Malaysian Food Blog, Travel, Diving & More

The Time Out KL food awards is touted as the only food awards in the country that are completely nominated by the public, and 100 percent independent.

The 3rd installment of this awards was held at KLPAC on the 23rd Nov, and I had the privilege of attending the event with quite a number of fabulous familiar faces from the food blogging scene – kampungboycitygal, awhiffoflemongrass, masak-masak, bangsarbabe, cumidanciki, alilfatmonkey and more.

the party with plenty of booze and too little food
the party with plenty of booze and too little food

The invitation stated  7pm, but the official event did not start until 9pm. Though there were finger foods and plenty of wine, champagne, and other drinks to go about, it was still not exactly the right path to Vision 2020 if we keep treating every event like a Chinese wedding dinner.

This tardiness problem has simply got to stop. Starting the event late = wasting the time of those who arrive on time.

– end of ranting.

the hosts were Dominic Lau and Daphne Iking
the hosts were Dominic Lau and Daphne Iking

The actual event itself was rather swift, less than 45 minutes in all. The shortlisted restaurants/person were announced and asked to be on stage, and then the winner announced.

I thought it would be nice to give a bit of description and perhaps let the winner say a few words, but it was just a hasty few photographs and moved onto the next category. I wasn’t sure if this was done to avoid finishing the event late, but that 2 hours spent waiting could probably be used more productively.

Some of the results are pretty suspect, but it is by public votes, so in essence, a popularity contest. There’s nothing wrong in using this method, but I thought there are several things that could be tweaked.

But first, the results:

Best Chinese:

Best Continental:

  • Hakka Republic (winner)
  • El Cerdo (specially commended)
  • Albion KL
  • The Press Room
  • Tanzini
  • Twenty.One Tables+Terrece

Best Fine Dining:

  • Cilantro (winner)
  • Lafite, Shangri-La KL (specially commended)
  • Sage, The Gardens Hotel & Residences
  • Shook!, Starhill Gallery
  • Chalet, Hotel Equatorial

Best Hawker/Mamak:

Best Healthy Eating/Vegetarian

  • Marmalade, Bangsar Village (winner)
  • Annalakshmi, Brickfields
  • Haven, Ampang Hilir
  • R.A.W. (Real and Wholesome)
  • The Yogitree

Best Indian

  • Kanna Curry House (winner)
  • Bombay Palace (specially commended)
  • Gills
  • Passage Thru’ India
  • Sri Nirwana Maju, Subang Jaya

Best Italian

  • La Risata (winner)
  • Il Lido (specially commended)
  • Cicio
  • Nerovivo
  • Sassorosso

Best Japanese

  • Kampachi (winner)
  • Fukuharu (specially commended)
  • Rakuzen (specially commended)
  • Tatsu, Intercontinental Hotel
  • Gonbei San, Starhill Gallery
  • Zipangu, Shangri-La

Best Malay

  • Bijan (winner)
  • Enak KL
  • Makan Kitchen
  • Songket
  • Restauran Rebung Chef Ismail

Best Middle Eastern

  • Al-Amar (winner)
  • Al Andalus
  • Al Rawsha
  • Hadramawt
  • Laziz
  • Tarbush

Best Thai/Indochinese

  • Rama V (winner)
  • Erawan
  • My Elephant
  • Sao Nam
  • Tamarind Springs

Best for Pub Grub

Best for Coffee

  • Espressamente Illy (winner)
  • Antipodean, Bangsar
  • Chilla Cup
  • R.A.W. (Real and Wholesome)
  • Whisk Espresso Bar & Bake Shop, Empire Subang

Best Seafood

Best for Steak

  • Prime, Le Meridien KL (winner)
  • Jake’s Charbroil Steak
  • MeatWorks
  • Qba, The Westin KL
  • Suzi’s Corner, Ampang

Best New Restaurant

  • Ben’s (winner)
  • Antipodean
  • Arthur’s Bar & Grill
  • Brotzeit
  • Cuisine Gourmet by Nathalie
  • Hoofed, TTDI

Outstanding Chef of the Year

  • Chef Nathalie Arbefeuille (winner)
  • Chef Saiful Baharin, formerly of The Press Room
  • Chef Michel Karam, Al-Amar
  • Chef David King, formerly of The Westin KL
  • Chef Adi Radzi, Hakka Republic

Restaurateur of the Year

  • Benjamin Yong, BIG – Ben’s, Ben’s General Food STore, Bistro 42, Canoodling, Plan B, Ricetaurant, T forty Two, Tate (winner)
  • Joseph Afaki, Al-Amar
  • Richard Holland & Dan Thompson, DrBar
  • Edward Hyde, Gastrodome
  • Werner Kuhn, The Werner’s Group

Blogger’s Choice Award goes to  Memoirs of a Chocoholic for the recommendation of Village Park.

I’ve been to less than half the restaurants short listed, so by definition, not exactly a person who can critic the results with any substantial weight.

However, at the seafood category…. are you serious? I went to Fatty Crab at Mines before and wasn’t  impressed (hence never blogged), unless this is a competition for best chicken wings restaurant. I suspect that this might have something to do with halal/pork free versus non halal nature of the contestants in the same category. No one would vote for restaurants they’ve never been to.

As for Best Hawker/Mamak category, there wasn’t a single hawker stall short listed. Hutong is essentially a food court having a few dozen hawker stalls in it, you can’t just lump everyone in an entry, and the other four were mamak restaurants (again, the halal/non halal factor). I feel that this should be split into two.

Then there are cases of places like Yut Kee going up against the likes of Li Yen & Chyanna, it feels like they should be in a completely different level, but I don’t know you can really fix this.

Lastly, for restaurants having multiple branches (such as Kampachi & Rakuzen), quality is often different in different branches (Kampachi at Equatorial & Pavilion aren’t exactly the same), hence it might not be a good idea to lump them into one.

However, overall the results weren’t too far out of line, most winners clearly deserved the awards (hello Prime & Cilantro!), so congratulations to the winners!

Discuss : Time Out KL Food Awards 2011 results

  1. Well written.. and u saved the photo.. beautifully! hehe 😛

  2. n i saw u checking into sentul ah yap hokkien mee after d event. haha

  3. Start your own awards! 😀

  4. Precious Pea

    So agree with your comment on Fatty Crab. Nice write-up and nice to see so many familiar faces.

  5. I am not very fancy on the food awards, because I don’t know how the organizers come to conclusion. I also agree with you, fatty crab is the best seafood? Nay…..

    • King Kong: this one’s voted by public, quite legit in most categories but yah, fatty crab is the one that’s probably way off.

  6. Whatever the results it was definitely a fun night out. I luv how the bloggers are usually the loudest and most passionate of the crowd with all our cheering and clapping 🙂

  7. iamthewitch

    Agree with you on your comments, but since I haven’t been to half the restaurants listed, I probably shouldn’t criticize as much too. But probably the nominees in certain categories should have been more relevant..

  8. Food awards!!! for me all the restaurant is unfamiliar one, maybe too high classy..

  9. great to see the list of award although some i might beg to differ… anyhow, looking at the photos above make me wonder how you could able to maintain your weight as it is, whereas most bloggers i have seen on your photos (or theirs), they really have gained weight over the years (of cos with exception of sue of bangsar babe, she is totally awesome!)..

    • connie: plenty of exercise, and not having ultra huge portions plus avoiding buffets mostly. hehehe

  10. Also felt that the ceremony itself was too rushed. And we all had to go somewhere else for supper after!

  11. fatty crab in nyc is so lousy can die

    hahaha so pleased to see suzi’s corner in the running for steak!

  12. Weird list of winners 🙄 Illy for best coffee? Really?!

  13. So glad Cilantro won for fine dining and Prime for steak 🙂

  14. […] attending the Time Out Food Awards at KLPAC (a couple weeks ago), a few of us decided to have supper (or actually, dinner, since we […]

  15. People have quite bad taste don’t they.

    • ShaolinTiger: ah well, in many things actually. most popular votes yield surprising results – general elections, MTV awards etc.

  16. silent reader

    I think fatty crab in taman megah serve THE best crabs in KL. Their sour and spicy crabs are to die for. And they have lovely fried rice and chicken wings as well. i heard the mines branch isn’t as good as the taman megah branch but i’ve personally never tried it.

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