Hawker Chan in Melbourne is part of the Hawker Cinematic Universe with the first (and most popular movie) calling Singapore home. It shot to fame when it became the cheapest Michelin restaurant ever with its signature soya sauce chicken with rice costing $1.50 Singapore Dollars ($1.62 AUD).
I just ran into a newsagent to see what I could buy for $1.62
1x $1 Scratchie
1x dodgy bottle of water with no label on it (at least i think it’s water)
1.5x Snickers bars that had a best before date of two weeks ago.
This is my convoluted way of saying that Hawker Chan is high value, but is it high quality?
I feel like I need to clarify a bit further for the 6 people still reading my food blog in 2019 (Hi Mum, Sis, Suze and my devoted Russian fan club of 3); the soya sauce chicken isn’t $1.62 in the Melbourne store but still a very fiscally responsible $6.80. That’s cheap!
You get a nice quarter of soya sauce chicken, a small mountain of rice, peanuts and a slice of cucumber to cap things off.
We gotta start with the chicken right? This turned an owner of a small hawker store in Singapore into the toast of the culinary community.
I understand now. The sauce coating the chicken is the perfect blend of sweet, savoury and umami and enhances the natural chicken flavour. I was given breast meat which was a tad dry but my dining companions were given thighs and drums that were incredibly juicy.
The sauce enhances the rice to the point where you would be happy just having a bowl of it by itself with no accompanying dishes. In saying that, the sauce also goes really well with noodles (which Hawker Chan offers as well).
I love pork. Good gosh, I REALLY love pork.
The roast pork is layered well with the lean meat at the bottom, the fat in the middle and the all-important crackling up-top.
…to be perfectly transparent, I don’t care about lean meat. I care about the fat and skin up-top most and Hawker Chan passed with flying colours.
The BBQ pork (char siu to my Cantonese homies) was also really good. Sweet, charred and the right blend of fat and lean meat put Hawker Chan’s BBQ pork right up there with some of the best I’ve ever had.
Did I mention I really like pork?
I love chicken and have it regularly, but that’s just because I haven’t mastered cooking pork yet (my upcoming cookbook has virtually no pork recipes minus some things featuring bacon but more on that later).
I was pleasantly surprised at the ribs presented by Hawker Chan. Not surprised by the quality (which at this point I was expecting greatness) but I didn’t expect the ribs to have a kick to them. It’s like when you’re boxing with a friend and all of a sudden his mother kicks you in the face for hurting her baby.
The ribs are tender, saucy, spicy and go great with noodles. Can’t get better than that.
Even if you did get kicked in the face by your mate’s mum.
Here’s the TL;DR for everyone who was half expecting me to squeeze in a joke about hawking my wares:
- Hawker Chan is like the Chinese BBQ version of LeBron James in terms of being heavily scrutinised but always living up to the hype.
Hawker Chan, Melbourne CBD
157 Lonsdale Street
Open 7 Days: 10am – 10pm