Best-of Guides Malaysia

The Best Places in Malaysia to Enjoy Local Flavours and Ingredients

6 Restaurants
Our MICHELIN Guide inspectors have chosen several restaurants in Malaysia that utilise local ingredients in dishes that bring out the true essence of the nation's flavours.
Updated on 11 June 2024

Malaysia is a vibrant melting pot of cultures, offering a diverse array of cuisines. However, it's the rich flavours native to Malay cuisine that are a must-try, with sauces playing a crucial role in delivering unique and varied tastes.

The tropical rainforest climate contributes to an abundance of herbs and spices, which are frequently used to create dishes that are visually appealing, aromatic, and flavourful. Malaysia's climate also supports the growth of numerous crops, providing a wide selection of food choices. When it comes to staple meats, Malaysians enjoy chicken and beef, but the country's extensive coastline and rich fisheries make seafood particularly popular in their culinary traditions.

Culminating into an unforgettable culinary experience with dishes in vibrant colours and exceptional flavours, our MICHELIN Guide inspectors have chosen several specialty restaurants where chefs utilise local Malaysian ingredients to craft innovative dishes that authentically showcase the true essence of the nation's flavours.

Kuala Lumpur:

48F, Skyviews, Naza Tower, Platinum Park, 10 Persiaran KLCC, 50088 Kuala Lumpur
$$$ · Malaysian

Dewakan, led by chef Darren Teoh, elevates Malaysian cuisine by combining sustainably sourced local ingredients with modern cooking techniques and creative elements, resulting in stunning and exquisite dishes. The restaurant makes use of in-house fermented and matured ingredients, enhancing them with seasonal fruits and spices to create one-of-a-kind flavour combinations. For instance, the Smoked Patin features a rich aroma and firm, non-woody flesh, complemented by a sweet and sour mango syrup.

De. Wan 1958
Level 2-2, The LINC KL, 360 Jalan Tun Razak, 50400 Kuala Lumpur
$$$ · Malaysian

Helmed by the renowned celebrity Chef Wan, De. Wan 1958 blends traditional Malaysian flavours with modern elements to elevate the taste and presentation of its dishes. Using fresh local ingredients, all sauces are homemade, imparting a unique aroma and flavour to each dish. A standout offering is the Kerabu Pucuk Paku with Kerang clams, a delectable dish rich in side dishes and served with a spicy and sour sauce that is truly appetising. The interior is vibrant and colourful, featuring chandeliers and wooden furniture that exude a strong Nyonya style.

109 Jalan Aminuddin Baki, Taman Tun Dr Ismail, 60000 Kuala Lumpur
$$$ · Malaysian

Led by chef Aidan Low, Akâr introduces a new dimension to Malaysian cuisine by incorporating European cooking techniques. Emphasising the use of local ingredients like Gula Apong and Engkabang, Low infuses his dishes with distinctly local Malaysian elements. The signature vegetable salad offers a rich texture, featuring ingredients such as Ulam Raja, Pegaga, and Thai Basil, and is served with a flavoruful hot dipping sauce (Bagna Cauda). The open kitchen is a highlight of the restaurant, allowing guests to watch the culinary team in action, providing both visual and gastronomic delight.

Eat and Cook
H6-1, Pusat Perdagangan Bandar Bukit Jalil, Persiaran Jalil 1, Bukit Jalil, 57000 Kuala Lumpur
$$$ · Malaysian

With a tasting menu that highlights local and seasonal ingredients, the creativity of the youthful Eat and Cook chef team shines through. With a menu designed to explore the various possibilities present in Malaysian cuisine, expect dishes such as roast duck complemented by preserved eggs and scallops; as well as crispy rice dumplings with a Malaysian twist. Seemingly unrelated combinations create surprising and original flavours. The dishes are thoughtfully crafted, and even though the restaurant is located far away from the city centre, it still attracts many diners.


Communal Table by Gēn
68 Lebuh Presgrave, 10300 George Town
$$ · Malaysian

Founded by chef Johnson Wong, Communal Table by Gēn specialises in Malaysian flavours, using local ingredients and incorporating elements of Peranakan cuisine. Every dish is meticulously prepared, with the roasted duck breast standing out as a signature dish. It features crispy skin and tender meat, accompanied by a rich sauce and steamed buns, reminiscent of the Chinese Peking duck. The restaurant's homemade ice cream is also noteworthy, offering unique and authentic flavours such as Nutmeg Harumanis and Hor Ka Sai, making it well worth a try.

Unit 6, 8 Gat Lebuh Gereja, 10300 George Town
$$$ · Innovative

Another restaurant by chef Johnson Wong, Gēn is Communal Table's upscale older sibling, and it showcases dishes made with local ingredients, offering unexpected and unique flavour combinations through exquisite presentations and creative cooking.

Inspired by the Wong's childhood memories and heritage, the diverse and innovative dishes are featured in a set menu. The pomfret porridge, served with both fresh and fried fish fillets, is rich in umami, while the curry saury strikes a perfect balance between sweet and spicy. The open kitchen seamlessly connects with the dining area, and the soft, natural colour scheme creates an elegant and comfortable atmosphere.

Header Image: Dewakan