Have you ever had a meal in a restaurant that is more than a century old?
If you have not, don't worry; you could do that just by taking a trip up north (something we Malaysians no doubt love to do).
The country's oldest
The iconic Hameediyah Restaurant in Penang has officially been certified as the country’s ‘Oldest Nasi Kandar Restaurant’, The Star Online
The restaurant, which has been operating since 1907, received the recognition by the Malaysia Book of Records (MBR).
Ahamed Seeni Pakir Abdul Sukkor, the sixth generation of the family, is the current owner of the restaurant, which is located on Campbell Street in Georgetown.
Seeni was, of course, thrilled to be included in the MBR.
“Gaining this record is both a privilege and honour for us. Running a business like this involves a lot of sacrifice, long hours and cooperation.
“Inevitably along the way there will be problems and disagreements. But we never take it to heart as our main aim is to provide the best curries to customers, ” he was quoted as saying.
Seeni said their food usually uses top grade spices, bought whole and grounded and cooked according to recipes passed down in the family for generations.
Their bestsellers for decades include their beef rendang and kapitan chicken, but there are emerging favourite like rabbit and turkey curries, as well as lobster rendang.
Despite its current success, the restaurant had a very humble beginning.
A spice trader named Mohamed Thamby Rawther came to Penang from Tamil Nadu in the early 1900s with his sons, and they rented a house in Campbell Street to sell spices.
Later, they started selling rice and curries under a tree on the field opposite their premises.
The food was contained in baskets balanced on poles, otherwise known as ‘kandar
’ in Malay. And that's how nasi kandar
got its name.
Needless to say, people love their nasi kandar
, and their business grew so big that they set up a restaurant on No.164 Campbell Street.
Yes, it's the same green and yellow restaurant that received the recognition as the country's oldest nasi kandar
Fast forward 113 years later, Hameediyah now has outlets in Jalan Baru, Perai on the mainland, Kota Damansara and Ampang.
But hey, why not head to Penang and taste the original, right?