For the first time ever, a Malaysian restaurant has made it on to Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list.
This historic culinary moment happened when modern Malaysian restaurant Dewakan placed 46th at the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2019 awards, held tonight in Macau. Dewakan also nabbed the Best Restaurant in Malaysia award.
“We are very happy to be included,” said chef Darren Teoh, who helms the restaurant.
Dubbed the “Oscars of the Asian gastronomic world”, the awards were launched in 2013 to celebrate the increasing number of world-class Asian restaurants.
Dewakan, which is a portmanteau of the words ‘dewa’ and ‘makan’ first opened in 2015 under Teoh’s stewardship.
Teoh has since become well-known in the F&B scene for being an innovative champion of local produce.
His restaurant is a reflection of this ethos, with a menu made up largely of indigenous local ingredients like goat sourced from local farms, organic local vegetables and herbs like ulam raja and torch ginger flower (bunga kantan).
Other lesser-known ingredients that he has worked with include kulim (a kind of forest garlic) and cendawan kukur.
Teoh’s menus are often incredibly well thought-out, and dishes he has created in the past have included prawns warmed in starfruit juice and herbs, roasted eggplant with keluak and candlenut oil, and Temuan chocolate with jaggery ice-cream.
Voting for Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants is done by a panel of 318 food experts based in Asia who each cast 10 votes for restaurants they have had the best experience at in the preceding 18 months before the voting deadline.
The top three restaurants in Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2019 list are Den from Japan at No 3, Gaggan from Thailand at No 2 (the restaurant previously placed first four times) and the No 1 restaurant in Asia – Odette from Singapore.