One of the oldest heritage hotels in Penang, which is set in the colonial building with once the residence of British Colonial officers and local administrators, is the location of our next deal. No, this is not about hotel deal but rather a food deal. Get an authentic Hainanese Chicken Rice set, Hainanese and Vietnamese spring rolls and vegetable dish at Hainanese Delights at Heritage Hotel 1926.
The restaurant is brightly lit and already has their usual crowd of customers, all craving the traditional flavors of Hainanese food. The food here is served in lead-free plates and bowls, and extra weight on those plates and bowls. At least when you try to cut chicken or any other food, the plate won’t flip! Just be careful not to sweep them to the ground.
First will serve with spring roll ‘Chun Pheah’ also known as Hainanese Spring Roll and a serving of Vietnamese Spring Roll with a dish of the signature dipping sauce. The ‘chun pheah’ was crispy on the outside and filled with spice crabmeat and veges making it a very fragrant mix. When dipped with the dipping sauce that has savoury and tangy flavours, the Hainanese spring rolls taste absolutely divine.
If you prefer fresher take on spring rolls you’ll like the Vietnamese spring roll. A mix of fresh shredded carrots, cucumber and green mangoes with a thin layer of omelets wrapped in Vietnamese rice paper creates a mix of savory and sour that goes well with the tartness of the rice paper. The Vietnamese spring roll is a new item on their menu, specially prepared by their Vietnamese chef. It doesn’t get more authentic than that.
After the appetizers, was the rice, the signature savory chicken rice, fragrant, oily and with bits of ginger like how any good chicken rice should be. It’s served with a plate of steamed chicken, chicken liver and chicken gizzard topped with shredded ginger, parsley and soy. Hainanese chicken rice is never complete without the signature chili sauce and ginger paste. The chili sauce is mildly spicy and so was the ginger paste – suitable for diners with sensitive palates. The chicken was smooth, slippery and tender. Hoolala… it was so tempting we dived right in before the vegetables arrived.
Then serve the vegetable dish – not any normal kind you get with normal chicken rice stalls or in fact anywhere else. The unique dish is specially created for this deal. Ladies fingers also known as okra, is blanched and topped with kerabu mix. The kerabu is mixed of red onions, shallots, lemon juice, bits of belacan (loves!) and some chilli padi – got to love the combination. The sweet, sour, savoury and spicy flavours of the kerabu complements the ladies fingers extremely well.
Hainanese Delights is one the very few Hainanese restaurants that serves authentic Hainanese in Penang. The air-condition restaurant painted in hues of blues and greens is furnished with marble square tables and traditional round tables with a lazy susan in the middle. Framed oil paint and watercolour paintings hang from the walls of this three section restaurant. The area that is directly accessible from the hotel lobby is cooler maybe due the higher powered air-cond. The area that is accessed from the hotel car park is not as cool so it’s great for those that prefer to dine in normal temperatures.
Inche kabin fried chicken served with prawn crackers! Sadly not part of the deal.
This restaurant is a nice place to dine especially if you’re looking for truly authentic Hainanese flavours. This restaurant that always aims to bring back the best Hainanese flavours made popular during 60’s and 70’s. The chef has more than 30 years of experience in the kitchen and has worked in this restaurant since they opened in 2009. Other signature dishes of this restaurant includes their inche kabin fried chicken and their assam prawns.
If you have a sweet tooth, the mouth watering dessert, Sago Gula Melaka, a dessert combination of translucent sago pearls, silky coconut cream and fragrant palm sugar is a must try!
Hainanese Delights, 227, Jalan Burma, 10050, Penang
Contact number: 04-2261926 OR visit the website at: www.hainanesedelights.com