MICHELIN Guide inspectors spend all year on the road uncovering the best restaurants to recommend — and what they've found is too good to keep a secret.
While the MICHELIN Guide annual distinctions — Stars, Green Stars, and Bib Gourmands — granted to some of our recommended restaurants will only be revealed at the next annual ceremony, restaurants will be added to the Kuala Lumpur and Penang selection in two releases before the MICHELIN Guide Ceremony.
The new venues will be featured in both the MICHELIN Guide Malaysia website and the MICHELIN Guide mobile application (available on iOS and on Android), and will be highlighted with a "New" symbol for easy identification.
Seven new restaurants have been included in the upcoming MICHELIN Guide Kuala Lumpur & Penang selection, spanning establishments that offer a variety of cuisines and styles. Part of this month's roster features an Indian restaurant specialising in wood-fired delights, an Italian restaurant in Kuala Lumpur with a tiramisu surprise, a sophisticated contemporary Asian spot in Penang, and a few local institutions serving noodles and pancakes.
Since 1962, this humble cart outside Cathay Food Court has been serving only one dish — Apam Balik, or chargrilled pancake with sugar peanut filling. Made on the spot and served piping hot, it’s crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside.
Having opened in 2023 and with custom-made tandoors, Jwala, which means "flame" in Sanskrit, serves up refined charcoal-grilled specialties of Northern India. The spacious dining room allows views of the fiery grill, and the cooking brings joy to the appetite.
At this iconic rooftop venue, diners enjoy superb sunsets and panoramic cityscapes through floor to ceiling windows. Besides the à la carte menu, there are several tasting menus that offer a knockout selection of Italian dishes, featuring innovative elements, choice cuts of imported beef, and artisan pasta. The intriguing tiramisu, which comes in a tin of caviar, is made with coffee caviar (rather than fish eggs!).
This stall has been around for almost 40 years. Kuey Teow is made to order, topped with shrimps, blood clams, pork sausage, and bean sprouts, boasting lovely wok hei. For added punch, opt for duck egg and extra chilli sauce.
Located on a buzzy, vibrant street, Sambal serves a tantalising mix of Asian and European flavours. There’s a unique twist to the beloved Lap Mei Fun, with fragrant rice, Chinese sausage, char siew (honey BBQ pork), and crispy pork lard. The Udang Entangled claypot boasts a rich, creamy broth infused with Chinese wine, served with glass noodles and succulent prawns. The standout dessert is taro purée, a modern adaption of creamy Teochew yam.
Since it opened in 1948, Sek Yuen remains as popular as ever, although it now takes up three shops on the same street. Depending on where you are seated, the room may feel vintage and nostalgic, or simple and bright. The menu is mostly traditional Cantonese.
Three sisters inherited their father's life's work, which he began in 1963, selling char koay kak, a snack from their ancestral home of Teochew. The rice cakes are fried with nice wok hei, the right amount of soya sauce, bean sprouts, egg, and spiciness; with optional chilli sauce.
A total of eight new restaurants make their way to the upcoming MICHELIN Guide Kuala Lumpur & Penang this month of July. This set of additions span a lot of local eateries that are are run like well-oiled machines by its seasoned cooks and owners, along with an Indian restaurant that has been around since 1990.
This friendly family-run shop, now being operated by the second generation, specialises in koay teow th'ng, served in soup or dry. The broth is made from chicken and pork bones, and the springy tendon balls have a nice ginger flavour to them. Build up your meal and include their tasty braised chicken with bean sprouts on the side.
At Ghee Lian, three noodle dishes are served: the signature green tom yum, noodle soup, and fried noodles. 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.
This simple shop has been selling authentic Hakkanese food in an unremarkable neighbourhood for over 20 years. The must-try Hor Poh lui cha is a sheeny green soup served with steamed rice. Made with ground sesame seeds, peanuts, and mint leaves, the soup is nutty and aromatic. The Hor Poh dumpling made with dried tofu, garlic, and pickles, enrobed in a thin skin, is also popular. With a range of tasty offerings at bargain prices, this place is always busy.
White curry mee is often served in a coconut milk-based broth with a bowl of curry paste on the side, so that you can adjust the heat to your liking. The curry paste is available for sale by the bottle, and it takes two hours to hand-stir the spices with dried shrimps and chillies. Optionally, pair your bowl of white curry mee with deboned steamed chicken, spiced loh bak or Teochew guang jiang (beancurd rolls). Not a fan of white curry mee? The clear broth noodle soup with chicken meatballs is also worth trying.
For over 30 years, this stall has been selling chicken rice cooked to order over charcoal in claypots. The dish comes with Cantonese pork sausage and ginger, and it sports a crispy burnt rice crust at the bottom. You can add salted fish, which imparts extra aroma and umami.
This charming family-run shop serves Penang Asam Laksa, Nyonya Laksa, and fried spring rolls. The light and refreshing red soup of the signature Asam Laksa strikes the right balance of sour and spicy and is nicely topped off with mint and pineapple. The spring rolls, stuffed with vegetable filling, taste equally good.
A North Indian brand, Roti by d'Tandoor opened in Malaysia in 1990 and has since spread to other countries around the world. Located in a residential area, the restaurant offers a hearty range of fine Indian cuisine, featuring a consummate blend of herbs and spices. Highlights include well-seasoned butter chicken masala and soft, chewy naan bread; while Kulfi ice-cream — available in a variety of flavours — adds a final flourish to the meal.
Because of its popularity, this small store draws long queues — mostly tourists and young customers — and is only open half-day. They serve just one dish: the stir-fried koay teow. The wok-fried flat rice noodles emit a charcoal aroma, are well seasoned, and come with quality ingredients that can be spiced to taste.