Eat Drink KL: Hameediyah's new multi-concept restaurant in Bukit Bintang showcases Penang's century-old nasi kandar heritage

Monday, October 16, 2023

Hameediyah's new multi-concept restaurant in Bukit Bintang showcases Penang's century-old nasi kandar heritage




Hameediyah, Penang's most enduring purveyor of nasi kandar, has launched a unique new multi-concept venue in Bukit Bintang, bringing together a bistro and a gallery that showcases Hameediyah's century-old heritage of nasi kandar. 

This six-level space is our top destination for nasi kandar in KL's city centre - with a history that reaches back to 1907, Hameediyah now has a firm 21st-century foothold in KL, preserving its legacy for generations to come with irresistibly creamy kuah combined with Ayam Kampung Bawang, Udang Goreng Tiger XL, Sotong Goreng Viral, Kari Kepala Ikan, Lamb Shank, Daging Rendang, Sambal Nyok and more.

It's fun to explore Hameediyah's new space - start at the street level, where customers can browse through the offerings and place their orders. 

Fun fact: The look of this level is inspired by the layout of Hameediyah in George Town, complete with counters of temptations, including some cooked to order.

It's a beautiful introduction to Hameediyah, with a lovely painting on the wall and portraits of Hameediyah's original founders above the payment booth.


Hameediyah Bukit Bintang's head chef ensures consistency throughout the signature recipes, crafted with Hameediyah's own blends of herbs and spices. Everything is made to taste exactly like Hameediyah in Penang, so customers in KL can savour the same northern satisfaction!

It's tempting to order everything, from the gigantic prawns to generous portions of lamb and chicken. Have fun watching the team fill your plate, splashed with plenty of sumptuous kuah!

The first floor features the main bistro-inspired dining hall, with wide windows that open up to a view of Bukit Bintang's bustling streets.

Check out the walls, lined with a map that shows how nasi kandar steadily spread in popularity throughout Malaysia.

Beverages are prepared here, from teh tarik pulled in traditional fashion to coffee brewed with a contemporary espresso machine.

The second floor is alluringly atmospheric, evoking a mini museum, narrating the story of Hameediyah on its walls, bolstered by artefacts and documents from Hameediyah's history, including its time-honoured pots and early records of sales. It's a walk down memory lane!

The upper levels are likely to open to the public before the year's end, including Hameediyah's first fine-dining establishment!

Build your nasi kandar with a base of Nasi Biryani (RM8), robustly rich and aromatic, true to the tradition of Penang, with Kobis and Bendi (RM3 each) on the side. Nasi Putih (RM2.50) is also available, best paired with the thickly mellow coconut-based Sambal Nyok.

For seafood enthusiasts, we won't go wrong with Udang Goreng Tiger XL (RM36 for this massive-sized champion Tiger Prawn), meaty and mighty with a fresh, full-bodied bounciness. 

A Hameediyah must-have is Ayam Kampung Bawang (RM17) - this deep-fried free-range chicken is marinated overnight for 12 hours, then immersed in caramelised onions to soak up their sweetness, for an addictive scrumptiousness in every succulent chew. 

Mix it all up with a medley of chicken curry, fish curry and Hameediyah's flagship Kuah Kandar - it's deep and dark, delectably balanced with tang, savouriness and spicinesss, a tribute to times when Hameediyah's founders peddled pots of rice, meat, vegetables and kuah on poles slung on their shoulders.

Hameediyah also has many platters, perfect for sharing. 

The Sotong Goreng Viral (RM15 per 100g) is masala-spiced and fried to order for a fabulously springy crunch, sprinkled with mixed nuts for extra earthiness. Everyone loves this, so it's no surprise that this striking sotong harimau has gone vibrantly viral!


The Kari Kepala Ikan is also cooked to order with ikan merah (red snapper) - the twenty-minute wait is well worthwhile, with captivating complexities in this gently creamy curry, including hints of mango and other secret components. We'll happily slurp up every spoonful of this compelling crimson curry, together with the moist, fleshy fish and fresh veggies.

Time, love and tenderness are also poured into the Lamb Shank (RM45 for medium, RM50 for large), marinated for 12 hours, seared, then slow-braised for another 12 hours. The result: Gorgeous meat that falls marvellously off the bone, bolstered by brilliant masala-based gravy that's reminiscent of the kuah kandar. One of our favourite lamb shanks in KL's city centre.

Come hungry to Hameediyah, since there's so much to try.

Ayam Kapitan (RM12) is the Penang-inspired pride of the kitchen, marinated for 12 hours, roasted, then simmered in curry with luscious notes of coconut and nuts in each juicy bite. 

The Hameediyah Daging Rendang (RM6.50) is an Indian Muslim recipe that's free of kerisik but relies on fresh coconut milk and spices for its richness, cooked for at least eight hours for the natural caramelisation of the melt-in-the-mouth meat. Note: Hameediyah displays and cooks its beef in separate utensils from its other offerings, so customers who can't consume beef can still relish the other beef-free recipes. 

Also order a side of Cili Hijau Jeruk (RM1.50), pickled green chillies that bring a bright sharpness to add zing and zest to each plate.

Beverage choices span the crowd-pleasing Teh Tarik to a light-textured Cafe Latte. For sirap fans, sip on the house-blended Sirap Bandung and Sirap Limau Ais, not too sweet, refreshing our palates to perfectly pair with the nasi kandar meal.

Hameediyah Bukit Bintang KL
138, Jalan Bukit Bintang, Bukit Bintang, 55100 Kuala Lumpur.
Daily, 10am-11pm. Tel: 03-2382-0344