Before Aussie-Malaysian pals Julian Lee, Alan Au, and Clement Lee came onto the dining scene in 2006 with a Chinatown market stall dedicated to roti canai, Sydneysiders were hard-pressed to find authentic Malaysian street food in the city. Those humble beginnings evolved into Mamak, a restaurant with queues out the door every day. Hawker is the second venture from this team. And this time the focus is on Malaysian-Chinese cuisine – specifically noodles.
The space recreates the buzzing environment of a Malaysian hawker centre (an open-air food court) using timber stools instead of plastic chairs and high ceilings to give it that airy vibe.
Customers can tuck into a rarely spotted dish of grilled stingray and char koay chow the way it’s served in Penang, using the right spice levels and cockles instead of the more mainstream chicken substitute. If Hawker proves anything, it’s that there’s no replacement for authenticity.