Hameediyah Restaurant, a century-old eating house established in 1907 is one of the oldest restaurants in Penang.
The restaurant, with a yellow facade, located in Campbell Street, serves South Indian cuisine. Those who have tried the curry dishes here are hooked by its intricate flavours.
Having stood the test of time and firmly established itws name in Penang, the owner has opened another outlet two doors away.
The new outlet, Hameediyah Tandoori House, is definitely a friendly neighbourhood restaurant. It has moved away from the traditional look.
This new shop has a spacious and cleaner environment, with pleasant food presentation (only white plates are used), while still retaining the flavours of Hameediyah. .
Hameediyah Tandoori House is fully air-conditioned, so diners need not sweat it out while dining.
The prices and the menu remain the same as those of the old restaurant, including chicken, fish, squid, prawns and beef. All these dishes complement to the naan, roti canai, biryani or even plain white rice.
The beef rendang (dry curry) is luscious and flavoured with spices. The exceptionally delicious thick gravy goes well with the fluffy naan, which is baked in the tandoor with crisp charred edges. The beef is definitely one of Hameediyah´s worthy offerings.
We had the mutton kurma and appetising side dishes of coconut sambal and pickled chili with white rice. The mutton, cooked with many spices and thick coconut milk, was very pungent and goes well with the coconut sambal, which was subtly hinted with desiccated coconut and raw mango. The pickled chili was spicy yet sour!
Pasembur was served with the peanut sauce. I would like to see more crushed peanut in the sauce though. This salad makes a nice side dish.
Over the decades, Hameediyah is known for its murtabak! The stuffed roti comes with choices of fillings - minced beef, chicken, mutton or vegetable.
We had the minced beef murtabak with pickled onions and accompanying curry gravy. This piece of soft bread with minced beef and chopped onion filling is encased in a layer of egg. Simply scrumptious!
The tender tandoori chicken was served with three dips and naan. The meat was smoky and flavoured-packed with a slight sweetness.
The grilled goat meat, on the other hand, was more addictive with its gamey flavour, and it was definitely my favourite!
You can take your pick of white rice or opt for the nasi biryani. The biryani was flavourful with exotic spices and were done with such marvel. A plate of chicken biryani costs RM8, and it is one of the must-try dishes in Hameediyah.
Our drinks for the meal were the refreshing Hameediyah Special Bandung (rose milk syrup), ice barley and rose syrup.
The complexity and taste of the dishes in both the new and old outlets are scented with dozens of spices and herbs, giving each dish its distinct tasty flavour to suit the diners´ palates.
Nostalgia and history lives large at Hameediyah´s original outlet. Dining at this 100-year-old outlet bestows a sense of heritage, or some would even say it makes the dishes taste better!
Craving for deep-fried chicken? The one here is flavourful with right balance of curry powder that you may want to bicker to the last scrap.
And the creamy curry chicken is spicy with lots of mixed spices and a deep, intense sauce.
If you prefer something other than chicken, then have the curry duck. Large pieces of duck are cooked in addictive thick curry. The gravy is very rich with coconut milk and appealing with its bright reddish colour.
In most food outlets, prices have increased over the years and it´s no exception in Hameediyah, but the overall prices are relatively similar to other outlets.
Good seafood (particularly crabs and large prawns), cost more than meat. For those who are more adventurous, do check out the fish head curry.