Guests tasting food at the 2OX restaurant station during the 17th Malaysia International Gastronomy Festival in the Theatre of Cuisines at Berjaya Times Square Hotel, Kuala Lumpur on Sept 2, 2018. — Sunpix by Zulkifli Ersal

KUALA LUMPUR: Some 10,000 people turned up for the 17th Malaysia International Gastronomy Festival (MIGF) preview to sample some of the bite-sized tasting portions specially prepared by 27 of Malaysia's best restaurants.

MIGF founder and organising chairman Datuk Steve Day said the response for MIGF this year has been overwhelming since the festival started in 2001.

"The theme 'Muhibah Chefs! Good Food Brings Us Together' was chosen because we've had a recent change in the political landscape of the country. The theme also encapsulates the spirit of bringing Malaysians together and in the Malay dictionary, 'Muhibbah' means 'goodwill'. And good food brings us together," he said when met at Berjaya Times Square Hotel today where the preview was held.

He added that visitors were also given the opportunity to get valuable cooking tips when they participate in some of the Master Chef's cooking classes and informative workshops.

Visitors will also be able to try special festival menus which will be available at each of the participating restaurants.

Day also urged the Tourism Ministry for Malaysians to take up local hospitality cuisine courses rather than going overseas.

He said Malaysia has an array of different cultures and cuisines that attract tourists, especially from China.

He also noted that the gastronomy platform can set the tone to showcase homemade talents especially with Visit Malaysia 2020 around the corner.

"With Visit Malaysia 2020, Malaysia needs lifestyle events like MIGF and Taste MIGF that attracts affluent true-spending tourists.

"(They) may not necessarily come for the event but it is important to show the world (the country's) capacity for premium dining and services standard that is globally recognised as excellent," he said.

Among the participating restaurants are Samplings on the Fourteenth, Tangerene, Marini's on 57, Nero Nero as well as some of Genting Highlands signature outlets, The Olive and L'titude Restaurant, Bar & Lounge.

For a full list of participating MIGF restaurants and what is on offer, log on to

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