Michelin guide set to debut in Malaysia

PETALING JAYA: Locals will soon be able to enjoy great food at Michelin-starred restaurants with the arrival of the Michelin Guide to Malaysia. The French gastronomic guide will highlight the cuisine and restaurants of Kuala Lumpur and Penang for international recognition.

From its humble beginnings as a travel guide in 1900, Michelin quickly developed into a gastronomic guide in 1926 in France. To date, it is present in 37 countries, including neighboring countries such as Thailand and Singapore. Malaysia is the third country to be added to the list in Southeast Asia.

Michelin Guide inspectors and reviewers identify excellent culinary talents, unique flavors and the best restaurants in Kuala Lumpur and Penang to add to the list. The Michelin Guide Kuala Lumpur & Penang 2023 is expected to be unveiled in December.

The arrival of the Michelin Guide in Malaysia has materialized thanks to a partnership with CF Capital Sdn Bhd.

Its co-founder and executive director Chryseis Tan said the sun the partnership with the Michelin Guide is part of its vision to put Malaysia on the world map of gastronomy by highlighting the talents and hidden treasures of local cuisine.

The official partnership with the Michelin Guide Kuala Lumpur & Penang 2023 is a first for CF Capital. The company hopes the inaugural project will showcase the country’s culinary prowess, raising Malaysia’s profile as a world-class destination.

“The Michelin Guide is a global institution (backed) by three decades of integrity and excellence, and I have and continue to rely on their listings when exploring new destinations.”

Tan said that in addition to identifying local culinary talent, the arrival of the Michelin Guide to Malaysia would also boost the local culinary ecosystem.

“Malaysia has the potential to be on par with our Michelin Guide laden neighbors and I am confident that the Michelin Guide will help give our food industry the boost it needs.

“These elements encompass local farms and product accessibility, culinary training and education, food photography and writing, and restaurant concepts.”

Tan said Malaysia’s diversity is reflected in the food its people eat, transcending history, cultural traditions and heritage.

She said it is high time for gastrotourism in Malaysia to bring our history to the international community, especially when there is something that suits most gastrotourism palates and interests.

“We also hope that the Michelin Guide will inspire Malaysian culinary talents from abroad to return and leave their mark in their home country, which will enhance the local culinary scene.

“Malaysian cuisine and culture is truly one of a kind – a source of pride for the country.”

Asked about expanding the list to other states, Tan said the Michelin Guide team would explore the possibility and then decide.

Michelin Guide international director Gwendal Poullennec said the unique characteristics of Kuala Lumpur and Penang would benefit both local and foreign diners.

“Kuala Lumpur is a rapidly changing city with hotspots, independent restaurants and new foodie inspirations.

“Meanwhile, Penang has a strong Peranakan influence and is a foodie hotbed of small eateries and street food that epitomizes Malaysia’s distinctive street food culture.”

The Michelin Guide rates restaurants on several criteria, including the quality of ingredients, cooking techniques, flavors, the personality of the chef as reflected in the dishes prepared, consistency of quality over time and other foods on the menu.

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