Beyond assam laksa: the fine-dining restaurants that prove Penang is going to be Asia’s next big gourmet city

Even in its infancy, George Town’s fine-dining scene shows great promise. Singapore and Bangkok, watch out — Penang is gearing up for its time in the spotlight.

Dish from Gen 根
  • Kamei Cheong
  • March 2020

Char koay teow, nasi kandar, chendol … cheap and delicious street food has always been why foodies flock to Penang. But a fine-dining scene has been brewing. Here are four of George Town’s most promising and confident players.

1. Gen 根

Dishes from Gen 根
Gen 根’s tasting menus range from SGD $40 to $99.

Founded by two Johoreans, Gen 根 is a 20-seater that offers a progressive tasting menu of flavours inspired by local produce and the food memories of its chefs.

Address: 68, Lebuh Presgrave, 10300 George Town
Tel: +60125783323

2. Restaurant Au Jardin

Dish from Restaurant Au Jardin
For the full experience, go for Restaurant Au Jardin’s degustation menu, which is priced at around SGD $95. Image from

Located in a quaint warehouse at arts hub Hin Bus Depot, this 18-seater opens in new window offers a menu driven by a deep respect for local farmers. Expect seasonal ingredients transformed into modern European works of art.

Address: 125, Jalan Timah, 10150 George Town
Tel: +60124297591 opens in new window

READ MORE: How to eat at Michelin-star restaurants in Asia for less opens in new window

3. Chin Chin Gastropub

Dishes from Chin Chin Gastropub
The omakase menu ranges from around SGD $115 to $165. Image from

The vibe at this modern Asian restaurant may be casual but the culinary finesse on display is on par with a fine-dining establishment. Go with the omakase — you are in good hands here.

Address: 25-G, Lintang Burma, George Town, 10250 George Town
Tel: +601127430417

4. Restaurant Blanc

Dish from Restaurant Blanc
Restaurant Blanc’s five-course tasting menu is priced at around SGD $99.

The century-old colonial building that has been restored to its former glory sets the scene for a romantic night out. Sit back, relax and tuck into meticulously crafted French-Asian dishes.

Address: 228, Jalan Macalister, 10400 George Town
Tel: +60192399818