If you’re a food connoisseur or someone who just loves to indulge in good meals, chances are you probably look for new haunts by browsing the Michelin Guide.
Known globally as a prestigious honour, receiving the nod of approval from Michelin tends to elevate one’s status in the culinary world. Not only does it showcase a seal of approval on the food’s quality, but it’s also an acknowledgement of the chef’s skills and the curated dining experience.
Earlier this year, the Michelin Guide finally landed in Malaysia, specifically Kuala Lumpur and Penang.Four restaurants were recognised with one Michelin Star, while 32 establishments received a Bib Gourmand.
For context, Michelin Stars are given to fine dining restaurants for their high-quality cooking. On the other hand, Bib Gourmands are given to food establishments for offering good food at moderate prices.
Considering that we have more local eateries than fine dining houses in Malaysia, it shouldn’t be surprising that there are more Bib Gourmands awarded.
And this list has just expanded, with the Michelin Guide’s announcement of 13 new establishments receiving a Bib Gourmand, thereby bringing the total number to 45 eateries.
Here’s a quick rundown of who they are and what they serve:
1. Hor Poh Cuisine
Tucked away in a KL neighbourhood is Hor Poh Cuisine that has been selling authentic Hakkanese food for over 20 years.
Some of its must-try dishes include Hor Poh lui cha, which is a vegetal soup served with steamed rice. Made with ground sesame seeds, peanuts and mint leaves, the soup is nutty and aromatic. Its Hor Poh dumpling is also popular amongst locals.
Opening hours: Every day except Tuesdays, 11AM to 2.45PM and 5PM to 8.45PM
Address: 36 Jalan 6/38D, Taman Sri Sinar, Segambut, Kuala Lumpur, 52100, Malaysia
2. Jalan Ipoh Claypot Chicken Rice
For the past 30 years, Jalan Ipoh Claypot Chicken Rice has been selling cooked-to-order chicken rice over charcoal in claypots. The dish comes with Cantonese pork sausage and ginger, and has a crispy crust at the bottom.
If you’re feeling like having more flavour combinations, you can request to add salted fish.
Opening hours: Every day except Wednesdays, 10AM to 5.30PM
Address: Lot 1224, 7 Jalan Batu Ambar, Taman Kok Lian, Kuala Lumpur, 51200, Malaysia
3. Roti by d’Tandoor
Founded in 1990, Roti by d’Tandoor is a North Indian restaurant that has since expanded to other countries around the world.
Located in a residential area, the eatery offers a hearty range of fine Indian cuisine, including well-seasoned butter chicken masala and soft, chewy naan bread. To stave off the heat, customers can also treat themselves to some of the brand’s kulfi.
Monday to Thursday, 11AM to 3PM and 6PM to 10.30PMFriday to Sunday, 11AM to 10.30PM
Address: 82 Jalan Damai, Kampung Datuk Keramat, Off Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur, 55000, Malaysia
4. Sek Yuen
Serving mostly traditional Cantonese cuisine, Sek Yuen has been in the local F&B scene since 1948. The brand currently takes up three shops on the same street, so depending on where the clients are seated, the room may feel vintage and nostalgic, or simple and bright.
Its menu includes dishes like eight-treasure duck and roast suckling pig, which require a two-day advanced pre-order beforehand.
Opening hours: Every day, 11AM to 2.30PM and 5PM to 9.30PM
Address: 313 Jalan Pudu, Pudu, Kuala Lumpur, 55100, Malaysia
5. Sri Nirwana Maju
A popular spot for banana leaf lovers, Sri Nirwana Maju moved from being a Michelin Selected eatery to receiving a Bib Gourmand.
Located in Bangsar Village, customers can opt to top up their meals with some crowd favourite sides, whether that be fish, chicken, or lamb. The restaurant’s chicken biryani is also said to boast tender meat and balanced flavours.
Opening hours: Every day, 11.30AM to 11PM
Address: 43 Jalan Telawi 3, Bangsar Baru, Kuala Lumpur, 59100, Malaysia
6. Ah Boy Koay Teow Th’ng
A George Town-based family-run shop, Ah Boy Koay Teow Th’ng is now currently managed by the second generation. They specialise in kuay teow th’ng, which is another way of saying kuay teow soup.
According to Michelin, the broth is made from chicken and pork bones. The meal also pairs nicely with the food stall’s braised chicken with bean sprouts.
Opening hours: Every day except Tuesdays, 7AM to 2PM
Address: 1 Lebuh Clarke, George Town, 10050, Malaysia
7. BM Cathay Pancake
A humble cart outside Cathay Food Court, BM Cathay Pancake has been serving one dish and one dish only since 1962—apam balik.
Operating opposite Bukit Mertajam Jit Sin Independent High School, the cart seems to be a local favourite. Some customers on Google Review even describe the simple treat as tasting more traditional with its less-sweet filling.
Opening hours: Every day except Fridays, 12PM to 5PM
Address: 8 Jalan Aston, Bukit Mertajam, Seberang Perai, 14000, Malaysia
8. Ghee Lian
Located in a food dining complex, Ghee Lian only serves three noodle dishes—its signature green tom yum, noodle soup, and fried noodles.
According to Michelin, the fresh green tom yum hits the right balance of sour and spicy. The fried fish topping has a crispy outer layer and a succulent centre, while the large prawns have a moreish umami flavour.
Opening hours: Every day except Wednesdays, 6PM to 10PM
Address: Lot No. 39, MBPP Kompleks Makanan Medan Renong Padang Kota Lama, 4 Jalan Tun Syed Sheh Barakhbah, George Town, 10200, Malaysia
9. Hot Bowl White Curry Mee
A small shop in George Town, Hot Bowl White Curry Mee offers one of the best curry in Penang (according to Michelin).
The noodles are served in a coconut milk-based broth with a bowl of curry paste on the side, so you can adjust the heat to your liking. Optionally, you could also pair your noodles with deboned steamed chicken, spiced loh bak or Teochew guang jiang.
Opening hours: Every day except Mondays, 8AM to 2.30PM
Address: 58C Jalan Rangoon, George Town, 10400, Malaysia
10. My Own Café
A charming family-run shop, My Own Café serves local classics like Penang asam laksa, Nyonya laksa, and fried spring rolls.
According to Michelin, the light and refreshing red soup of its signature asam laksa strikes the right balance of sour and spicy and is nicely topped off with mint and pineapple. On the other hand, the spring rolls are stuffed with vegetable fillings and taste equally good.
Opening hours: Every day except Wednesdays, 9.30AM to 5PM
Address: 2 Lebuh Cannon, George Town, 10200, Malaysia
11. Penang Road Famous Jin Kor Char Kuey Teow
With almost 40 years of experience, Penang Road Famous Jin Kor Char Kuey Teow has been cooking made-to-order kuey teow filled with wok hei.
The dish is topped with shrimps, blood clams, pork sausage, and bean sprouts. But if that’s not enough, you can add duck eggs and extra chilli sauce too.
Opening hours: Every day, 9.30AM to 5.30PM
Address: Joo Hooi Cafe, 475 Jalan Penang, George Town, 10000, Malaysia
12. Siam Road Char Koay Teow
Small but mighty, Siam Road Char Koay Teow is a store that draws long queues of tourists and young customers.
With a Google ranking of 4.2 stars (from over 1,700 reviewers), the store is currently being run by the second generation. If you’re looking for some protein to pair with your char kuay teow, the place also serves fried chicken wings.
Opening hours: Every day except Sundays and Mondays, 12PM to 6.30PM
Address: 82 Jalan Siam, George Town, 10400, Malaysia
13. Sister Yao’s Char Koay Kak
Run by three sisters who inherited their father’s life’s work, Sister Yao’s Char Koay Kak has been making char kuay kak, since 1963.
If you’re unfamiliar with the dish, char kuay kak is a snack from the family’s Teochew ancestral home. The rice cakes are fried with a nice wok hei aroma and the right amount of soya sauce, bean sprouts, egg, and spiciness.
Opening hours: Every day except Wednesdays and Thursdays, 7AM to 12PM
Address: 96 Lorong Macalister, George Town, 11400, Malaysia
But wait, there are more accolades to be given out soon
The 2024 Michelin Guide Ceremony is set to take place on Friday (November 17, 2023) at the Four Seasons Hotel Kuala Lumpur.
The Vulcan Post team will be in attendance to celebrate and report the announcement of fine dining establishments from Kuala Lumpur and Penang who earned their Michelin Stars, so stay tuned for more details.
But in the meantime, our heartiest congratulations to the Malaysian restaurants and eateries that proudly made a name for themselves in the culinary world with the latest Bib Gourmand awards!