Today is last working day of the year for me and it feels damn great. There was too much work and a little of us time. Lots of things have slipped in our lives and I shall take this little break to reflect and hopefully plan my new focus. Our priorities need to be re-aligned.
I kickstarted my year end break with overeating at Hawker which has just opened a day ago. It has the same owner as Mamak. Expectations are high but am also conscious of teething issues for a newly opened eatery.
We were greeted by the apam balik section as we walked in. It’s the asian crepes that is filled with peanuts. Well the ones I had in Singapore are only filled with peanuts but apam balik here is filled with peanuts and sweet corn! Mister said that this is common in Malaysia.
This is the crispy version and my favourite is actually the fat pancake like version. If you like crepes, this might be the dessert for you.
People waiting in queue inside the restaurant can spend their time learning how to wrap a popiah. Popiah is a version of fresh spring roll and is usually filled with shredded vegetables and I love the ones with small prawns.
The popiah still needs a little work. I wish there was more variety of vegetables and a little more texture. Perhaps it was missing jicama which would give this some crunch and freshness. I am being a little anal but why is the egg chopped and not in think strips? It’s not wrapped well and breaks apart when trying to eat it. Definitely needs more work to improve it.
I miss a good rojak. Rojak is like an asian version of a fruit and vegetable salad with a lot more flavour! The Penang rojak served here is a salad of fresh yambean, fried tofu, cucumber, pineapple, guava and dough crisp that is coated with a sweet and caramel dark sauce. Not amazing and I thought $14 is kind of pricey for this dish. This dish is meant to have texture, sweet, slight spiciness and refreshing. The dough crisp was suppose to be the crunch component but it was quite stale. The whole dish was missing the kick, the ophm!
Mister also ordered a wan tan mee ($13). It’s a dark sauce egg noodles with char siew and a side bowl of pork dumplings soup. The fragrant dark sauce coats the noodles well. The noodles has a nice bounce which is great. However, the dumplings were a little disappointing with its stingy filling and seemed to be wrapped by an amateur.
I had to try the char kway teow. How does it fair against Alice Makan’s? Big ticks for wok hei and cockles. Needs a little more seasoning. It was a much better dish once I added some sambal to it. The portion is quite small which leaves room for a bit of dessert after.
Mister could not help himself and ordered a durian fritter that came with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. He absolutely loved it. He said that this will be the hot ticket item that people will queue for. What do you think?
This kitchen seems to be runned by fairly young and most likely inexperience staff. The service was a little random as well. Like I said, teething issues but I am sure that most of these small hiccups will be resolved fairly quickly since the owners are highly experienced in running restaurants. The queues are already forming after the second day. There is no doubt that this will be another success and the food will only get better with a few refinements. Also the portion size is quite small and all dishes are encouraged to be shared.
I may sound negative but there are higher expectations with Malaysian food coming from an experienced restaurateur. By the time everyone gets back from their year end break, this place should be in ship shape and ready for a hard to please crowd.
Add: Shop G.02, 345B-353 Sussex Street, Sydney