Hawkers Asian Street Fare Gives A Taste of Asia
by Ashley Jones
Last night, I went to Asia. I was in another world as soon as I stepped through the threshold of Hawkers Asian Street Fare (1103 North Mills Avenue, 407-237-0606, , HawkersStreetFare.com), a new Orlando favorite dining spot that serves up the flavors of Asia’s tasty street foods under one roof.
Surrounded by walls accented by metal sheets sitting on a high stool tall table with laminated Chinese newspapers, I felt like I was deep in a Shanghai ally. A true feeling of being in the streets of Asia as waiters brought around bite size portions from China, Korea, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam to name a few of the countries to our table.
Street food vendors of towns and cities all over Asia have been cranking out amazing bite size food that foodies have had to seek out as they remained in the tight allies of Chinatown, Little Vietnam and other ethnocentric neighborhoods until recent years.
For my first course, I had to go with the potstickers – they are one of my favorites! I personally prefer to order mine steamed, but you can also get them deep fried. I have tried many potstickers in Orlando. There are very few places where you can get them this good for less than $5 bucks. I must say that these are the best in town! and the best choice to kick off your meal.
I absolutely fell in love with the Roti Canai, a soft, rich, buttery Malaysian flatbread. It came with a small bowl of curry dipping sauce that had a few chunks of meat and which I liked despite not being a huge curry fan. For those of you who just can’t get enough, you can order additional flatbread for only $1.50 each!
I’m a huge fan of Pad Thai. I must admit that Hawkers has one of the best I have ever tried! The dish is quite spicy, so if your pallet is sensitive, I would request this dish to be made mild. Luckily the portion of this dish is on the larger side, so hopefully you’ll be able to take home the rest and enjoy these flavors for days.
Still, that didn’t compare to Hawkers signature dish, the Stir Fry Udon. This is the absolute BEST thing on their menu! A bowl full of thick udon noodles that are blenched, and then lastly stir fried with chicken, eggs and vegetables in a dark soy-based sauce. After indulging into this dish, I now know why they say it is the most popular and most-ordered out of all the other dishes on the menu.
These small bite size portions – similar to dim sum and tapas – are ideal for small meals or sharing a feast with friends and family. I even have enough leftovers for lunch.
Yes, in many restaurants, small portions add up into a big bill at the end, but surprisingly Hawkers multiple dishes didn’t break the bank.
The food came at an Asian price that hit the right spot in my stomach and purse. That’s a win-win!
The ally-like feel gave the restaurant a romantic air, not just a foreign feeling, but contrasted the warehouse vibe by providing nooks for an intimate setting designed for a fun and romantic date and larger spaces big enough to meet a group of friends for lunch or an after work drink.
The small bar features an impressive beer and alcohol selection – some of the beers even come from the local Orlando Brewing Company!
All in all, there is something for everyone at Hawkers. Most locals have probably already discovered this hot spot, judging by the crowd. It’s definitely not a spot to miss if you are visiting Orlando. I will definitely go back, and anyone that has the time to check out this place should do so now!
THE DIRTY DISH
TYPE OF RESTAURANT: Asian
RATING: 4 = black
(0 = fair – 5 excellent)
AMBIANCE: I felt like I was deep in a Shanghai ally. A true feeling of being in the streets of Asia as waiters brought around bite size portions from China, Korea, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam to name a few of the countries to our table.
SCENE:It’s definitely not a spot to miss. The ally-like feel gave the restaurant a romantic air, not just a foreign feeling. It’s designed for a fun and romantic date but big enough to meet a group of friends for lunch or an after work drink.
SERVICE: Our waiters were in the spirit serving dishes fast and furious with a playful attitude adding to the atmosphere.
NOISE LEVEL: Expect it to be noisy like being on the streets of Asia, but there are nooks to duck into to enjoy an intimate meal.
RECOMMENDED DISHES: Don’t pass up Hawkers signature dish, the Stir Fry Udon, but also check out the Roti Canai or the Pad Thai.
SIP: The small bar features an impressive beer and alcohol selection – some of the beers even come from the local Orlando Brewing Company!
CHECK, PLEASE: $$ = $10 – $20
(price of average dinner/lunch/breakfast/brunch bill for an individual dinner)
THE EAT: The food came at an Asian price that hit the right spot in my stomach and purse. That’s a win-win!
WORTH THE NIGHT OUT?: This was delicious!
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