Au Jardin George Town Hin Bus Depot

Au Jardin George Town – Hin Bus Depot Penang

Au Jardin George Town – Hin Bus Depot Penang

Words: Monica Tindall
Photos: Christopher Harriot

We first dined at Au Jardin George Town shortly after opening in 2019. I remember the excitement of discovering such fine food and interiors within the walls of a corrugated iron-walled warehouse. The unassuming building in Hin Bus Depot opens to an elegant dining space where seasonal produce shines in French technique.

Today, Chef Kim Hock Su and his team have grown considerably since then, earning a coveted Michelin star two years consecutively. With limited seating and operations only running Thursday to Sunday, reservations are well advised.

Au Jardin George Town Hin Bus Depot
Entrance from Hin Bus Depot Penang
Michelin Starred Restaurant Penang
Au Jardin George Town Hin Bus Depot
Michelin Starred Restaurant Penang
Dining Room

Au Jardin George Town Menu

All menus are degustation in style at Au Jardin George Town. Dishes are seasonal in nature, and there’s always a vegetarian choice. Most dietary requirements can be catered for if you give advance notice. It’s not a place for kids, unless you’re happy to pay full price and receive the regular menu for your well-mannered darlings. It’s also not a place for shorts and flip-flops. Much care goes into the curation of place, so play your part.

Menu Degustation January 2024 

We’re some of the first to try the January 2024 degustation (RM 558++) with alcoholic pairing (RM 315++) or non-alcoholic pairing (RM 235++). The wine list is Old World driven, with France dominating the line-up, while the non-alcoholic pairing is another chance to see the creativity of the kitchen team as they turn leftovers into ferments and syrups. 


Our palates are awakened with three bites: a cornetto filled with hummus, harissa and cilantro crisps; Au Jardin’s take on fish & chips, a potato cylinder filled with skipjack tuna and topped with vegetable tartare and herbs; and lastly, the most intense of the trio, a petite seaweed tartlet, with cured Penang duck breast, dots of anchovy emulsion and lumpfish roe. Goal met; our mouths are amused. 

Au Jardin George Town Hin Bus Depot


Self-confessed carb addict here; I always look forward to the bread course, and Au Jardin does not disappoint. Famous for their homemade bread inspired by thosai, two warm, thick slices are served aside what resembles a heirloom tomato. The loaf has been cultivated from natural rice yeast and includes fenugreek and black dahl flavours. It’s recommended to first bite the bread, then slather it with butter. That tomato-looking round is, you guessed it, the butter. Based on the theory that the best condiment for thosai is chutney, the butter is a mix of tomato, cumin and fennel seeds. The whole thing is dipped in cocoa butter blended with curry leaves and finished off with a borage stem for the leaf. Genius. 

Au Jardin George Town Hin Bus Depot
Bread – Au Jardin George Town

First Course

After a magnificent prelude, the first course arrives, Lettuce Gazpacho. It’s a pretty bowl with lettuce gazpacho and parsley oil beneath smoked Penang mussels, mussel jus gelée and anchovy emulsion. Eat it slowly to appreciate the fine pop of sea grapes grown together with the mussels. *Interesting fact: the seafood from the local farm has been raised in pristinely clean waters and also passes through a UV sterilisation system, ensuring food safety. The flavours are reminiscent of a buttery, parsley escargot sauce. 

I’m glad to have saved a few drops of the Champagne poured on our arrival, as the gazpacho and bubbly work wonders together. Henri Giraud’s L’Esprit Brut Nature from Aÿ explodes with Pinot Noir richness, harnessing savoury depth from Argonne oak and terracotta aging. Double the bottle time amplifies its vinous character, crafting a powerful mouthful – we’d order this again without thinking twice.

Au Jardin George Town Hin Bus Depot
Lettuce Gazpacho
Michelin Starred Restaurant Penang
Henri Giraud’s L’Esprit Brut Nature Champagne

Second Course

Faux Crab is another elegant presentation, pale green in hue with a bubbly top dotted with tiny white flowers. Shredded hericium mushrooms give the texture of fine crab meat without the crab. The Granny Smith apple in jus and sorbet, parsley and kombu nage (delicate broth) and hidden fermented jalapeño lift the spirit of the dish with an attractive acidity and freshness. 

The wine pairing Pieropan La Rocca, Soave Classico, Veneto, Italy, 2020, is another beauty. Flint ignites, smoked almonds waft, charred lemon zings, and grilled pineapple whispers sweetness. Creamy texture embraces, while the palate bursts with orchard fruits, warm spices, and orange blossom. 

Michelin Starred Restaurant Penang
Faux Crab – Au Jardin George Town
Au Jardin George Town Hin Bus Depot
Pieropan La Rocca, Soave Classico, Veneto, Italy, 2020

Third Course

The third course features plump Cured Prawns alongside charred stink beans (petai), ice plant, lumpfish roe, kaffir lime foam and green curry. A nod to shared ingredients and northern neighbours, the recipe respectfully and deliciously embraces Penang’s location. The stink beans linger on the palate, not overwhelming, but lasting, garlicky and nutty in the conclusion.

The next pairing comes from the Canary Islands, by four friends, Envínate, who craft exceptional Spanish wines in ancient Atlantic regions like Ribeira Sacra. They embrace traditional methods, using hand-picked grapes, foot-treading, natural yeasts, and minimal intervention to let each vineyard parcel shine. Their dedication yields some of Spain’s most exciting contemporary bottles.

Envínate Benje Blanco, 2021, from the Canary Islands, stuns with volcanic smokiness framing orchard fruit, then surprises with briny minerality and lively acidity, a unique expression of its high-altitude Listán Blanco (Palomino) grapes. You can almost smell the volcano and sea breeze in the glass.

Michelin Starred Restaurant Penang
Cured Prawns
Michelin Starred Restaurant Penang
Envínate Benje Blanco, 2021

Fourth Course

Talk about low-card pasta alternative, the Squid Ribbons are cut resembling noodles. They sit in a caramelised onion consommé with poached radish, tiny croutons, chive capers and Roquefort. It’s recommended to spoon into the broth, then use the accompanying cubes of squid ink focaccia (yum) to mop up the remains. 

The wine mate, Daniel-Etienne Defaix, Chablis, 1er Cru, Cote de Lechet, Chablis, France, 2008, is another interesting drop. It’s a fully mature and complex Chardonnay from one of Chablis’ most skilled producers, featuring an atypical oxidative style with a touch of Jura influence. I’m not convinced that I like the extra oxidation, but I do enjoy expanding my palate with its uniqueness. The wine’s bright aromatics, including apple, citrus, and notes of almonds and honeysuckle, contribute to a layered, mouthwatering palate, showcasing the enduring waves of minerality that define this plot.

Au Jardin George Town Hin Bus Depot
Squid Ribbons & Focaccia – Au Jardin George Town
Au Jardin George Town Hin Bus Depot
Daniel-Etienne Defaix, Chablis, 1er Cru, Cote de Lechet, Chablis, France, 2008

Palate Cleanser

Bridging the starters and the mains, the Magnum Sorbet is a lovely palette of greens atop an ice bowl. A sphere of local musk melon and lime has been dipped in refined coconut oil, giving it a slightly hard shell without the sweetness of the more commonly used white chocolate, allowing solely the flavours of the fruit to shine through. It’s dusted with kaffir lime powder and lime rind, and if you savour it slowly, you might detect some gentle popping candy bursts, too. 

Au Jardin George Town Hin Bus Depot
Magnum Sorbet

Main Course

The degustation menu provides a choice of four mains, but we highly recommend their signature Cognac & Hay Aged Duck, especially if this is your first visit to Au Jardin. Let them know when making a reservation, as the duck requires two days’ advance preparation. The duck, from a farm on the island, has been aged for 16 days and stuffed with orange, lapsang souchong (a smokey black tea), Timothy hay (the crème de la crème where grass is concerned), anis and coriander seeds. The top is rubbed in orange zest, pepper and chives. The whole bird is revealed in a smoke-filled box before being taken away for carving. The flesh is tender and moist, and the skin is superbly thin and crisp. The accompanying reduction is intensely flavoured – 60 litres have been reduced to three (!) – so only a few drops are needed. 

The main is superb, but what’s even better is getting a box to take home! Guests are gifted a leg in a sous-vide bag, alongside salad, dressing and that magnificent bread and tomato butter! Don’t fear if you’re staying in a hotel; the kit comes with instructions on how you can reheat the bird with the use of an ordinary kettle. I can’t tell you the happiness this box delivered the following morning, eating and reliving the deliciousness from the previous day.

That joy was pretty similar to sipping the wine mate, Domaine Feytit-Lagrave, Pomerol, France, 2017, a drop that really took my fancy. Merlot and Cabernet Franc join forces to paint a dark ruby canvas, then entice with a vibrant nose of blackberry, plum, and earthy intrigue. Hints of tobacco and vanilla add depth while the palate unfolds in perfect harmony. A medium to full body with balanced tannins leads to a long, lingering finish.

Au Jardin George Town Hin Bus Depot
Cognac & Hay Aged Duck – Au Jardin George Town
Au Jardin George Town Hin Bus Depot
Cognac & Hay Aged Duck
Au Jardin George Town Hin Bus Depot
Domaine Feytit-Lagrave, Pomerol, France, 2017


The Highland Fennel & Ricard Parfait features espresso gelée, aniseed tuile, sponge, and Penang vanilla and lime ice cream. The parfait, reminiscent of a mooncake, is dotted with lime gel and aniseed sponge and is artfully complemented by a raspberry gummy cleverly disguised as a red leaf. It’s balanced, light and refreshing while avoiding excessive sweetness, allowing the alternating dominance of anise and coffee flavours to culminate in a satisfyingly cool creaminess on the palate.

Thomas Barton & Guestier’s 2017 Sauternes from France, a brilliant gold, heralds a bouquet rich with overtones of honey, pineapple, stone fruit, and marmalade. While intense and full-bodied, fruit is balanced with gentle acidity, complementing the parfait and leaving our palates 100% satisfied.

Au Jardin George Town Hin Bus Depot
Highland Fennel & Ricard Parfait

Au Jardin George Town Review

Chef Kim Hock Su and his team at Au Jardin George Town deliver a precise and respectful celebration of place and flavour, championing sustainability, honouring local producers, and never compromising on taste. I highly recommend choosing the duck as a main (if it’s your first visit), and the wine pairing was excellent, going beyond the usual safety mates. Furthermore, if you’re a true foodie, book a seat at the chef’s counter for a front-row seat of the action and food delivered directly by the kitchen crew.

Reasons to visit Au Jardin George Town: Come see what all the Michelin fuss is about; it feels like discovering a speakeasy in an old warehouse; you must try the duck; I highly recommend the wine pairing.

Au Jardin George Town
The Warehouse @ Hin Bus Depot
125, Jalan Timah, 10150,
Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia

Au Jardin George Town Opening Hours
Thursday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday:
Lunch 1130 – 1400
Dinner 1715 – 2200

Smart dress code
No smoking allowed
Only guide dogs welcome
Not recommended for babies and young children. Children dine from regular menus at full price.

Find more Penang hotspots here and stay up to date with the latest food and beverage happenings in KL here and here.

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