Friday, 20 March 2015

Hawker Malaysian Street Food - Sydney CBD - Sydney, Australia


From the same owners of the ever so popular Mamak, Hawker is also a Malaysian restaurant, but its core focus is on the Malay-Chinese street food of Malaysia, also known as hawker fare. Their simple and pocket-friendly menu offers classic items that fall under the categories of snacks, fried bread, noodles and desserts. There are certain dishes only available here and no where else in Sydney as of yet, such as the fried oyster omelette, stingray and turnover pancake.


On a Friday night we were expecting to queue for a table but surprisingly we walked straight through. On the contrary, when we left the line was going out the door.


As we were directed to our table, our eyes deviated towards the chefs cooking in the open kitchen. There was so much happening in that little space.



The dining area is spacious, airy and clean, with minimal decor.


The 'Popiah ($8.00 for 2)' was first to come out. I had this once in Malaysia and faintly remember how it tasted. It's a fresh spring roll that is filled with an assortment of ingredients. The version here is freshly made from start to finish. The paper-thin skin is prepared by the chefs on premises and the way it's made is mesmerising.


It's filled with yam bean, shredded omelette, minced tofu, lettuce and crispy shallots with a hoisin like sauce. While we found the mixture to be fresh and crunchy at parts, the sauce overpowered the popiah and left a weird aftertaste which wasn't very pleasant.


The 'Ikan Bakar ($14.00)' is a grilled stingray marinated with sambal and served with a tangy and spicy dipping sauce. The piece we got was relatively thick compared to the flat ones we usually see in Malaysia or Singapore.


On initial bite, the stingray is succulent like white fish meat. It does have big bones but don't get deterred by this as it's easy to eat once you take it out. Unfortunately, it lacks the seasoning and we find ourselves having to make use of the sauce for extra flavour.


Hawker's rendition of the 'Char Koay Teow ($12.00)' is similar to what I ate in Kuala Lumpur. It uses the thin rice noodles tossed together with prawns, cockles, lap cheong, eggs and bean sprouts.


Cockles aren't usually found in the dishes here but I'm amazed at how they've adapted it to be very much like home. We like how there is the balance of sweetness from the dark soya sauce and slight saltiness from the Chinese sausage, whilst also having the wok-hei, giving it a nice smoky taste which wasn't too overwhelming. Word of warning, there are chilli specks scattered throughout and it's quite spicy.


Crispy pork fat! Those words on the menu immediately grabbed my attention. The 'KL Hokkien Mee ($12.00)' uses the thick Hokkein noodles, stir fried with pork slices, prawns, cabbage and crispy pork fat in a rich black sauce. Not the prettiest or healthiest of dishes but it was delicious and full of flavour. The side of chilli sauce was a great accompaniment to the noodles.


We ended our meal with a dessert called the 'Apam Balik ($6.00 for 2)'. It's the Malaysian adaptation of the pancake. Special moulds are used to make these crispy turnover pancakes filled with crushed peanuts, butter and creamed corn. I've wanted to try this for many years and the day final came. Did it live up to its expectations? It sure did.  The outside was crispy and the filling was deliciously sweet.

Some dishes were hits while others were misses. We went within the first month of opening so they may have improved on their flavours since then. We would definitely return to try the other items on their menu. Fancy a durian fried fritter?

Where?
Shop G.02, 345B-353 Sussex St
Sydney NSW 2000
Australia

Phone no: 02 9264 9315

Opening Hours
Open 7 Days a Week
Lunch: 11:30am - 2:30pm
Dinner: 5:30pm - 10:00pm

Website
www.hawker.com.au

Hawker on Urbanspoon

3 comments:

  1. hehe how good is the fried fat in the hokkien mee! and if you love durian you def gotta try that fritter next time!

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  2. I haven't seen Popiah dished up in Sydney often (maybe I'm looking in the wrong places :P) but it looks just as good as the ones I enjoyed in Singapore!! Such a shame the sauce was overpowering, hopefully they've sorted that out since. That Char Koay Teow looks seriously delicious

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