Today, there are a total of 40 restaurants being promoted and working closely with the Malaysia External Trade Development Corporatian (Matrade) and the Malaysian Embassy here.
Trade Commissioner Niqman Rafaee Mohd Sahar said the restaurants came under five main brands -- Secret Recipe (30 restaurants), Mrs Balbir Indian Restaurant (seven), Cili Padi (one), Baya Kitchen (one) and one brand with teh tarik kiosks business.
The restaurants under the Malaysian Kitchen Programme are of various types of operations such as Malaysia-owned restaurants, restaurants serving Malaysian cuisines and also Malaysia-owned franchises and brands.
Niqman Rafaee said to date there are 691 restaurants under the programme with well over half in three countries -- Australia (220), the United States (84) and the United Kingdom (64).
He said this at the Malaysian Kitchen Programme Award ceremony for Mrs Balbir Indian Restaurants which are located in major shopping complexes in Bangkok and its main restaurant in Sukhumvit.
In terms of major cities, there are 37 restaurants in London alone, 27 in New York, while in terms of territories, New South Wales in Australia is in the lead with 53, he told Bernama.
Niqman Rafaee said the Malaysian kitchen Programme has helped boost food products and beverages' exports from Malaysia, adding that exports of processed food last year totalled US$4.3 billion and beverages and tobacco amounted to US$1.1 billion.
The programme also gave an opportunity to many people around the world to taste Malaysian food for the first time and created an interest in Malaysian food, thus boosting exports of food-related products from Malaysia, he said.
Meanwhile, Malaysian Ambassador to Thailand Datuk Nazirah Hussain said she is encouraged by the expansion of Malaysian restaurants in Thailand. "Malaysian restaurants are always well received and are successful," she added.
The Malaysian Kitchen Programme is a global initiative entrusted to Matrade since 2009. Previously, the programme was under other agencies.