Penang, Malaysia - Murtabaks from Hameediyah Indian-Muslim Restaurant
After 103 years, Hameediyah still serves the best murtabaks (chicken, beef or vegetable-filled Indian-Muslim pancakes) in Penang.
We lunched there today, and ordered:
- the chicken murtabak, which came with a small side-dish of chicken curry, and onion-chilli pickles. This was the BEST murtabak I'd ever tasted in my various trips to Penang!
- the saffron-tinged chicken briyani, which was fluffy & non-oily - just the way I liked it. I'd preferred Islamic Restaurant's briyani in Singapore for the very same reason. But Hameediyah's briyani was even more fragrant, scented with cardamom, cloves, cinnamon & other aromatic spices. It's good to have on its own, but Hameediyah offers a mind-boggling array of chicken, beef, mutton, fish, prawn, squid or vegetarian curries to choose from, besides the obligatory tandoori items (a fairly recent addition to the century-old Southern Indian restaurant);
- the best amongst its many curries must be the creamy, pale-colored mutton khurma, scented with cardamom, star anise & a variety of spices. We ordered a large piece of mutton on the bone, replete with delicious marrow.
- I also particularly liked the potato & eggplant curry that came gratis with each order of the chicken briyani.
The food at Hameediyah was fabulous. The only drawback - the older part of the restaurant, whilst more atmospheric, was rather messy & the dirty tables (uncleaned since the previous customers left) were definitely a turn-off. Many customers chose the newer air-conditioned wing for more comfort. But, all in all, Hameediyah's definitely a must-not-miss dining icon in Penang, especially for curry lovers :-)
164-A Campbell Street
Definitely very affordable piece of Penang gastronomic history - where else can you get a cup of coffee for US 30 cents, or a chicken curry for US$1? The other old Indian-Muslim eating establishment in Penang is 70-plus Dawood Restaurant in Queen Street. Very piquant curries.
There's another restaurant on Lebuh Leith if I remember correctly ... Sup Hamseed. The best soup on the island. Slow-cooked vats of mutton, beef or chicken ... perfectly seasoned, light and void of grease. Order a roti and go to town. Best at around 5am when the soup's been cooking all night. Tried a bunch of different versions of this in KL to no avail. Great, great place.
Thanks, saw the place while walking around last night. Gonna check it out based on your suggestions.