Eat and Cook in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, has been named as the winner of the One To Watch Award 2022 ahead of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants awards ceremony on 29 March.
Chef-owners Lee Zhe Xi and Soh Yong Zhi have been recognised for their trailblazing 30-seater omakase-style restaurant in Bukit Jalil City, which they re-located to 2021, having outgrown their modest 6-seater just a year before. Speaking of their rising stardom, William Drew, director of content for Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants, said: "They are creating a new identity for modern Malaysian cuisine and we expect to see much more of them in the years to come.”
In a twist of fortune, the ex-hotel chefs, who lost their jobs during the pandemic, decided to grab the chance to open their dream place - an omakase-style restaurant serving classic Malaysian dishes inspired by their grandmother's home-cooking, in a more sophisticated key.
Meet the chefs in the clip below:
The produce-driven daily menu is developed in chapters, with a strong seafood accent. Dishes include local favourite sambal prawns with béarnaise sauce, barley risotto, salted vegetables and tomatoes from the northern Cameron Highlands, a tom yum bread course and the chefs’ signature Ipoh mountain duck, featuring burnt-ham choy, herb-braised duck leg and with duck liver chocolate.
Acknowledging the award, chef Lee said: “On behalf of the Eat and Cook team, we are honoured to receive this award. It’s a validation of the hard work we’ve put in the last year and our commitment to elevate Malaysian cuisine. This award will inspire us to continue on our journey to bring the Malaysian dining experience to the next level.”
Past One To Watch award winners include Meta in Singapore (2021), Masque in Mumbai (2020), JL Studio in Taichung (2019), Toyo Eatery in Manila (2018), TocToc in Seoul (2017) and Florilège in Tokyo (2016).
Take a look inside Eat and Cook and see some dishes below: