gēn 根Malaysia/gēn+根


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The word “gēn 根” means “ground roots”, emphasizing the importance of using ingredients and products from local sources. The establishment of gēn 根 marks the beginning of a new chapter for Chef Johnson. Here, the finest local ingredients from Malaysia are combined with love, passion, culture, and memories to create an exceptional dining experience.

The menu is primarily focused on the notion of produce-driven cooking, which aims to reproduce classic flavors through daring, creative culinary techniques. “My Malaysian Stories” is genuinely well characterized by Chef Johnson’s version of Malaysian ingredients and flavors.

The Chef and the Brigade

“After spending years on culinary adventures around the world, Johnson returned to Malaysia and started the gēn 根 project. Devoted to the exploration and development of local Malaysian ingredients and with a desire to share their love and passion for food with local patrons, a Modern Malaysian Community Restaurant - gēn 根 was born.

In gēn 根, each and every one of us plays an important role in keeping Malaysia's food culture alive. In our house, we work closely as a family. We constantly exchange our ideas, share experiences and learn from each other. Apart from this, witty jokes and singing sessions are part of the work routine as well!”

“gēn 根restaurant is managed and developed by 2 talented, innovative Malaysian chefs who take pleasure in creating wonderful and new dishes while taking the environment into account by being responsible and by helping the community. Penang is mostly known for its delightful street food, but gēn 根 elevates traditional Malaysian dishes to become a new identity.”
Kim, the discoverer.


Gēn 根, which in Malay signifies “ground roots”, stays loyal to its origins by utilizing regional ingredients. Using strong and inventive culinary methods. The menu concentrates on using the freshest and seasonal materials to create memorable aromas.


The cuisine, which draws its inspiration from traditional Malaysian flavors, is boldly and entirely based on the purest local ingredients. To emphasize the flavor and integrity of each mouthful, many of the dishes are disassembled, while others are presented in unique, sophisticated ways. The phrase “contemporary Malaysian Cuisine anchored in emotions and flavor from his upbringing” may be the finest way to describe Chef Johnson’s cooking.

Facilities and Highlights

gēn 根 highlight
  • WifiWifi
    Air ConditioningAir Conditioning
    Wine CellarWine Cellar
    Indoor DiningIndoor Dining
    Locally Sourced ProduceLocally Sourced Produce
    Chef/Tasting MenuChef/Tasting Menu
    Contemporary CuisineContemporary Cuisine
    Creative CuisineCreative Cuisine
    Vegetarian Dishes AvailableVegetarian Dishes Available

Useful Information

Opening time:
Wednesday to Sunday (Closed on Monday and Tuesday)
Lunch: 12pm to 3pm (Last call 1.30pm)
Dinner: 6pm to 11pm (Last call 8.30pm)

Annual closing:

Time zone: (GMT+08:00) Kuala Lumpur
Currency accepted: MYR
Credit cards accepted: Visa, Mastercard, American Express, JCB, UnionPay
Electricity voltage: 240V
Electricity plug type:
The most efficient way to get to the restaurant is by Grabcar or RAPID bus. However, parking is available at the Prestige Hotel for one hour free of charge. Stamping should be requested upon bill payment. There is also street parking by the Lebuh Gereja.

Unit 6, 8 Gat Lebuh Gereja, 10300 Georgetown, Penang


Your concierge is ready to assist you with planning and completing your reservation,
contact them on dine@secret-retreats.com

We Care

Understanding each component and communities from where they are derived is crucial to us at gēn 根. We get our products from nearby farmers that uphold sustainable methods and take an active interest in the welfare of their land and resources. We advocate for buying locally grown food and abstain from using chemicals and processed goods. We choose to support small farms rather than multinational conglomerates. We go to each farm directly to better understand the true costs and achieve minimal waste. In order to reduce our environmental impact, we also employ techniques like ferments, pickles and preserves in our menus to that incorporated environmentally friendly production, processing, distribution and consumption to reduce our environmental footprint.

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