Gen Penang is one of the more memorable fine dining concepts I’ve had in 2020, not that I’ve eaten a lot of fine dining in the last year; no thanks to the lockdown. This concept centres around local ingredients, prepared using innovative cooking methods to accentuate the flavours and evoke nostalgia.
Located at the corner of Prestige Hotel, Gen spots a clean and minimalistic exterior while its interior boasts a warmer colour scheme for a zen and calming feel. Jien and I were there on two days before the new year, and only the festive menu was available.
For RM300 per person, I was soon immersed in a culinary journey of 12 courses – narrated by Chef Johnson and his team using local produce. Classic favourites like keropok lekor is reinterpreted into a form of a fishcake, while a Penang favourite “Roti Bengali” is reimagined and presented in a simple but unique way.
I thought the white corn at Entier is done excellently but Gen topped this with the White Pearl of Cameron Highlands – very clever and flavours are on point. Jien opted to add some caviar into his course (RM80) so his white corn came studded with glistening black pearls. We liked both versions but I still like my white corn unadulterated, if you know what I mean.
I asked for an add-on of Sabah abalone so instead of clams, I was served a most delicious plate of tender sliced abalone, brimming with flavour and a sweet-smoky aroma. The crab is fashioned to represent chee cheong fun, with chilli crab gravy and Gen’s duck is cleverly paired with crispy rice for a play of texture.
Even the desserts deserve a mention at Gen – a delicious rose mochi and a drawer of chestnut and chocolate concierge “pocky”. Our bill was slightly over RM900 for the above, inclusive of two glasses of wine. The champagne was paid for by my friend Charles.
Service was attentive and dishes were well presented and properly explained by the staff. They did even better than some of the well-known fine dining establishment in KL. I may have had this meal 3 months ago and still, Gen Penang remains one of the best fine dining experiences I’ve had in a while.
Food: 8.5/10 (pork-free)
Verdict: Penang may be a hawker food haven, but you should still go to Gen. It’s a worthwhile experience if you’re into fine dining.
8, Gat Lebuh Gereja,