F&B & Hospitality

Johnson Wong

A young and talented, Johnson Wong of Penang’s fine dining envelope-pusher gēn and its sidekick Communal Table, is one of the most lauded innovators of modern Malaysian cuisine

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Johnson Wong is the chef and founder of gēn, a fine dining restaurant in Penang famed for its contemporary and innovative Malaysian cuisine. It is one of three restaurants in the country that made it on to William Reed’s Asia’s Extended 51- 100 Best Restaurants list for 2021.

After graduating from Le Cordon Bleu in Sydney, Wong honed his culinary chops at some of the finest kitchens around the globe, from Michelin-starred restaurants to those on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list. He returned home and founded gēn after a stint as an executive chef at Macalister Mansion in Penang.

Declaring it as a very personal venture, gēn’s tasting menu is his own interpretation of local ingredients and flavours, complemented by memories of growing up in Malaysia. Later, Wong founded Communal Table by gēn, a casual restaurant specialising in sharing plates. Its menu pushes the boundaries of Malaysian cuisine with such bold dishes as chicken wings stuffed with belacan (shrimp) fried rice and served with local caviar, and cat-ear biscuits stuffed with Neslo (Nescafé plus Milo) and mascarpone.

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Wong is originally from Johor but fell in love with Penang after accepting a job there upon his return from overseas.

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