11.02.2012

Hawker Bar


 Hawker Bar pays homage to Singapore style street 'hawker' food with it's own rustic and Western twist to it.  A team of super friends including the owners of one of my very favourite establishments, Poutini's, are behind this intimate resto located on the trendy Ossington strip and have opened my eyes and taste buds to the versatile sweet, sour and spicy flavours of Singapore cuisine.The appetizers we sampled are must haves at Hawker.The Chilli Salt tofu were little deep fried tofu cubes that were lightly dusted with chilli salt and refreshing lime were a good bite size in your mouth with a nice pop of flavour and crunch.  
Additionally the Singapore chicken wings are good enough for just a savoury snack or to wet your pallet for your meal.   They were salty but sweet and a hint of spice, wet enough but dry and not too too messy - my kind of wings.  We fought over the last one in our group of four. 

For mains, we sample a number of dishes on the menus which were made out of cardboard - a nice touch to the modesty of street culture. 
The first dish that came out was their version of the Hainanese Chicken rice.  I grew up on poached chicken so I was in love.  The only complaint is I adore dark meat and it was only served with white meat.  The chicken was served with 3 different sauces (chilli, soy and ginger) and the trick to this dish is to experiment and mix the sauces with the chicken to create different combinations of flavour.  My recommendation is to pair the chicken with ginger and a hint of the chilli!
We also sampled the 'singapore style' noodles - the flavours were unlike any Asian noodle dish that I have had, it was complex and heavy but light all the while being a delicious addition to our meal.  
We had to try Hawker's version of the popular Singapore dish - the Laksa Lemak which is a thick and rich coconut curry soup with yellow rice noodles, fresh snow peas, egg plant, red pepper and tofu puffs all mixed into it.  Our portion size was definitely large enough to share with the four of us and then some.  It was creamy and tart with good texture from the fresh ingredients and a surprise runny egg which was a nice bonus.
Finally we tried their sting ray.  I have never been a huge fan of sting ray but the server convinced me that it would taste as rich and tender as scallops and right he was!  It was really flaky and light however there was too much sting and not enough ray referring to the number of long bones in the sting ray so be very careful when eating.
Our bellies were quite full of Hawker style food but also cocktails as we drank our way through their creative drink menu as well but we were convinced again by our server to attempt dessert which were their banana fritters.  Came to our table bright green, served with red bean ice cream, were simply delectable and a perfect way to end our evening.

What a good introduction to the flavours of Singapore!   This is a great spot for a new type of Asian cuisine and would highly recommend a visit!
**** stars
Hawker Bar
64 Ossington Avenue
Neighbourhoods: Ossington Strip, Trinity Bellwoods, Beaconsfield Village
(647) 343-4698



Hawker Bar on Urbanspoon

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