GEORGE TOWN, Dec 18 — Two restaurants in Penang, namely Auntie Gaik Lean’s Old School Eatery and Au Jardin, have been receiving non-stop reservations after being coveted with a Michelin star.
The two eateries offer two completely different cuisines, with Auntie Gaik Lean’s Old School Eatery serving Penang Peranakan dishes, while Au Jardin specialises in fine dining of French cuisine with a subtle local twist.
Owner of Auntie Gaik Lean’s Old School Eatery, Adrian Tan said that he has been receiving over 1,000 phone calls from customers regarding reservations and inquiries about the restaurant.
“We had been receiving over 20 plus reservations through phone calls and there were also many customers queuing up to try our food.
“We had a customer who waited for almost an hour. She said the food was worth the wait,” said Tan, who co-founded the restaurant with his mother, Beh Gaik Lean.
He said that good quality food, affordable pricing, and good customer service are the key elements that attracted more customers to his old-school eatery.
Before the outlet was awarded the one Michelin star award, he said, the royals like Cik Puan Besar Hajjah Kalsom Abdullah and more would drop by the nine-year-old restaurant to enjoy the authentic Penang Peranakan meals prepared by his 60-year-old mother.
“Mum was working in a restaurant in Kuala Lumpur back then. In 2013, I decided to bring her back to Penang and start up this old-school eatery. We wanted people to know and taste our Penang Peranakan food,” he added.
On the inspection for the Michelin star award, he said that the Michelin Guide inspectors appeared undercover and evaluated every detail precisely.
“I didn’t know when they came here. They appeared undercover and did their job. We are grateful to be receiving the one Michelin star award,” he added.
Meanwhile, the chef-proprietor of Au Jardin, Su Kim Hock said that the restaurant has been receiving about 160 reservations after receiving the Michelin star award and he is very happy to be representing Penang in this arena.
Michelin’s anonymous inspectors evaluate restaurants based on five main components: the quality of the ingredients, the mastery of cooking, the harmony of flavours, the chef’s personality via the dish, and consistency both over time and across the entire menu.
Commenting on the Michelin Guide inspectors, he said he was clueless as to when they came to inspect the restaurant.
“Our loyal customers are mostly made up of locals. They are the ones who have been helping us to sustain this business post-Covid.
“After the Covid-19 restrictions were lifted, we tried to change the menus weekly and through that, we are able to attract more locals,” he said.
He said that the good quality food made with high-quality ingredients, the ambiance of the restaurant, and the customer service are factors that attract more customers to Au Jardin. — Bernama