Tucked away in the little alley of what is known as “Chinatown” in Perth, who would have thought that this place actually whips up some pretty good dishes.
First things first. Hawker’s Cuisine, just like all the other restaurants in this little Chinatown alley, is open for dinner only. 5:30pm til late. And by late they mean until the wee hours of the morning (3am or even later, I think) perfect for those nocturnal beings.
My cousin who has dined here before has recommended the “Marmite Chicken” and for weeks we have been trying to come here to try it out but we kept forgetting that this place only serves dinner and supper and early brekkie. So finally we managed to drop by early one Sunday evening. Oh by the way, bookings are essential! We arrived early enough for them to give us a table for 8 people. A few minutes later we could’ve been waiting for hours.
Their menu has over 100+ dishes and that obviously made it hard to decide which dishes to order. Of course we had to try the “Marmite Chicken” which was unusually good. I don’t like vegemite or marmite or any other yeast extract spreads for that matter but this was a good “special” sauce for the deep fried chicken. It has a sweet taste to it.
Also on the table were:
”Special Fried Rice”, a very taste fried rice with salted fish;
”Hawker’s Fried Rice Vermicelli”, which is good just because anything that involves rice vermicelli is good enough for me;
“Jellyfish Salad”, a cold dish of jellyfish, chicken strips and vegetables. A little bit of chili would have definitely made this dish even better. Also there wasnt enough jellyfish in it;
“Steamed Toothfish with Soy Sauce”, tender toothfish cooked perfectly with a salty-sweet soy sauce;
“Eggplant with Salted Fish”, this was a normal dish that I could easily prepare at home. Definitely not our favourite as this dish was barely touched that we had to bring it home. The eggplant skin was too hard so might as well peel the whole damn thing (although presentation wise this would be a no-no because the skin adds to the colour of the dish).
“Pork Spare Ribs with Lychee Sauce”, the only disappointment of the night. There was nothing special with this dish. Pork was over cooked making it hard and chewy, and the sauce? What lychee? I couldn’t taste where the lychee is.
And of course I had to have my own “Hot and Sour Soup”. In my opinion, every Chinese restaurant should be able to make hot and sour soup from scratch. This one here was definitely VERY hot and sour…just the way I like it. The serving size per one bowl was quite big and could easily be shared by 2 people so you’d have room to try other dishes. But if you served me this soup and a bowl of rice I would be 100% satisfied already.
Service here is really fast too. We waited for only about 10-15 minutes and all the dishes came out one after another. It helps to be early as the kitchen is not as busy. But even as I look over to the late comers’ table, I can see dishes on their tables shortly after they have ordered. I would definitely be back. One of my auntie’s only complaint — a tad too salty. Well that what you can expect from a Chinese restaurant. For me it was just right. A restaurant that serves bland food just does not go well with me.
My rating: 7/10