Hehehe, I have to ask this question! You see, we were there last night. After flipping through the menu, my hubby said, “Normal food only.”
My reply was, “Of course lah, I am a Hainanese and whatever I cooked at home for you, are exactly what they are serving here.”
I went there earlier, after I picked my son from school which is nearby around 4pm+. I thought it sells typical Hainanese fares of toasted bread and famous Hainan coffee and would be available for teatime. But I was wrong. They only open at 6.45 pm.
Hainan Town Restaurant serves typical nyonya foods and some Hainanese foods. Their menu is pork free, hence you get tau yew keh (soy sauce chicken) instead of sinfully rich, tau yew bak. The menu is very restricted and they don’t have noodles or fried rice even.
Both hubby and I were hard pressed what to order because almost everything had been cooked by me before and you can even get the recipes here. 😛 Kapitan chicken, petai sambal, assam pedas, rempah fish (ikan belah belakang), tau yew bak, assam prawns etc etc.
In the end, we ordered assam pedas which ended up as ‘ta pau’ because it was so huge. Besides that we had choon pneah (spring roll), lamb stew (worth a try) and omelette (we get them to cook this for our toddler as they don’t have much dish without chillies).
The ambience is great for entertaining as the view of the marina is beautiful at night. Most of the tables were occupied by corporate clients, i.e. those office staffs entertaining clients who can afford white pomfret cooked in gulai tumis (what a pity for this expensive fish).
Foodwise, I can’t gush over it because several of the older coffeeshop who are own by genuine Hainanese cooked better. Then, again, those places are rather dinghy so I would say, the good ambience at Hainan Town will make up for the taste.
Price wise, things are quite cheap, with drinks going for RM2 and the above dessert for RM3.50. They only have one single dessert, the bee koh mui. However, many items are listed as “Market price” so that can be tricky. Our meal comes up to RM70+ for two adults and one little toddler.
Gripes : The service staffs ought to organise their coverage better as many mix-ups were committed, fail to inform that item is finished and one of them even has B.O.! (bodyodor) Some of them tend to be too familiar with regular customers to the extend of making us first timers feel lost. Service staffs should be trained to know what to recommend and when to tell customers their food orders are enough. The portions of the dishes were way too big (comes with a price) and we ended up ‘ta pau’ the lamb stew and assam fish back.
So, is it worth a trip? Yes, do go and check out the nice marina view and the cosy restaurant.
I hope I am fair in my review of restaurants. If I like a place, I will praise it. If I am partial, I will tell it as it is and hopefully, the management improves for their own interest. If I hate the place, I don’t spoil their reputation on my blog and the place won’t even get a mention.
So, it still leaves me with the question – Are the foods very good? Have you eaten there? Share your views, please.
More photos of the Penang Tanjung Marina here on my photo blog.