BY CK Lam

Fancy some Hainanese cuisine in Penang? Chances are the choices are not aplenty as Hainanese cooks are few to come by and the younger generation is not keen on learning the trade.

But you can make your way to Yeng Keng Cafe & Bar in Yeng Keng Hotel, a heritage boutique hotel on Chulia Street at the heart of the UNESCO World Heritage City of George Town. In addition to Western cuisine, Yeng Keng Café & Bar came out with a selection of classic Hainanese dishes.

Yeng Keng Hotel, Chulia Street Penang by what2seeonline.com

Although it does not offer full fledged Hainanese dishes, nevertheless the menu does provide diners with several popular dishes of yesteryear’s such as Hainanese Mushroom soup, Curry Tumis White Pomfret, Chicken Pie and Bomb Alaska.

Deep-fried Spring Rolls (choon-pieh) cost RM12 for two. This is a must try for choon-pieh lovers as the roll with crispy skin is packed with a mix of fresh crabmeat, prawns, chicken and mushroom. The accompanying dipping sauce made from sauces – HP, A1 and tomato – and other seasonings and cut red chilies complements this popular dish.

Hainanese cuisine at Yeng Keng Cafe & Bar in Yeng Keng Hotel, Chulia Street by what2seeonline.com

RM12.00 (per portion of 2 pcs) / RM24.00 for 4 pcs

The cafe serves both thick and thin textured soups. Two such soups are the Oxtail Soup and Hainanese Mushroom soup.

The Hainanese Mushroom Soup comes with button mushroom, chicken, liver, gizzard and glass noodle garnished with spring onions. The texture of this soya bean soup is light in texture, but is still wonderfully rich in flavour.

Hainanese cuisine at Yeng Keng Cafe & Bar in Yeng Keng Hotel, Chulia Street by what2seeonline.com Hainanese cuisine at Yeng Keng Cafe & Bar in Yeng Keng Hotel, Chulia Street by what2seeonline.com

RM10.00 (per portion for one person) / RM45.00 for serving of 10 persons

Grilled Fish with Butter Sauce makes use of the dory, cooked in lemon butter sauce. The fish tastes tangy with capers, sauteed potatoes and onions on the side.

Hainanese cuisine at Yeng Keng Cafe & Bar in Yeng Keng Hotel, Chulia Street by what2seeonline.com

RM18.00 (per portion for one person) / RM36.00 for serving of 10 persons

Besides that, the Curry Tumis White Pomfret with ladies fingers, tomato and onion is a must-try. The flavorful fish curry with its thick gravy differs from the usual Hainanese style of cooking. Depending on the market price of seafood, this dish costs between RM100 and RM120.

Hainanese cuisine at Yeng Keng Cafe & Bar in Yeng Keng Hotel, Chulia Street by what2seeonline.com

Inchi Kabin has plenty of crispy bites. The pieces of well-marinated, deep-fried chicken are pleasantly delicious and moist on the inside. The chicken goes well with the same flavourful dipping sauce for the spring roll.

Hainanese cuisine at Yeng Keng Cafe & Bar in Yeng Keng Hotel, Chulia Street by what2seeonline.com

RM30.00 (whole chicken)

Another poultry dish is Yeng Keng Chicken Chop, served topped with gravy, green pea, carrot, corn, button mushroom and French fries. The chicken is tasty but the heavily seasoned batter is slightly salty.

Hainanese cuisine at Yeng Keng Cafe & Bar in Yeng Keng Hotel, Chulia Street by what2seeonline.com

RM15.00 (per portion for one person) / RM30.00 for serving of 10 persons

Other selections include Chicken Pie, baked in an oblong plate filled with mixed pea, mushroom, egg, chicken. You can choose to have the portion for three to five people, priced at RM25 or with extra filling at RM35 which is sufficient for 10. Do make reservations for this dish which requires a 24 hour pre-order.

Hainanese cuisine at Yeng Keng Cafe & Bar in Yeng Keng Hotel, Chulia Street by what2seeonline.com

The hearty Braised Lamb Shank comes with sautéed potato and vegetables. The big piece of tender and juicy meat in a rich and creamy brown sauce with hints of rosemary herb, black pepper and garlic is served on a bed of spaghetti.

Hainanese cuisine at Yeng Keng Cafe & Bar in Yeng Keng Hotel, Chulia Street by what2seeonline.com

RM35.00 (per portion for one person) / RM70.00 for serving of 10 persons

For those craving for noodles, do try the Beef Hor Fun. A big serving of rich egg gravy is a great combination to the slightly charred hor fun and the tender slices of beef. Sliced pickled green chilies complement the dish perfectly.

Beef Hor Fun at Yeng Keng Cafe & Bar in Yeng Keng Hotel, Chulia Street by what2seeonline.com

Beef Hor Fun RM15

The chef created the Bomb Alaska, an interesting dessert. It is wonderful seeing this dessert again. Priced at RM20 per serving, the Bomb Alaska is great sharing of sweetness for four people. The dessert with mixed fruit, rum and butter cake covered with meringue was flambéed with liquor.

Hainanese cuisine at Yeng Keng Cafe & Bar in Yeng Keng Hotel, Chulia Street by what2seeonline.comHainanese cuisine at Yeng Keng Cafe & Bar in Yeng Keng Hotel, Chulia Street by what2seeonline.com

The picturesque outdoor courtyard with plenty of scrubs and trees is cozy. Tables are spread over the area and diners dine with the comfort of ceiling and stand fans. The private dining area tucked at the side of the swimming pool is quaint.

There are parking lots at a car park behind the hotel and along the bustling Chulia Street. Yeng Keng Cafe & Bar is open daily. Click here for the Map Location.

Yeng Keng Cafe & Bar
Yeng Keng Hotel
362 Chulia Street
10200 Penang

Tel : 04 262 2177

Business Hour : 8:30am – 10:30am (Breakfast)   & 12pm – 10pm (Lunch & Dinner)

* This is a reproduction of my article published in New Straits Times

 

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, April 26th, 2011 at 12:31 am and is filed under Boutique Hotel, Cafe, George Town, Hainanese Cuisine, Heritage, Invited Review, Media Preview, New Straits Times (Life & Times), Penang, Western Cuisine. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

12 comments so far

 1 

Looks good here & hopefully I can try it one day in Penang.

CK Lam Reply:

It is best to make a reservation before your trip up to Penang.

April 26th, 2011 at 6:24 am
 2 

another hainanese place. .

my dad sure will love it . . .

CK Lam Reply:

Totally agree with you, there are not many places serving Hainanese food. Hope your dad like the food.

April 26th, 2011 at 11:01 am
 3 

wow the Bomb Alaska looks yummy. i never try one before.. hope will get to try it one day :)

CK Lam Reply:

Best to make a reservation :)

April 26th, 2011 at 9:57 pm
PrincessP
 4 

I went to try their food yesterday and felt pretty disappointed. I got a huge piece of bone with little meat from the OXTAIL SOUP. INCHI KABIN was not flavorful and lacks the aroma this dish typically has. I had trouble finishing the HAINANESE CHICKEN CHOP because it was so bland and their FRIED RICE was nothing spectacular! And one more thing to note is that their customer service kinda sucks. All of their waiters were hiding behind the bar counter and it was such a chore to get them over. As a normal paying customer, this will be my first and last time dining there.

April 27th, 2011 at 4:32 pm
little witch
 5 

just went there yesterday..
love the food and feel glad that another Hainanese food to be offered in Penang…

proud to be a Hainanese… ^,^

CK Lam Reply:

Thanks for your feedback!

May 2nd, 2011 at 10:12 pm
 6 

I think Coliseum Cafe on Jalan TAR has the Bomb Alaska. Or maybe I remember wrongly. But indeed, Yeng Keng, Penaga and the arrival of various modernized classic hotels did Penang proud.

CK Lam Reply:

I have yet to try the Bomb Alaska in Coliseum. Will book mark the place :) …thanks!

May 14th, 2011 at 10:31 pm
ahMiaow
 7 

Is that right for Chicken Chop (RM15.00 (per portion for one person) / RM30.00 for serving of 10 persons) as well as the other RMx per portion for one person/ RMx for serving of 10 persons?

CK Lam Reply:

The prices for individual serving is stated in the menu whereas the prices for serving of 10 are provided by the Manager.

May 30th, 2011 at 9:17 am
ONG Jin Teong
 8 

The choon piah appears to use poh piah skin. The choon piah served at the old Hollywood restaurant and Garden Hotel at Tanjong Bungah had specially prepared choon piah skins. Traditionally it is served with “ang moh tau eu” or worcestershire sauce. The dipping sauce you described is too thick and doesn’t look like the real thing!

They did not add spring onions to the original mushroom soup. The soup is traditionally served with “ang moh tau eu”

Have a look at “Penang Heritage Food” for more details.

CK Lam Reply:

Each restaurant has their own style of preparing the food. Thanks for sharing…

October 6th, 2011 at 6:14 pm
 9 

CK is this plCe halal :)

November 7th, 2011 at 8:33 pm
Ai Ling
 10 

Another must-try dish is the Macaroni Pie. Do call and order ahead – at least 4 hours, to avoid disappointment. Food is very authentic as the Executive Chef is a real Hainanese.

February 1st, 2012 at 3:57 pm
IPOH Newbie
 11 

The chicken chop is quite normal and the sauce for some reason is tasteless. Probably the chef is not in a good mood. the spring roll is crispy and huge. However, it may be too big to eat. I have to take it apart and eat it. In my opinion, spring roll should be taken at a bite size.

October 27th, 2012 at 9:35 pm
jackson wasike
 12 

nice food n i really like it

May 19th, 2013 at 11:20 pm

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