Michelin Guide an insult to Malaysia’s culinary riches

The paltry pickings in the inaugural guide reflect broader problems about how the listings are determined.

Auntie Gaik Lean's Old School Eatery is one of four restaurants in Kuala Lumpur and Penang given a single Michelin star. ST PHOTO: WONG AH YOKE
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I happened to be driving to Penang from Ipoh on a foodie trip just two days after the Michelin Guide unveiled its inaugural edition for Kuala Lumpur and Penang earlier this month. Four restaurants were awarded a star, among which was Auntie Gaik Lean’s Old School Eatery, a Nonya restaurant in George Town that was already on our radar as one person in our group had eaten there and raved about it.

So we decided to try our luck booking a table even though we had little hope of securing one – as we imagined that the restaurant’s phone must have been ringing off the hook after news broke of its accolade. But to our pleasant surprise, not only did we manage to get through, but we also secured a table for our party of seven.

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