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Sunday, May 8, 2011

Invited Review: Yeng Keng Hotel

My Ratings: 5 Stars

Cuisine: International/Hainan
Location: 362 Chulia Street, 10200 Penang
Pork Free
RM30-45 per person
Tel: +604 262 2177
Open Daily

GPS: N 05'25.138 E100'20.096

Yeng Keng Hotel built in mid 1800's as a private residence of an Indian Muslim family is situated right in the heart of Chulia Street enclave beautifully and restored to its original 19th century splendour and more. Now turned into a world class boutique hotel with 20 elegantly appointed rooms. The hotel also house a cafe & bar which dishes out authentic Hainanese and international cuisine, ideal for a stay and dine vacation - a unique way to experience the Heritage of early Penang

Yeng Keng cafe & bar is one of a few places in Penang that serves authentic Hainanese fare. Typical Hainanese dishes like the Deep Fried Choon Pieh (RM12 for 2 pieces), Hainanese Mushroom soup with glass noodles (RM10 per person), Curry Tumis White Pomfret, Inchi Kabin (market price), Hainanese Chicken Chop, Chicken Pie and Yam Duck. All these dishes are my childhood favourites.

The Chicken Pie (RM25) is value for money. The portion serves 4 to 5 persons. For larger party of 10 persons, a larger portion of chicken pie is available for only RM35. All of the Hainaneses dishes is flavourful and not oily (good!). The Choon Pieh is the Chef Tan's recommendation. He stressed on the freshness and sweetness of the crab meat used. Chef Tan has more than 17 years experience in Hainanese cuisines.

Yeng Keng cafe & bar also serves a variety of international fare such as lamb shank, grilled fish with butter sauce, potato, onions and capers (RM18), sandwiches, soups & salads, pasta and local hawkers favourites. Must try are the lamb shank (RM35) and Beef Hor Fun (RM15).
The international menu is readily available but do call the hotel is you are planning to have Hainanese fare as pre-order is required until the Chinese restaurant is in full operation (located in the adjacent building).

One special dessert is the Bomb Alaska (RM20). This is a must order. Yeng Keng cafe is the only restaurant which serves Bomb Alaska in Penang that I know of. A common dish once upon a time but over the decades the popularity of the dish seemed to have disappeared. Maybe because it is hard to make (beating the egg white to a fluffy consistency and the "extra" effort to serve the dessert which included heating up the alcohol to be able to light it up and ooze all over the white which is a show by itself.

After dinner, one can proceed to the front garden of the hotel for drinks. The cozy outdoor offers a magnificent view of the picturesque hotel front all lighted up in full lighting effects. The bar offers value for money buckets of beer and is an ideal place for friends to gather and chat through the night

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