Hainanese Delights at the 1926 Heritage Hotel is one of the more popular restaurants in Penang offering Hainanese cuisine. This type of cuisine is unique to Singapore and Malaysia where, traditionally, the migrants from Hainan island (China) to the-then British-Malaya in the early-20th century tend to end up as household cooks for the British colonial masters and also wealthy Baba-Nyonya (Straits-born Chinese) families. The Hainanese tend to dominate the food and catering industry in Malaya, and developed their own style of cooking over the decades, resulting in unique fusion British-Hainanese dishes like the Hainanese chicken chop and Hainanese-style chicken pie which are coffeehouse staples in Singapore/Malaysia, but which cannot be found back in Hainan, China.
Our lunch at Hainanese Delights consisted of:
- Hainanese crab omelette ("foo yong hai"): very Cantonese-style dish here but executed quite well, although slightly greasier than I'd have preferred;
- Hainanese spring rolls: quite okay though far behind the version from the one place in Penang which sets the benchmark for this dish: Ocean Green on Northam Road.
- Hainanese chicken stew: quite well-prepared here, with distinct scent of cinnamon, star-anise and cloves in the stew.
- Hainanese prawn fritters: well-done here, fresh prawns cloaked with thick, crispy batter, golden-fried to perfection.
Good place to explore Hainanese cuisine amidst comfortable ambience.
1926 Heritage Hotel
227 Jalan Burma
Tel: +604 226 1926