Is the Tanjung Marina, Penang, Hainan Town food good?

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.

16 Replies to “Is the Tanjung Marina, Penang, Hainan Town food good?”

  1. […] I have more photos of Tanjung Marina, Penang at my food blog here. Do check out the place if you enjoy taking photos of sun, sea, ships and structures. And do check out the pork-free Hainan Town restaurant here.    Posted in Random photo     […]

  2. Hi there, I have just been looking through your site and found it fascinating. I was wondering if you would be intersted in linking up with ours. We have just spent 3 months travelling through Malaysia and have reviewed quite a decent amount of amazing food from a street level. Have a browse of and let me know what you think.
    Kind regards,
    Luke Clarke from LAM.

  3. Hi! For a nice Hainanese coffee you can try it at OLD TOWN, there is one branch in E-Gate. The coffee….fewww…a kick! The toaster is yummy too:)

  4. SaSha – I have seen the place but always go for Subway. I tried that Hongkie Kopitiam, chialat lor. The food is way below par. Looks good but taste lousy. In fact, I had to ask for a big saucer of chilies to get me to swallow their Hongkong Bolera (lar char meen) noodle. Ewws..

    cooking4STP – I think to be fair, the Hainan food is good, sked they come marah me. LOL. Just that almost every items are what I had shared here. So, it takes the novelty away.

    babe_kl – At the Penang Jetty/Ferry Terminal. They spent a LOT of millions RM to build it but seems the place is rather deserted with no yatchs at all. Can be seen from my photo blog, all the ‘parking lots’ of the yatchs empty.

    Luke – I like your site. Gimme a few days, I will intro to my visitors. Great to have the different views of our country.

  5. the food there is not worthy for the price paid. I went there yesterday. Just an Assam Ikan pari and Chicken kapitan, 1 chrysantimum + 1 black glutinous = 50+.
    kek si wa of my money…

  6. We had been talking about this place for a very long time but don’t have a chance to go over there to try. Now with some comments from a few ppl, I am a bit worry on their pricing. Maybe, go there and give it a try. I always like to dine beside the sea. Nice and so relax. Maybe, I can give some feedback too after trying.

  7. Been there but for real nyonya food, i would prefer Hot Wok restaurant. But the marina is a nice place.

  8. terence – You say leh? Pssstt…

    PenangHeritage – Ya, I find it a bit confusing to see the range of nyonya foods. And funny thing is I also forget to try their Hainan coffee, if there is any.

    Erina – Do avoid weekends ‘cos one of Malaysia Best reader said the place was full and require reservation. On weekdays, however, a lot of office staffs entertaining clients, so also full. Don’t order any ‘market price’ dishes lor and note that their small portion is huge (and you pay the ‘huge’ price also).

    Peggy – Wuah…that’s expensive! We also paid RM73 for two adults and one toddler. It is the kind of place for big groups, I think ‘cos their smallest dish is RM16.

  9. btw, i’d like to ask, assam fish and chicken kapitan are hainan food ar? coz i thought hainan food should be hainan chicken etc. thought Assam fish is penang food le…

  10. What a joke hahaha hainan people cook hainan chicken rice, hokkien people cook hookien mee, teow chew people sell teow chew moey isssit…….

  11. Theres not much choice in the money and my kids doesn’t want to go there and eat coz there serve mostly spicy food and no steam fish wat so ever. But my kids love to go to the pier 🙂

  12. I don’t think it is a reasonable price after seeing the dish you’ve ordered. Hmm well maybe they have invested a lum sum of $ on the restaurant and because of ncie viewing?

    For me, I do prefer to have in the Sin Tai Tong, the road for you to turn to UMNO building, just corner there.
    It is superb cheap. Don;t miss their back pepper beef there.

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