An unforgettable birthday bliss – indulging in avant-garde dishes at Maple Palace Chinese Restaurant
When choosing a venue for her birthday celebration, my daughter Jean immediately suggested Maple Palace and it is easy to understand why. Located in the heart of George Town, Maple Palace Chinese Restaurant goes beyond traditional boundaries, offering avant-garde dishes that redefine Chinese cuisine in terms of both flavour and presentation. Under the guidance of owner Loy Tan and his skilled chefs, the restaurant's innovative techniques and use of authentic ingredients create an unforgettable and mouth-watering dining experience that leaves a lasting impression.
A luxurious 6-course treat for Mum at Maple Palace Restaurant
Mum turned 89 this year and I was only too glad that I was able to celebrate her birthday at Maple Palace Restaurant with a scrumptious top-notch feast. Although owner Loy Tan was overseas when I contacted him, he was obliging enough to curate a luxurious 6-course menu for Mum. The individual serving of each course was beautifully presented, making it a delightful visual feast to whet the appetite.
Deliciously authentic Hainanese chicken chop at Hai Onn Restaurant
Hai Onn Restaurant at Jalan Burmah is one of the few Hainanese kopitiams (coffee shops) left in George Town. Although there are two original signages at the entrance of the kopitiam with "Hai Oan", the correct spelling of this restaurant is actually "Hai Onn". This only goes to illustrate how forgiving the owner was in agreeing to carry on with the typographical error in the company name.
Hainanese Delights serves up nostalgic cuisine of the colonial British era
In the 1920s, the Hainanese were among the last Chinese immigrants to arrive in Penang. Since other dialect groups had already established control over most trades, the late comers ended up as cooks and houseboys (domestic helpers) in British homes and establishments. The Hainanese cooks were taught on-the-job how to prepare British dishes and were also introduced to local ingredients and spices. They eventually evolved their cooking repertoire, infusing their creations with local flavours to suit the taste buds of Penangites and the colonial British. Thus, Hainanese cuisine in Penang, and at large, in Malaysia and Singapore, is unique in its own way and cannot be found elsewhere, not even in Hainan Island.
Boey Chong Kee Restaurant – serving no-frills Cantonese-style cooking
Although the signboard on the right of the restaurant reads "Beoy...", it was a typo error Mr Boey Chong, owner of the restaurant must have missed when he commissioned it in the 1960s. “Kee” stands for 记 which means shop in Chinese. Serving classic no-frills Cantonese-style cooking, this quaint restaurant is located at one of the shop lots on the ground floor at People's Court off Lebuh Cintra/Campbell. Till today, it is still very much a family business and is run by Mr Boey’s granddaughters, the Chan sisters.
Muah chee – truly irresistible moist and elastic humble-looking morsels
Muah chee, a traditional dish made of glutinous rice dough that stretches like elastic bread dough, is moist, soft and pillowy. The bite-size pieces are coated generously with a powdery mix of toasted crushed peanuts, toasted sesame seeds and granulated sugar. Prior to serving, some fried shallots (optional) could be added along with a sprinkling of white, or black sesame seeds.