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Hawker, Sydney

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You need only to vis­it Mamak to under­stand the crazy queues out­side its door dur­ing lunch and din­ner. With Mamak serving Malaysia’s rot­is and cur­ries, Hawker — a spin off that opened in 2015 — serves up Malaysia’s noodles and rice dishes. And with K’s return to Indonesia, it seemed only right to send him off with one of his favour­ite cuisines: Malaysian. The interi­or of Hawker resembles an open-air food court in Malaysia. It does bring a level of class to it though, with its use of timer stools (rather than plastic chairs).

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I spy a drink not on the Mamak menu: the bar­ley ping ($4). It’s bar­ley water with syr­up on ice. It doesn’t sound like the most appet­ising drink, but I like bar­ley tea so I take my chances. And I’m right, it’s a sweet bar­ley sug­ar drink. It’s not like bar­ley tea — there’s none of the pseudo cof­fee fla­vour — and the bar­ley at the bot­tom of the glass reminds me of the cer­eal, Honey Weets. It’s not a bad drink, but I’m not sure I’d order it again.

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For my main, I get the Kam Heong Squid ($12 at lunch, nor­mally $18) — ‘stir-fried squid with spe­cial sauce of fra­grant curry leaves, chil­lies and dried shrimp’. This is one tasty dish! The squid was tender and the curry leaves and the sauce gave it a deli­cious hit of fla­vour.

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We also try the Ika Bakar – ‘grilled stin­gray with a tangy and spicy dip­ping sauce’. I’ve nev­er had stin­gray before and was curi­ous to try.

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Stingray meat reminds me of canned tuna with the same squeaky and meaty tex­ture. It’s not the best tex­ture, but it’s one hell of an inter­est­ing dish! Indeed, the bone struc­ture of sting ray is immensely fas­cin­at­ing and resembles car­bon fibre.

Hawker is loc­ated at Shop G02 345B – 343 Sussex Street, Sydney NSW 2000