Photo courtesy of Hawkers
Roti canai is an absolute must when visiting Hawkers Asian Street Fare. We won't judge you if you drink the dipping sauce after.
Hawkers Asian Street Fare has established itself as a mainstay in the Mills 50 district, thanks to chef Allen Lo, whose Malay heritage blessed us with curry laksa and char kway teow. Thank you, chef.
Today, Hawkers debuts some new menu items — some push the envelope and some are simply excellent twists on classic Asian specialties. We got to preview some of these new small plates and admittedly, we liked just about all of them. Here's a run-down of what you can expect for lunch and dinner tonight.
1. Crispy Chicken Skin Skewers
Straight-up foodie bait, ya'll. Some might turn their noses up at these little morsels of crispy, fatty, unctuous perfection, but we'll just say "pass me another." Lo dusts this skewer in a special Sichuan seasoning that sticks perfectly to the rendered fat.
2. Tiger Salad
If you're not into cilantro, you're not going to dig this one. We love it, so thumbs-up from us. It's a bright, refreshing celery and cilantro blend topped with poached octopus slices and drizzled with rice wine vinaigrette. If you're eating low-cal and don't want to sacrifice on flavor or sophistication, this is a good choice.
3. Nam Nem Rolls
There's no dearth of places to find summer rolls to the left and the right of Hawkers, but you won't find any like these. They're filled with a grilled chicken sausage (fabulously succulent) and fried rice noodles for a little extra crunch. We were totally into the smoky flavors the grilling imparts.
Yes, that is the actual name, and TBH, minus the fun Millennial moniker, it wasn't our favorite. But there's potential there. These are a riff on a dim-sum favorite — shrimp paste rolled in rice noodles and fried. The interior shrimp paste was flavorful and delicious, but that outer layer was better left on the plate. Also, awkwardly large. Knife recommended.
5. Singapore Spicy Crab
This is one we'll go back to again and again. In fact, we might go today for lunch (and take one to-go for breakfast tomorrow morning). A soft-shell crab is deep fried and topped with spicy tomato sauce thickened with egg. It's served with a fried bao for mopping up all the sauce after you've pulled apart every last piece of that crab. Winner winner crab dinner.