Hameediyah Restaurant Penang Best Nasi Kandar Since 1907
Hameediyah Restaurant is my family’s favorite go-to for curries and murtabak since my grandfather’s time.
Taste Penang’s legendary Indian Muslim curries and the murtabak made with the same recipes since 1907?
If you’re a visitor to Penang, this is a must-go-to restaurant for the ultimate halal food when they’re here on an eating holiday.
Hameediyah Restaurant is a curry institution and cooks the same Indian Muslim cuisines with authentic flavors long ago.
This shop is 109 years old and spans seven generations, with loyal customers in their 4th or 5th generations.
After my grandpa, my father’s now is my favorite place for delicious curries and the famous Murtabak.
For Penangites, coming round for meals at the restaurant is a must for most families.
The founder M. Mohamed Thamby Rawther, started as a spice trader, importing exotic spices from India.
As he was a good cook, he began to serve food cooked with fragrant spices.
The family created many signature dishes that had withstood the test of time.
Popular traditional dishes are
- Beef Rendang
- Mutton Mysore
- Kapitan Chicken
- Fried Chicken
- Curry Chicken
- Fish Roe
- Mee Goreng
- Mamak Rojak
and their lip-smacking Murtabak.
History of Hameediyah Restaurant
History has it that Hameediyah Restaurant never closes.
In 1940, during the Japanese Occupation of Malaya, the restaurant served the Japanese soldiers and generals.
The dish they crave was the Beef Rendang.
From 1960 to the ’70s, Hameediyah Restaurant helped supply an immense quantity of Beef Rendang to the American GIs fighting in the Vietnam War.
Business boomed during this time.
The popularity of Hameediyah Restaurant’s sumptuous cuisine grew over the years.
Loyal customers from outstation and even overseas would pack curries home for festivals and their weekly dinner!
At lunchtime, it is a common sight to see women coming around to pack home curries.
Penang’s dignitaries, including the former Chief Minister of Penang, have their favorite curries packed in tiffin carriers to their hotel room for a private dining experience.
Hameediyah Restaurant Rebranding
A hundred years on, credit should be given to the Hameediyah Restaurant’s younger generation, Seeni Pakeer, and Syed Ibrahim.
These are the men who kept the exact ageless recipes alive.
The timelessness of the cuisine, with its heady, tantalizing taste, is as appealing as it was in the old days.
The staff uniform has a stylized Mamak “kain pelekat” apron, a garment money belt worn over black pants, and a bright yellow tee-shirt embossed with 1907.
If you ask a Penangite what their favorite curries are, they will fumble to say just one.
Then you realize that you need the Ultimate Penang Halal Food Guide for Muslim Travelers.
We Love Hameediyah Restaurant Murtabak
When we walk in, a man flipping Murtabak with a burger spatula greeted us.
The delicious aroma hits you immediately. Most customers stall and watch, a little torn about what to do next.
Hameediyah makes the best Murtabak in Penang
Murtabak, savory giant meat, and egg stuffed pockets of roti canai dough. The outer paper-thin crispy skin is cut open to reveal steamy hot fillings.
All that eggy, oniony filling smells so delicious. There is a choice of vegetarian, chicken, or mutton.
They serve the murtabak with a side of chopped pickled ‘pink’ onions added an extra ‘kick.’
Their Murtabak is the best.
The same taste is unchanging over the past 50 years; my family had our meals there.
Yes, I am the 3rd generation diner who comes back for more!
Budget Tips for Eating Nasi Kandar Without Bursting Your Wallet
For first-timers, students, and budget travelers, the aromas of delicious curries will floor you.
Here are some tips to follow so you don’t over-order.
There are two ways to order.
- Shared Dishes
- Individual Plate with Curry over Rice
Nasi Kandar Style Family Dining
One is to order the rice and several dishes separately to share with family and friends.
This way, you get to control the quantity of curry for your rice if you’re at a beginner spice level.
Individual Plate with Curry over Rice
For diehard fans of Nasi Kandar, this is the only way to go.
Even if a group gathers for a meal, everyone will queue for an individual plate.
They pick their meat and vegetable choice, and the chef ladle this heavenly mix of curries over.
Locally, Malaysians will call for “banjir,” meaning to flood the rice.
Strictly not for the first-timers as the spices may overpower the sensitive palate.
But not to worry, as the curries result from a good mix of spices, mild and pleasant. There is no fierce heat from potent chilies.
Ask for the meat you want. At Hameediyah, there’s a duck and chicken curry on the menu.
A serve of Duck Meat costs more than a piece of Chicken.
If you like seafood, remember to ask for the price of the large prawns before you order.
The price is according to the market price and the size of the prawns.
As the restaurant serves both beef and mutton, do check first. There are also squids, squid eggs, and fish roe on the menu.
The best tip is to ask if you’re not sure is to ask.
Meats, when covered in curry, look different from when served fried.
Best to go before noon if you want to beat the crowds.
When they take the curries from the kitchen, the sight of vast vats of hot spicy food is delectable.
What do I like to order at Hameediyah?
My top selection is the flavorful Ayam Ros, Ayam Kurma, and Fried Chicken.
Sometimes I may have a piece of Fried Fish when I feel like a change.
I often have a plate of rice with a piece of their crispy, tender Fried, free-range chicken marinated in spices.
My curry is Ayam Kapitan and, for good measure, a Veggie Murtabak to share.
I like the Veggie version so that I can taste the caramelized onions and eggs.
I know it’s a little like eating an onion omelet, which I can make at home. But this is a treat I enjoy.
One of the most delicious items is Beef Curry, which is very robust, spicy, and addictive.
You can quickly eat three small pieces. Another is Squid Roe, which I take once in a long while because of its high cholesterol.
I tried the Duck Curry with an Aussie friend who introduced that to us. The Duck Curry is very delicious and aromatic.
As for Paul, his must-have is the chocolaty dark and rich Beef Lungs with his Nasi Kandar.
He eats his white rice drenched in a colourful curry mixture and pickled pink onions.
For Nasi Kandar, everyone has their way of enjoying it best.
My choice of drink is Ais Merah, a sweet rose-flavored iced drink.
What’s the taste of Hameediyah Nasi Kandar?
I’ve been eating at Hamediyah Restaurant since I was a child.
And the taste of the great curries has remained the same.
What can I order apart from Nasi Kandar?
The restaurant has Tandoori Chicken with Naan Breads and Briyani Rice. Refer to the menu for your selection of meats.
Hameediyah Restaurant Cleanliness
Hameediyah Restaurant has the cleanest kitchen in Penang. The owners are most proud to have TV crews to film the cooking process.
COVID-19 update: As Malaysia implements enhanced measures for the second phase of a movement control order, many start to crave their favorite food.
Hameediyah Restaurant, reputed for never closing, still serves delicious curries and Nasi Briyani during the movement control order.
A must-eat for all visitors is the Kari Ayam Kapitan, green chilies Kapitan Pickles, Murtabak with pink pickled onions.
We ordered the famous Hameediyah Kari Ayam Kapitan and Fish Curry to enjoy as we stay home.
Update Friday 13 August 2021 – Hameediyah Restuarant Feeds the Needy in George Town, Penang.
On Friday 13TH of August at 6 pm, Hameediyah Restaurant Penang served Free food for the needy using its traditional Nasi Kandar style – a remembrance of the founders’ way of carrying two baskets of rice and curries with wooden poles on the shoulder.
The Nasi Kandar distributed was 250pax, with white rice, chicken, vegetables, and a hard-boiled egg.
Apart from that, enjoy and have a great Hameediyah Restuarant Nasi Kandar experience!
Hameediyah Restaurant Penang
164A, Lebuh Campbell, George Town, Penang.
Telephone: +604-261 1095
Opens Daily 10:00 am – 10:30 pm.
There’s a Hameediyah Tandoori House a few doors away from the original restaurant. They provide catering services for parties, weddings, and other large-scale events.
The small restaurant, over the years, grew and now has found its way to Kota Damansara.
Kota Damansara branch | Unit A-GF-01 Sunway Nexis, No 1 Jalan PJU 5/1, Damansara, Petaling Jaya, Selangor | Telephone: 03-6151 7766 | Opens Daily 10:00 am – 10:30 pm