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).
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.
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.
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.
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