Natural Wine Bar Seventeen Mall Section 17 PJ

Han Sen’s Top Five Yum List Picks for 2023

Han Sen’s Top Five Yum List Picks for 2023

The greatest privilege of being a part of The Yum List, besides the glaringly obvious perk of being fed and pampered by some of the best in the F&B and hospitality industry, is the opportunity to gaze into the minds of poets, visionaries, and creators who ceaselessly pursue their ideals. Some may be lofty, but many were humbling, especially from the list of establishments we’ve been fortunate enough to visit in 2023. 

And there were many.

The product of such pursuits often becomes nourishment for the soul–a gift from the creators to the consumers–and the best ones allowed us to reassess our own biases: not everything has to be slapped with a jaw-dropping price tag for it to be truly memorable. 

Thus, here are my top five picks from 2023 that have stayed close to my heart for the sheer sense of wonderment I have been gifted from each of these experiences.

Han Sen’s Top Five 2023

Canvass Bistro & Bar KL

Sustainability and hedonism may sound like mutually exclusive concepts, but chief mixologist and owner of Canvass, M.I. Rony, has proven that one’s wildest imagination is the only limit to a truly sustainable menu. It might be the only place that could make fermentations the sexiest things to hit your lips in 2023 and beyond, and these byproducts can be found even in their cocktails and desserts, not just their purées that form the base of many of their entrees. 

Sustainable Hedonism Kuala Lumpur
Canvass Bistro & Bar KL – Han Sen’s Top Five Yum List Picks for 2023

Noku Phuket

I will never forget that wave of calm I felt the moment I stepped into the quiet oasis that is Noku Phuket. Located away from the hustle and bustle of Chalong Bay, Noku envelops your senses with a warm serenity that’s accentuated by the soft rustling of leaves from sprawling canopies, gentle smiles by a team who’s always ready to tend to your every need (including planning a perfect day out in town), and earthy tones off every facade that simply command your body to slow down. I was also fortunate enough to have been able to photograph the property from the air, which was extremely generous by the Noku team.

Noku Phuket Luxury Hotel
Noku Phuket Luxury Hotel Thailand

Han Sen’s Top Five Yum List Picks for 2023 – Le Mirch

It’s extremely difficult to push the envelope for an established cuisine in a country that’s already extremely familiar with the flavours one’s promoting … but Le Mirch at Avenue K did just that for Indian cuisine. Even without the amazing, unobstructed view of the Twin Towers from its open-air seating, Le Mirch would be the place I happily return to for the incredibly appetising menu. My keyboard’s at risk of being destroyed from the amount of drool just from thinking of the restaurant’s signature Chaat Trolley.

Also, we were fed by hand at Le Mirch – of course, it would be on this list.

Le Mirch KL Avenue K
Le Mirch KL – Han Sen’s Top Five Yum List Picks for 2023

Mellow Wine & Dining Room

Mellow at Seventeen Mall is a very recent addition that’s constantly pulling my heartstrings not just because of their impressive selection of natural wines (which you can taste first before committing to a glass or bottle) but also because chefs Larry and Rowena can whip up a mean meal with the simplest of ingredients. I could still smell the redolent mushroom risotto off the photographs I took and taste the Crisp Eggplants as my lips inch closer to the computer scre– why am I doing this to myself?

Mellow KL - Han Sen's Top Five Yum List Picks for 2023
Mellow Wine & Dining Room – Natural Wine Bar KL

Just Love Experience Food Tour Chiang Mai

Finally, one of the best things I’ve ever done with The Yum List (emphasis on “ever”, and not just in 2023) is watching Monica put on a helmet and whizzing past busy streets in Chiang Mai on a motorbike tour by Just Love Experience. We were both whisked away and zoomed by a flurry of neon city lights on motorbikes, stopping at chaotic marketplaces and hidden intersections way past Monica’s bedtime to indulge in a melange of exotic flavours that we would not have otherwise encountered on a “regular” Yum List trip.

Oh yes, I will never forget becoming Monica’s personal Scoville gatekeeper at some of the more colourful establishments we visited.

Just Love Experience Thailand - Han Sen's Top Five Yum List Picks for 2023
Motorbike Street Food Tours Chiang Mai – Just Love Experience Thailand

Have you tried any of Han Sen’s Top Five Yum List Picks for 2023? Share your recommendations for where we should visit in 2024 in the comment box below.

Find Matt’s, Jacob’s and Rich’s top Yum List picks, here, here and here, respectively,and stay up-to-date with the latest gourmet and travel recommendations for Malaysia here and here.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.