Monday, May 7, 2012

Biriyani Hameediyah

Meat Curry

Hameediyah Restaurant must be one of the oldest restaurant we've reviewed surpassed maybe by Bismillah in Taiping. Established in 1907, they've been serving Indian Muslim dishes for four generations. Sailing all the way from Ramnad district, India ... Abdul Ghani opened up the restaurant before World War I, and after all these years.. it’s now ran by Abdul Gafoor who’s been working there for more than sixty years!

If you come to Penang, this is the place to go for great nasi briyani. For a place this famous, I was surprised that it's not that big. Hammediyah sports a narrow, long design with an upper floor accessible through a steep spiral stairs. If you're a historian, you'll like this place. It has a sort of pre war historical look.

They serve all kinds of Indian muslim dishes here from biriyani to kormas. Nearly everybody I see here is having nasi biriyani of some kind. When I asked one of the 'more important looking' waiters why their nasi biriyani is so good, he replied 'Kita masak biriyani macam kita mau makan sendiri' (We cook the biriyani as if we are going to eat it ourselves).
Sambai Nyok

A plate of Chicken Biriyani comes with a big piece of chicken, curry and pickled vegetables or more commonly known as acar. These people are not well known for their food presentation but one taste of their nasi biriyani... who cares?!

Hammediyah uses a special blend of Pakistani rice to make their special biriyani. Good biriyani is hard to make. If you put too much biriyani stock, the rice gets sticky and gluey. Not the case with Hammediyah! Not only that, the rice has a special spice taste that is not available elsewhere. Eating the rice alone is a delicious experience.


But that's not all, their chicken korma can also share the same praise. Indian muslim korma is a wee bit different from traditional indian. Hameediyah's korma is a bit lighter in taste but I like the fact that you can still taste the spices deep in chicken. Taken with some biriyani rice, gravy and acar... it’s a delight to the tastebuds.

If you have some 'space' left after the hearty nasi biriyani meal, try their murtabaks or murtabah as they call it. Some of us here have the capability to rearrange our stomachs just enough for one murtabak… so here's what I think of their murtabaks. It's good. Plenty of meat and less vegetables unlike the pasar malam ones. This one I suspect also uses the single layer skin 'preprepared' technique. For Hameediyah, make sure you take your murtabak with the pickled red onions and curry. Oiiyoooo...really delicious .. and even better when you wash all that down with a hot teh tarik Hameediyah style.

Overall thumbs up left, right and center for Hameediyah from the Friedchillies Review Crew! We slowly walked down the stairs, quietly paid the man and left. Waving his hand, he said 'Thank you, Come back sometime'. We couldn't wave back.... we could barely walk... luckily the car was parked in front of the restaurant... Anyway, enjoy your biriyani... remember... one portion per person is enough no matter how good the biriyani is...

Hameediyah 164-A, Campbell Street 10100 Pulau Pinang
Tel: 04 261 1095

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