Michelin ratings bring honour to Penang, says exco

Michelin ratings bring honour to Penang, says exco

While it is difficult to please every food critic in Penang, Michelin Guide has taken pains to test the best, asserts Yeoh Soon Hin

GEORGE TOWN – Penang has defended its decision to bring in Michelin Guide gastronomic specialists. This comes after the initial ratings of restaurants in the state had raised doubts over evaluation methods used.

Responding to a flurry of online criticism over the initial guide where 46 establishments were recognised by the France-based Michelin, including two outlets with a one-star rating, state executive councillor Yeoh Soon Hin said that such distinctions bring honour to Penang.

Yeoh oversees the portfolios of tourism and creative economy.

As Penang is renowned for its street food, which the local residents vaunt as second to none globally, Yeoh said that the level of deliciousness can be subjective due to the unique tastebuds of each customer.

“But ask any chef and food specialist, they will all on any day accept an accolade from Michelin. It is a gold standard for food consumption,” he said.

Chow with the Jawi House owner. – Ian McIntyre pic

There are three categories of awardees found in Penang. The one Michelin star rating is given to Au Jardin and Auntie Gaik Lean’s Old School Eatery.

The Bib Gourmand Award is given to the following restaurants: Bridge Street Prawn Noodle, Communal Table by Gen, Duck Blood Curry Mee, Green House Prawn and Loh Mee, Ivy’s Nyonya Cuisine, Ming Qing Charcoal Duck Egg Char Koay Teow, Moh Teng Pheow Nyonya Kuih, Neighbourwood, Penang Road Famous Laksa, Rasa Rasa, Sardaarji, Taman Bukit Curry Mee, Teksen, Thara, Theeni Pandarams, Tho Yuen, and Wan Dao Tou Assam Laksa.

Yeoh said that it is difficult to please every food critic in Penang, as the taste and requirements of each vary but Michelin Guide has taken pains to test the best that Penang offers against world-acclaimed standards.

He said this after the state honoured the 46 food establishments with certificates of achievement at the Amari Spice Hotel last night.

The Michelin Bib Gourmand winners. – Ian McIntyre pic

Michelin was also fair in recognising the culinary skills of both the islanders and mainlanders of the state.

Present were Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow, Penang Global Tourism CEO Ooi Chok Yan, and Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry’s Penang director Jonathan Freddy P. Bagang.

Yeoh announced that Penang is now among the Michelin Star places with the collaboration of the international food guide last month.

This recognition will drive the state’s reputation as a gastronomic haven higher, he said, adding that it is only Penang and the Klang Valley which enjoy the recognition.

Receiving a mention in Michelin is a career milestone for any restaurant and Yeoh is certain that each winner has seen a surge in customers since then.

“Michelin inspectors are anonymous. So, if they have a wonderful experience at a candidate’s restaurant, it can go a long way. Ultimately, it is up to each inspector to rate the establishment, not the state,” said Yeoh.

The Michelin Selected winners with their certificates. – Ian McIntyre pic

The criteria are said to revolve around the consistency in taste, presentation, decor, the skills of the workers and cleanliness.

Michelin had announced the first Malaysian restaurants to receive the Michelin Star, as well as the Bib Gourmand award last month.

The following outlets are In the Michelin Selected category: Air Itam Sister Curry Mee, Ali Nasi Lemak Daun Pisang, Bali Hai Seafood Market, Bao Teck Tea House, Bee See Heong, Bibik’s Kitchen, Bite N Eat Dindigul Biriyani, BM Yam Rice, Chao Xuan, Curios – City, Fatty Loh Chicken Rice, Feringgi Grill (Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa), Flower Mulan, Gen, Goh Thew Chik Hainan Chicken Rice, II Bacaro, Jawi House, Kebaya Dining Room, Kota Dine & Coffee, La Vie, Lao San Tong Bah Kut Teh, Misai Mee Jawa (Butterworth), Pitt Street Koay Teow Soup, The Pinn, Tok Tok Mee Bamboo Noodle, WhatSaeb Boat Noodle and Woodlands.

The young chef recognition went to Lim Yan You from Au Jardin.

source – The Vibes


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