Situated in the heart of Northbridge – Chinatown, this place brings back familiar tastes of my hometown :) I brought some work mates (past and present), together with S.Tq and N.L to Hawker’s Cuisine for a taste of what I thought was the best Chinese restaurant in Perth thus far!
We started off with a nice crab dish – requested by Z.P. I haven’t tried their crabs before so this was actually a new experience for myself as well! N.L. reminded me about the mantau’s (which I am so thankful she did because it made the dish so much tastier!) They come as either deep-fried (which is shown in the picture), and steamed. It has two mantau’s per serving, so do keep this in mind when you do order this!
The crab must have been about 2.5pounds or so and it costs $153. This included the cooking as well. It was lovely, a tad on the sweet side, but still lovely.
Then, an array of food started making their way onto our table of 7 people.
For those unfamiliar with eating at a chinese restaurant, dishes are usually ordered to be shared among those at the table, with rice to go with the dishes (but this is really quite optional).
The general rule of thumb for the number of dishes to order is really (the number of people – 1). This should give everyone a good amount to eat. But do take note that depending on the appetite of those at the table, you will need to adjust accordingly. :)
We had a variety of dishes for our group of 7 – for which we ordered a total of 7 dishes (we were big eaters!)
Deep fried toothfish with creamy sauce was one of the most popular over the group whom I went with. The tender meat with a crispy outside, covered with a nice creamy slighty sweet and spicy cream sauce makes it very likeable and easy on the palette. There is usually about 4-5 slices of the fish in one serve, so if you have fish fans, make sure to order an extra plate!
We had some beef to make things a little ordinary. Something that was familiar with everyone. Black pepper beef was the choice for the night, and it was rather well-received by the group too. A distinct tenderness and a nice savoury and peppery taste. Not the best I have personally tasted, but this is good enough!
The other seafood dish for the evening was some butter prawns. Asians who might be reading this, this is not the same as those we have in Singapore/Malaysia where we call it oats/cereal prawns. There is something different about Hawker’s rendition of the butter prawns, and the biggest difference is in the use of shredded coconut! To those who dislike coconut, please don’t let this ruin your idea of this dish because it just blends in so well with the butter, the oats and the prawns. If there was a seafood dish that I would recommend as a signature dish of Hawker’s – this would definitely be it!
The Fuzhou Tofu is a dish that I love personally because of its soft and silky texture. The gravy is made of minced pork and pork lard (no, it’s not as disgusting as you think it is!! really!). It’s tasty, but it might not sit too well with everyone. It scores well with me, and if my opinion means anything, this should be something to be ordered!
Then the dish that had everyone raving on… from the first person I had recommended this dish to, to the last person who had the first try to this dish… the ever-famous marmite chicken was very very very well received!! Yes, there is marmite in it, but you can only taste it quite subtly. The beauty of this dish is really in its external crisp and internal tenderness of the chicken. A must-try!!
Our daily serving of vegetables came from sambal kangkong. A typical asian dish, this has a special kind of chilli which is a blend of dried shrimps and chilli, giving it a rather unique taste just by itself. Kang Kong is a type of asian vegetable that was never really grown locally until quite recently – thus the increasing number of restaurants serving this dish. Do note that this is seasonal and is usually more abundant during the summer months. This is the best sambal kangkong I have tasted here in Perth among the many restaurants that I have been to that serve this dish. However, the sambal might not be a pleaser to some, so if you’re a risk taker, then I say, “go for it!!!”.
Last but not least, the dessert! We were all too stuffed by then but I had really wanted the gang to try out the Singapore/M’sian local dessert called ice kacang, which is really a mountain of ice (literally) covering some jelly, lychee, beans, corn and some other delicious ingredients. The first response from the first time tryers, “strange… very strange…” but I saw the same people feeding themselves spoon after spoon. Strange but good I’d say!!
Ambience is quite typical of any Asian restaurant – gets loud as the night passes by, and because of how crowded it gets over the weekend, you might have to make it a quick meal especially when you go during peak hour.
Service is prompt, and the waitresses know the dishes really well, able to recommend the popular dishes so that customers don’t get too disappointed. The overall quality of the service can be improved (as with every other asian restaurant, to be frank), but I would rate it better than average for an asian joint!
Overall, this is a great place to dig in and stuff your face with good typical Singaporean/M’sian dishes, but just be sure to BYO booze if you do want to drink.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Rating by: S.T.
Telephone: (08) 9328 9668
Address: U17/66 Roe Street, Northbridge