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 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 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:
- Li Yen, Ritz Carlton (winner)
- Chynna, KL Hilton
- Grand Imperial
- Restaurant New Paris, PJ SS2
- Shang Palace
- Yut Kee
- Hakka Republic (winner)
- El Cerdo (specially commended)
- Albion KL
- The Press Room
- 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
- Devi’s Corner (winner)
- Hutong, Lot 10
- Nagasari Curry House
- Nasi Kandar Pelita
- Sri Nirwana Maju, Bangsar
Best Healthy Eating/Vegetarian
- Marmalade, Bangsar Village (winner)
- Annalakshmi, Brickfields
- Haven, Ampang Hilir
- R.A.W. (Real and Wholesome)
- The Yogitree
- Kanna Curry House (winner)
- Bombay Palace (specially commended)
- Passage Thru’ India
- Sri Nirwana Maju, Subang Jaya
- La Risata (winner)
- Il Lido (specially commended)
- Kampachi (winner)
- Fukuharu (specially commended)
- Rakuzen (specially commended)
- Tatsu, Intercontinental Hotel
- Gonbei San, Starhill Gallery
- Zipangu, Shangri-La
- Bijan (winner)
- Enak KL
- Makan Kitchen
- Restauran Rebung Chef Ismail
Best Middle Eastern
- Al-Amar (winner)
- Al Andalus
- Al Rawsha
- Rama V (winner)
- 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
- Restaurant Fatty Crab, Taman Megah (winner)
- Causeway Bay Spicy Crab
- Fisherman’s Cove, Starhill Gallery
- Green View, PJ
- Lala Chong Seafood Restaurant
- Panti Seafood Restaurant
Best for Steak
- Prime, Le Meridien KL (winner)
- Jake’s Charbroil Steak
- Qba, The Westin KL
- Suzi’s Corner, Ampang
Best New Restaurant
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
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!