The city has just doubled its Ho Jiaks: the Malaysian diner has opened a new restaurant on York Street in the CBD just behind the QVB. While the original Strathfield restaurant focused on hawker-style cuisine, and the Haymarket iteration followed up with an emphasis on the Penang-style food cooked by owner Junda Khoo’s grandmother, Ho Jiak Town Hall is all about modern Malaysian.

Khoo travelled to Malaysia to find inspiration for the dishes he’s serving alongside a 50-strong list of craft beers. “I want to show off more of Australia’s produce in a Malaysian cooking style,” he told Broadsheet in October. “It will be a lot of things I used to cook for myself in uni days.”

While the new Ho Jiak is currently in “soft launch” mode and keeping things low key, hoping to ramp up by Ramadan it’ll eventually host live music, serve fancy cocktails and have a late-night menu of noodles and barbeque. The space is almost twice the size of the original, and its bare brick walls are hung with neon signs.

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Khoo has been teasing dishes such as har mee (prawn noodle soup) “bombs”, Hainanese chicken, a Malaysian take on salt-and-pepper squid, and lemongrass pippies. Ho Jiak Town Hall will also stock live perch and barramundi, which will be steamed and served whole.

He says he hopes the restaurant will be equally popular late in the evening as at the start, and be filled with people who work in hospitality coming for a post-shift snack. The menu will change to wallet-friendly comfort dishes between 10pm and 2am.

Ho Jiak Town Hall is now open at 125 York Street, Sydney.