It’s no surprise that we love Malaysian food and would go to great lengths to get them – either in terms of traveling the distance or in attempting to replicate them at home. Every time we hear of a commendable Malaysian restaurant, we would try our best to give it a try usually during the weekends. Having a toddler though, limits the amount of traveling we can make, especially to the city. Now that Little J is not so little anymore, we venture out to the city more often than before. And the main reason was to try out Hawker, which serves Malaysian street food, in Chinatown Sydney. We have been there twice now, and have never been disappointed with it.
During our first visit, we tried the Lor Bak and fell in love with it! It’s one of the most authentic lor bak we can find in Sydney, with the closest resemblance to the ones we have in Penang. Most places serve only the five-spice pork rolls, and not necessarily good ones, but Hawker also has prawn fritters and fried tofu in addition to their crispy pork rolls. And they have both sweet and chilli sauces as well! I don’t think anywhere else in Sydney serves lor bak as authentic as theirs, and that’s good reason for us to keep ordering that every time we’re there.
For mains, I had the Har Mee or prawn noodles, because it’s also something that’s hard to find in Sydney. The ones that I had tried before had little to no prawn taste, so I ordered this with rather low expectations. Imagine my surprise when it came out looking so delicious and tasted really good too! So much prawn taste and the chilli paste was the bomb. I mixed everything up in the bowl and was slurping away like a happy little girl. I enjoyed it so much that I actually ordered the same dish during my second visit there.
As for Saucer, his main aim was to try their Char Kuey Teow so that’s what he did. This was, again, another winner. It had all the main elements of a good Penang-style char kuey teow – cockles, generous size prawns, lap cheong, chilli paste, banana leaf, pork lard, grease and everything fried with good wok hei. We really could not find any major faults with this dish, and it’s also another reason why we kept coming back for more. It’s so greasy and oily, it totally brings back memories of eating hawker food in Penang. I love it!
One thing about Malaysian hawker food though, is that most of them are hot and spicy, which might not do so well with kids. Both Saucer and I are big fans of spicy food, so it’s a headache when it comes to ordering for Little J as neither of us wanted to give in, and Little J obviously couldn’t finish an adult portion on his own. 😛 Fortunately, during our second visit, we went with another family with kids and both our kids shared the Wat Tan Hor, which was non-spicy. This was essentially stir-fried flat rice noodles with lots of gravy, prawns, pork slices and vegetables. Little J had half of this and loved it! I’m assuming the egg gravy was really delicious because he was just slurping away.
If there’s one gripe about Hawker, I would say it’s the price of desserts. We had tried two of their desserts – the Apam Balik at AUD$6 and Goreng Durian at AUD$8! I don’t know about you but I find paying 6 bucks for one piece of apam balik with a scoop of ice-cream to be quite ridiculous, regardless of how good it is. Also, I think the ice-cream on the side was a bit of a distraction and unnecessary. I’d much rather have 2 pieces of apam balik for the same price, and do away with the ice-cream. As for the Goreng Durian, it was even more ridiculous at $8! There was only one piece of durian (Musang King), battered and deep fried, served with a scoop of ice-cream. Saucer ordered it because he loved durian, but I doubt we’d repeat the order next time.
Apart from the desserts, we really enjoyed the dishes at Hawker. They are as close to Penang hawker food as you can get in Sydney, and to me, that is pretty damn good. We’ll definitely make our way there again in the not so distant future.
Hawker Malaysian Street Food
Shop G.02, 345B-353 Sussex Street,
Tel. No.: (02) 9264 9315