543, Jalan Tanjung Bungah,
Tanjung Bungah, Penang.
Enjoy authentic Hainanese cuisine at enchanting sea-facing eatery.
HOLLYWOOD Restaurant is one of Penang’s longest-running eateries, with origins that date back to 1945, and a good reputation for authentic Hainanese fare and fresh seafood offerings.
It still stands along the Tanjung Bungah waterfront, at the very same location it started life as a humble coffee shop established by Tan Yong Aun, a migrant from China, all those years ago.
Serving Hainanese coffee, toast and soft boiled eggs in the early days, by the 1960s it became a restaurant thanks to the added impetus of the founder’s son Cheow San.
Some of the dishes it pioneered then are still offered today.
Now run by Cheow San’s son Wee Chong, it retains much of its rustic, old-world surroundings.
Fans and sea breeze keep the place cool, while the sound of splashing waves just metres away provides a relaxing accompaniment.
“We have many loyal customers who have been coming here for decades, from the time I was a child helping my father out here,” Wee Chong said, pointing to their traditional dishes as the main draw.
Today, a fourth-generation Tan, chef Melvin, cooks them.
They are still prepared the good old fashioned way with recipes that have been passed down from generation to generation.
Their famous dish of Chun Piah (Spring Rolls) with shredded vegetables and crab meat wrapped in deep fried pastry and served with a tangy, homemade chilli and Worcestershire sauce mix is an enduring classic.
Or delight in a soothing bowl of Hainan Mushroom Soup. Unlike the Western version, this one has glass noodles, sliced mushrooms and chicken gizzards cooked in a tow cheow (fermented bean curd) broth.
Equally popular is the Chicken Curry Kapitan, which has thick gravy bursting with the aroma of various spices, and nicely accentuated by finely shredded kaffir lime leaves sprinkled on top.
The Inchee Kabin, otherwise deep-fried marinated chicken, or the Hainan Chicken Chop, are among the other poultry offerings that delight the palate as much today, as it did through the years.
Hollywood Restaurant also prides itself on fresh and live seafood, prepared upon order.
Those who love crustaceans can opt for the Hainan Dark Soya Fragrant Prawns (top pic), Sweet and Sour Crab, or the luxurious Lobster Thermidor.
Otherwise, pick your favourite fish and have it cooked in the robust flavours of Assam Curry, or the more comforting Hainan Style Steamed option.
If that is not enough, finish off with a plate of Hainan Noodles, and the must-have sambal belacan.
There are also many speciality items that can be had with advance order, such as the Macaroni Pie, Stuffed Shell Crab, Chicken Pie, as well as Duck and Yam Stew.
The restaurant also provides catering services for all types of functions, banquets and celebrations, for up to several hundred pax, anywhere on the island.
Bookings should be made at least one week in advance.
Opening hours are from 11am to 3pm, and 6pm to 10pm daily, except Tuesdays.
Details, visit www.hollywoodrestaurantpg.com or call 04-8907268, 016-4928282 (Wee Chong) and 010-5648221 (Melvin) for reservations.