Skip To Main Content
Penang Dining

Auntie Gaik Lean’s Old School Eatery


A local favorite now globally renowned thanks to its Michelin star endowment, Auntie Gaik Lean’s serves comfort food in the form of no-fuss Peranakan fare, which represents a centuries-old intermingling of Malay, Chinese, Thai, and Indian culinary traditions. Self-taught chef Beh Gaik Lean—who started out by cooking for workers in a Motorola factory before running a catering business—opened up the eatery in 2013 upon her son’s encouragement. Her ever-popular restaurant recently underwent a facelift; though the striking white and cobalt-blue decor marks a significant step up on the design front, its atmosphere remains informal and relaxed, akin to dining in an aunt’s house. Standout dishes here include curry tumis—sautéed fish and okra soaked in a fragrant hot and sour curry; tamarind-marinated assam prawns stir-fried with kaffir lime leaves; and nasi ulam, or rice salad featuring an assortment of herbs and winged beans. For dessert, order the sago gula Melaka, a delightfully sweet concoction of sago pearls with palm sugar in coconut milk. Reservations are essential. —Dana Ter
+60 17 434 4398
1, Bishop St., George Town, Penang, Malaysia