A thread of nostalgia runs through the Bob Hawke Beer & Leisure Centre in Sydney’s inner west. It’s the HQ of Hawke’s Brewing Co, which was co-founded by the former PM himself before his death in 2019, and the venue channels the big man’s heyday via wood-panelled walls, a pool room that’s also a Hawke museum, and, naturally, a retro Aussie-Chinese restaurant, Lucky Prawn.

Since the venue opened in 2022, it’s drawn crowds for its beer, but also for the food that’s pumped out of Lucky Prawn’s kitchen (which is crowned with a 120-kilogram golden prawn) – think san choy bow, sweet-and-sour pork and fried rice. And, like any retro Aussie-Chinese restaurant worth its prawn crackers, it does a bang-up prawn toast. It’s ginger-y, crispy and topped with a crust of sesame seeds. And now, to mark the brewery’s Lunar New Year celebrations, we have the recipe. It’s an ace match for Hawke’s new limited-edition rice lager, launched for LNY.

Along with the new beer, Hawke’s is ringing in the year of the dragon with lion dancers (February 10 at 7pm and February 11 at 2pm) and a yum cha brunch on February 11, as well as $10 pints for those born in the year of the dragon.

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Lucky Prawn’s prawn toast

Makes 10 slices
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes

1kg raw prawn meat, finely chopped
50g green shallots, finely sliced
25g minced ginger
1 egg white
1 tbsp fine salt
10 slices soft white bread
250g untoasted sesame seeds
Oil, for frying

Mix prawns, shallots, ginger, egg and salt in a bowl. Spread the mixture evenly across 10 slices of bread, ensuring it goes all the way to the edges. You want the prawn mixture even across the face of the bread, no mountains in the middle of the slice.

Coat the prawn mixture with sesame seeds, giving them a little push into the mixture so they stick.

Preheat a heavy-based pot with a couple of centimetres of oil. Once the oil reaches 165°C, place toast in one piece at a time, cook until golden brown, then turn over. Once both sides have the desired colour, leave to sit on absorbent paper and repeat with the next slice.

Cut into triangles and serve with your favourite dipping sauce.