Sin Hwa Lam Seafood Restaurant (新华南海鲜饭店) @ Batu Maung, Penang.
It is a common practice for us Chinese to dine out at a restaurant especially with a large group of friends and families instead of cranking out multiple courses from a small kitchen. Another reason would be, by having more dining partners with you, you get to increase the variety of dishes. Dining out at Chinese Zhu Char places is also considered as part of an important event or celebration (like Wedding or New Year). Our office gathering this round brought us to Sin Hwa Lam Seafood Restaurant, an intimate Zhu Char place at Batu Maung. It was previously located at Jalan Batu Maung, opposite the police station but has since, relocated to this bigger, cleaner space. The place will be thronged with office workers during lunch hours; not only they offer Zhu Char dishes but simple and uncomplicated dishes like Fried Rice, Char Hor Fun are also available. The total damage for the lunch was Rm 210 for all dishes (excluding rice and drinks) for the 9 of us.
Steamed Kappa (Clams)/ 清蒸甲巴
Claypot Tofu/ 砂煲豆腐
Sour Plum Chicken/ 酸梅鸡
To spoon over rice, we had their Claypot Tofu with thick but smooth gravy; the dish has got nothing spectacular and the Tofu did not shine either. Sour Plum Chicken was a good addition to the variety- Deep Fried Chicken well-enveloped in a sweet and sour sauce; good to go with Rice but a tad greasy on its own. The Soy Sauce found in Steamed Kappa may seem deceivingly simple but it has an avalanche of flavors- the primal salinity, a sleek sweetness (possibly from Rock Sugar) and a comfortable amount of sourness. It was refreshing but we thought it was too playful, we'd prefer the traditional Soy Sauce or to make it the Thai-way in lieu of this fusion style which somehow overshadowed the natural seafood sweetness of the Clams.
Singapore Fried Bee Hoon/ 星洲炒米
Assam Prawns/ 亚三虾
3-Flavor Deep Fried Red Snapper/ 三味红狮
Those who are in the know can relate to this dish... one of the signature dishes at Sin Hwa Lam- 3 Flavor Deep Fried Red Snapper, had the fish Deep Fried till a shattering crisp and served over their sweet, savory and hot sauce with aplenty of Onions, Bird's Eye Chili, Garlic. The concoction was very inviting and appetizing, a good complement to the fresh fish. Assam Prawns were nothing out of the ordinary, though they possessed the quintessential flavors; the dish just did not manage to hit us but the Prawns were fresh nevertheless. If you are cutting down on Rice, why not try their Singapore Fried Bee Hoon? We thought their Singapore Fried Bee Hoon was good, carefully seasoned and expertly cooked to the right dot. The crunchy elements such as Cabbage and Onions added another layer of juicy bite to the dish. Our only possible complain was the Bee Hoon/ Vermicelli Noodles come in a lump.
Herbal Chicken/ 药材鸡
Taste: 7/10 (1-3 bad, 4-7 average, 8-10 good)
Service: 7.5/10 (1-3 bad, 4-7 average, 8-10 good)
Price: 7/10 (1-3 expensive, 4-7 average, 8-10 cheap)
Ambiance: 6.5/10 (1-3 bad, 4-7 average, 8-10 good)
Parking: 6.5/10 (1-3 bad, 4-7 average, 8-10 good)
Service Charge: No
Prices are nett
Address: 16-18, Lintang Batu Maung 4, 11900, Batu Maung, Penang.
Business Hours: 10:30 am to 3pm; 6 pm to 9:30 pm. Closed on Mondays.
Contact Nmber: 604- 644 5550