Eating out in Penang has always been a joy for both Jien and I, because there’s plenty of food options to choose from and so many places to discover. A friend of ours recommended that we try Pang Hainan Seafood in Tanjung Bungah – said to serve pretty good tai chow food at “not so touristy” prices.
Since my in-laws were with us, it made perfect sense to eat at Pang Hainan since we get to order more dishes to share. We ordered most of their recommended dishes; Thai-style pork knuckle (RM35 – half portion), belacan chicken (RM16.50 – small), sambal kang kong (RM12 – small), kam heong clams (RM23 – medium) and Hainan spring rolls (RM5.80 per piece).
I didn’t care much for the spring rolls as these were pretty flat tasting. I reckon it’s also because they didn’t put much meat and prawns in the filling, hence the outcome. The dipping sauce of chopped chillies, soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce did give it a bit of kick, but nothing more.
We all enjoyed the belacan chicken as each piece was well seasoned and fried till crispy on the outside and juicy at the centre. I think this version has a nice balance of belacan with seasoning, so you can still taste the chicken and other flavouring, rather than a huge dose of belacan.
Kam Heong clams were my favourite among the dishes we tried at Pang Hainan Seafood. The clams were fresh, fairly large and meaty so each of them held on to the kam heong seasoning nicely. I also like how it’s not “sandy” unlike eating lala, where you’re bound to bite into bits of sand while chewing.
The pork knuckle was decent though some parts were a tad dry. I guess that’s inevitable when it comes to deep fried pork knuckle (of that size). Good thing they were generous with the gravy so we could still enjoy the dish.
While I don’t usually talk about vegetable dishes, the kangkong sambal deserves a mention. They make it with a good amount of sambal belacan and dried shrimp, so each bite has varying textures and a good kick from the chillies and shrimp. You’ll want more rice with this.
Overall, I liked my experience at Pang Hainan. Service is brisk and food doesn’t take long to arrive. Prices are not exactly cheap but for the portion and taste, I would say it’s still reasonable. We paid about RM100 for all the above, inclusive of drinks.
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Food: 6.5/10 (non-halal)
Verdict: If you’re looking for tai chow places in Penang, Pang Hainan Seafood is a decent option.
Pang Hainan Seafood
501 K & L,
Jalan Tanjung Bungah,
10470 Tanjong Bungah,
Tel: 017-452 4863
Business hours: 12noon till 10.30pm