 will recognise the best talents in the industry, and the muscles behind creative cooking ethos that is unique to Malaysia. It is about the best places to eat, and food that is close to our hearts, well-knitted to our culture. 

The Michelin Guide comprises a series of guide books that have been published by the French type company Michelin since 1900. Over a century long, the guide serves as a beacon to the dining industry with its coveted Michelin stars, awarded to selected establishments for excellence in culinary based on five criteria — quality of ingredients, harmony of flavours, cooking techniques, consistency both over time and across the menu, as well as the personality of the chef expressed on the plate.

nasi lemak antarabangsa
Are we expecting a nasi lemak stall in the Michelin Guide? (Image: Nasi Lemak Antarabangsa)

It is also dedicated to foster a culture of travel and conceiving unforgettable experiences accessible to all diners on all scales. Rest assured, like The Michelin Guides in neighbouring countries like Singapore and Bangkok, the guide is said to feature both fine and casual dining establishments, as well as possibly street food stalls — we won’t be surprised to find a certain char koay teow stall in Penang on the list (just sayin’). 

For the uninitiated, the Michelin Guides comprise a series of guide books that have been published by the French tyre company Michelin since 1900. The Guide awards up to three Michelin stars for excellence to a select few establishments. The acquisition or loss of a star or stars can have dramatic effects on the success of a restaurant.

The Michelin Guide team has also scoured through the many food places — while respecting the local food culture and heritage — to come out with a list that encourages people to explore the culinary gems in Kuala Lumpur and Penang.

George Town, Penang
The culinary gems peppering George Town, Penang. (Wan San Yip on Unsplash)

“Kuala Lumpur and Penang have their own unique characteristics which benefit a variety of diners locally and abroad. 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,” shares Gwendal Poullennec, International Director of The Michelin Guide. 

She adds: “Penang, with its strong Peranakan influence, is a gastronomic hotbed of small-scale restaurants and street food that embodies Malaysia’s distinctive street side dining culture.”

While we aren’t sure who will be on the full selection, we are picking up keywords and it rhymes with Peranakan and independent restaurants (hints). It’s just a matter of time before the full list is announced in a dedicated event in December 2022. 

Which restaurants do you think will make the cut?

To discover The Michelin Guide’s worldwide restaurants, visit the Michelin Guide website or download the free application for iOS and Android. Stay tuned. 

The Michelin Guide is coming to Kuala Lumpur and Penang

Martin Teo


Martin has a soft spot for art and architecture, fashion and food history. When embracing his spirit-ual side, he finds himself switching between a Negroni and an Old Fashioned, especially after a long week. His day is never complete without time at the gym and three cups of coffee — flat white with oat milk, no less.


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