Opening at the end of last year, Hawker Lane in Chatswood’s Westfield is designed to emulate the Asian street markets experience, with a variety of vendors showcasing food from different parts of Asia.
Here’s a rundown of the sampling of a dish (or two) from some of these stalls.
Wok Fry Meat & Vege from Mao Cai:
Description: Beef slices and tripe, quail eggs, luncheon meat, blood tofu, garlic, chilli, vegetables served with a bowl of rice.
Verdict: It’s very strong on spices and quite hot, especially with the whole dried chillis, cloves of garlic, and the fact that everything is soaked in chilli oil. Not really my cup of tea.
Char Kuay Teow from Jim’s Malaysia:
Description: Fried rice noodles with bean sprouts, lup cheong, egg and fishballs served with a dollop of sambal.
Verdict: Good wok-fried aroma and char. Not the best CKT I’ve had, but a decent effort.
Lamb & Cumin skewers from Lamb & Cumin:
Description: Lamb and cumin skewers!
Verdict: Good hit of cumin, but the lamb was chewy and didn’t have enough charring from the bbq. Granted, they were pretty busy when I went.
Chicken nuggets from Cheers Cut:
Description: Deep fried chicken pieces in batter.
Verdict: These were more like popcorn chicken than chicken nuggets, but that’s not really a complaint. The meat was juicy and the batter light and crunchy. Not much more you could ask for in fried chicken.
Spicy Cumin Lamb Ripped Noodles & Braised Pork Belly Mo Burger from Noodle Warriors:
Description: Rice noodles with vegetables and lamb in a cumin sauce, and a pork belly bao-like burger.
Verdict: The noodles themselves were really nice, and they were cooked with still a bit of bite to them. The sauce became a little soupy and watery at the bottom of the bowl, but the taste of cumin did permeate throughout dish. The burger though nothing special, was good, with tender pieces of pork belly.
Signature Dac Biet 3 Style Beef Pho from Madame Nhu:
Description: Beef slices, beef brisket and beef balls with rice noodles in a clear beef broth.
Verdict: The clarity and depth of flavour of the broth was very good and there were generous amounts of beef and bean sprouts. I was quite surprised…finally some decent pho in Chatswood!
Pad See Ew from Nahm Jimm:
Description: Rice noodles fried with chicken, eggs and Chinese broccoli.
Verdict: Had a nice wok-fried aroma, but flavour-wise was little salty and had a tad too much pepper.
Ramen Burger with Wagyu Beef from One Tea Grill:
Description: Wagyu beef patty with creamy corn in mayonnaise and lettuce, in between yakisoba “buns”.
Verdict: My mind was trying to decipher whether I was eating a burger, or having yakisoba – it was mind boggling, but it actually worked! The flavours married well together and the beef was really juicy and tender. The only dilemma is figure out how you’re going to eat it…
Chicken Karaage Deluxe Bento & Mitarashi Dango from Makanai Ramen Noodle House:
Description: The Deluxe Bento came with pieces of chicken karaage, tempura prawns and assorted vegetables, corn salad, rice and miso soup. A side of mitarashi dango was also ordered.
Verdict: The tempura was nice with a light batter. The chicken karaage was good, though a little dry. The mitarashi dango was a disappointment as it was straight from the fridge and gluggy. Next time, I’ll give the ramen a go.
Lychee Oolong Tea with Aloe Vera from Gong Cha:
Description: Something to quench your thirst (and the chilli) with.
Verdict: The lychee oolong tea is one of their top teas and it lived up to that reputation. The lychee flavour in the tea was prominent and the juicy aloe vera cubes made it even more refreshing.
Right next door to Hawker Lane is Aqua S, an ice cream franchise. Apart from their signature sea salt flavour, their flavours vary fortnightly. It’s a great place to stop by for some dessert.
Update after a re-visit to Hawker Lane: we add the recently opened Dumplings & Co to the list.
Description: Pan-fried pork buns & Pork and Crab Dumplings
Verdict: Good dumplings, great filling especially in the pork and crab dumplings. Still, you can get dumplings as good (and for better value) at New Shanghai, just up the road in Lemon Grove.