Hainanese chicken rice, our local derivative of Wenchang chicken rice from Hainan Island, is one of the most popular lunch options in George Town. A dish with a 400-year-old history, the Hainanese called it “guey bui” (Penang-Hokkien: “kay pui”).
Lunch today was at one of Chulia Street’s stalwart Hainanese chicken rice spots: the eponymously-named Goh Thew Chik, founded by a Hainanese emigrant from Wenchang, Hainan Island, who came to Penang post-World War II, to escape the Chinese civil war.
Goh Thew Chik’s business was later taken on by his son, Goh Ching Ting, and subsequently by the grandsons today, Goh See Yong and Goh See Wah.
Goh Thew Chik’s close rivals are Pak Hock, still operating right across the road from it, and the now-defunct Sin Kuan Hwa (whose premises is now a pub, Rockafellas).
Pak Hock, right across Chulia Steet from Goh Thew Chik
Sin Kuan Hwa, which transformed into a pub
Goh Thew Chik’s offerings included both Chinese-style roast chicken and traditional Hainanese poached chicken.
For me, poached chicken livers are a must for any proper Hainanese chicken rice meal.
Goh Thew Chik’s chicken platter, drizzled with its trademark dark soy sauce dressing
Goh Thew Chik Hainan Chicken Rice
340, Chulia Street,10200 George Town, Penang, Malaysia
Tel: +604-261 8650
Opening hours: 10.30am to 5pm daily, except Wed (closed).