Hameediyah Restaurant @ Campbell Street, Georgetown, Penang.
Some fans of Hameediyah claimed that the flavors of the spices have tamed over the years but everyone would have to agree that Hameediyah is still one of the best places to enjoy a plate of authentic Penang Nasi Kandar. The 107-year old well-known Indian Muslim restaurant has recently revamped its menu and refurbished the restaurant, giving the public and regular patrons a fresh impression. The new strategy seeks to defy the conventional thinking of Nasi Kandar eateries being unhygienic and unpresentable and Hameediyah is proud to prove that they have done it. The walkway is clear, the toilet is clean, the dining hall is air-conditioned and the servers are friendly. However, the restaurant does not have plans on compromising the flavors; on the contrary, they are bringing back some dishes that have vanished over the years; explained by the management of Hameediyah. Diners can now enjoy the mouth-watering dishes of the yesteryears in a more comfortable and cleaner environment. On a side note, their extended outlet- Hameediyah Tandoori House is few doors away and is especially suitable to accommodate larger groups.
Many Thanks to Hameediyah for hosting us that evening.
The quintessential signature dish at Hameediyah- Chicken Murtabak (Rm 5 each); we were delighted to know that Hameediyah is still putting effort in preserving the traditional way of cooking Murtabak. Traditional Murtabaks have an additional layer of Roti Canai-like bread stuffed in the middle. As a result of that, the Murtabak is thicker, chewier and offers a more satisfying and enticing combo of textures. The accompanying Lentil sauce was beautifully cooked either; not only Potatoes but Aubergines were added too. It has the right thickness and flavors; not the watery type. No lackluster, Hameediyah still offers pickled Onions; while many businesses have discontinued the pickled Onions; Hameediyah thought that the Onions play an essential role to complement the Indian-Muslim stuffed pancake.
Albeit the Briyani Rice (Plain- Rm 3/ portion) did not fare well in texture (clumpy), it surprised me with its robust flavors; in a positive way of course. It was deftly seasoned and skillfully cooked with a remarkable depth of flavors. The management shared one of its secrets to us. A small amount of Saffron is needed to get the right flavors. The rice is perfect to go with some curries.
One of my favorite side dishes (for Nasi Kandar) will be Kerabu Nanas (Rm 1/ person). Unlike the usual ones I had, Hameediyah's had a splash of their secret Curry sauce. The effects were not apparent but we enjoyed the Kerabu for being crunchy, juicy and especially appetizing.
A delightful addition to your plate of Nasi Kandar-goodness; Hameediyah's Fried Fish (Rm 4.50) was not mind-blowingly good but we enjoyed the pristine white flesh with firm texture. It was well-marinated with a discernible aroma of Turmeric.
A suggested combination- the sauce from Beef Rendang (Rm 2.50/ portion) paired well with the Fish Head Curry sauce. Not only does it work well with that, we thought the Beef Rendang works pretty well with Roti Canai as well. Luck is needed here; I get to sample two pieces of Beef Rendang in which one of them was fork-tenderly soft while the other one was rubbery hard to the bite. I guess picking the cuts plays an important role here.
Also not to be missed will be their gigantic Prawn Curry (Rm 7- 12 by size). How could the curry fare badly when the seafood-sweetness has imbued within? The Prawn, on the other hand, was toothsome. It was fresh, succulent and not rubbery. Another perfect condiment for Roti Canai.
Chicken Kapitan (Rm 5.50/ portion) did not leave me a very strong impression. The curry was alright, packed with the essential flavors from the Herbs and Spices but the meat was a little rough. Probably Chicken Thigh will give a smoother and more tender texture.
The star attraction of the evening has got to be this Fish Head Curry (Rm 60/ pot); good enough for 4 diners, we enjoyed the Curry for being thick, rich and flavorful with a gentle Chili kick. The flesh, on other hand, was firm and it did not possess a peculiar fishy taste. We tucked in the pot as though we were hunting for treasures; it excites us like a child! We were more than happy to find Aubergines, Okras and Tomatoes inside. Absolutely lovely and especially delectable!
Mango Lassi (Rm 5)
Service Charge: No
Government Tax: No
Address: No. 164 A, Campbell Street, Georgetown, Penang.
Business Hours: 11 am to 11 pm. Opens Daily.
Contact Number: 604- 261 1095