[Penang] Gemas Road Roti Canai

This is arguably the busiest roti canai spot in Penang, other than its most serious competitor, Transfer Road Roti Canai downtown.

Roti canai is Malaysian-speak for Indian paratha/parotta flatbread, made from unleavened flour and griddle-cooked with ghee. In Singapore, it’s known as roti prata, but Malaysians call it roti canai.

Gemas Road Roti Canai was started back in 1994 on this very spot by a bunch of Indian-Muslim (“mamak”) siblings. The small thoroughfare, Gemas Road, cuts through a village known among local Malays as “Kebun Lama”. The eldest of the siblings that run this ever-busy stall is Shaikh (his other brothers, including Daulat and Fairus, do all the cooking, serving and cleaning up) - hence, local villagers in the neighbourhood call this spot “Kedai Shaikh” or Shaikh’s Shop.

Gemas Road Roti Canai’s most popular orders are roti canai topped with a sunny-side-up fried egg, a thin slice of cheese and a handful of chopped raw purple onions, drenched in 3 types of curry sauce: chicken curry, beef curry and dhal curry.

Many customers opt for a side-order of curried beef or chicken- I’d recommend the beef, which has a more pronounced flavour, and goes perfectly with the roti canai.

Curried beef

Curried chicken

Roti canai with curried beef:

Roti canai with curried chicken:

Pulling the tea (“teh tarik”):

The popular hot beverage: “Teh tarik” (pulled milk tea) is a perfect accompaniment for the roti canai:

Seating are either at small, round, collapsible al fresco tables scattered outside around the zinc-roofed eatery by the kerbside, or at the long, communal metal-topped tables under the zinc roof. As the place is forever busy, just grab whichever available seats you can find when you get there:


The signage showed the stalll’s operating hours. “Sabar Menanti” means “Wait Patiently”. :grin:

Gemas Road Roti Canai
51,29 Jalan Gemas (Gemas Road)
10460 George Town, Penang
Operating hours:
7am-12.30pm, Tue to Sun
5.30pm-9.30pm, Tue, Wed, Fri & Sat
Closed on Mondays. Also closed on the evenings of Thu & Sun.