If you’re in Penang and want to indulge in something besides its famous street food, make your way to a restaurant called Hainanese Delights, located within the premises of 1926 Heritage Hotel on Burma Road.
The restaurant is actually operated by a true blue Hainanese family, who are sticklers for precision cooking and therefore strictly follow the traditional recipes of their forefathers.
The Kapitan Chicken Curry served in this restaurant comes with a side of Bengali Roti, traditional Indian bread with a dark brown crispy crust but super fluffy white insides. Cooked just right, the chicken meat fell off the bone easily and the intense flavour of the gravy, mopped up with the bread, made for a truly delicious meal.
Penang lorbak, or lohbak is usually made with pork, but at this pork-free restaurant, chicken was used instead. While many would be skeptical about how well chicken could stand up to pork in such a dish, this restaurant did an excellent job of it.
The spring-roll here is another one of their bestsellers. Stuffed with crab meat and an assortment of other ingredients, these spring-rolls are best enjoyed with the restaurant’s specially-mixed Lea & Perrins dipping sauce with a hint of mustard. This combination made for a pretty complex and rather delicious appetiser unlike run-of-the-mill spring-rolls in most other restaurants.
The braised lamb with lady’s fingers consisted of five slabs of tender New Zealand lamb topped with brown sauce. Best enjoyed with steamed rice, or beer perhaps.
Their take on Assam Prawns is more Nyonya than Hainanese to be honest, but the chef did a fine job preparing this dish, though it would have been better with a serving of sambal belacan on the side.
The Hainanese fried mee was also outstanding. This is definitely a dish that can stand on its own with a combination of vegetables, chicken, prawns, and a side of sambal with a kick.
Other dishes on the menu include Lobster Thermidor, Crab Mornay, Hainanese Mushroom Soup, Inchee Kay Bin, Yam Duck, Lamb Stew, Lamb Curry, and of course, their famous Hainanese Chicken Rice.
Dessert was a sweet delight with cookies and cheesecakes baked by WenQi. These are especially delicious cakes made with quality ingredients.
All in all, the experience at Hainanese Delights Restaurant was truly satisfying and memorable.
1926 Heritage Hotel
227 Jalan Burma,
10050 Georgetown, Penang
GPS: 5.42415, 100.32063
Tel: 04-228 1926
This article first appeared in kyspeaks.com