164 Ossington Avenue
Joyce, Kevin and I decided to give Hawker Bar a try for our monthly dinner. We walked into a tight narrow space with a a few four seaters, a hand full of tables for twos and a nice sized bar. I really enjoyed the warm and dimly light restaurant, it felt really warm and inviting (you can tell from my bad quality red-hued photos). I also love the rustic touches here and there like the cardboard menu and the gorgeous wood tree stumps as seats.
I knew we had to order the Chili Salt Tofu, $6, silken tofu with chili salt served with their house BBQ sauce. When we visited Khao San Road last time their deep fried tofu was out of this world, sometimes I still have dreams about it. Hawker Bar's version was good but none comparable to Khao San Road's, also their BBQ sauce tasted like Chinese hoisin sauce mixed with some black bean paste.
The Singapore Chicken Wings, $10, were absolutely delicious, finger-licking-good kind of good. They were coated in a thick, sticky sweet chili soy sauce that was amazing. The chicken wings were extremely crispy and juicy.
My favourite entree was the Rendang Curry with braised ox cheeks and coconut rice. The curry was surprisingly sweet with a hint of heat, not your tradition curry you would you think of. The ox cheeks were incredibly tender and I love the fragrant coconut scented rice.
My least favourite was the Hainanese Chicken Rice, $13. Traditionally Hainanese chicken is made with chicken leg but Hawker Bar used chicken breast which usually I prefer but it was dry and over cooked, it felt like they pre-cooked it and then mircowaved it to order. I even tried to smother it was sauce and it didn't help.
The Laksa Lemak was in a thick and rich coconut curry soup with yellow egg noodles, fresh snow peas, egg plant, red pepper and tofu puffs. I wasn't really a fan and I thought it was just average. I'm not a laksa expert or anything but I felt like it wasn't as flavourful as it's supposed to be. There's also an egg but joyce devoured the whole thing without sharing, pig!
Fulling incredibly stuffed, Joyce really wanted to get a dessert and we settled on the Banana Fritters, it's served with red bean ice cream and a honey drizzle. I loved that the banana batter was vibrant green (from the pandan syrup which gave it a slight hint of nuttiness). The dessert was perfect, crispy batter, hot banana inside and the ice cream (I honestly thought it was mocha ice cream, I couldn't taste any red bean).
Overall it was a good meal but Hawker Bar is definitely not authentic but it does have an intimate bar and they are open till 2 in the morning all from Tuesday to Sunday, crazy!
I must mention the fantastic service, the servers were informative, welcoming and overall really friendly.