Specialising in South East Asian cuisine and situated on the Windsor end of Chapel Street, Hawker Hall is surrounded by some pretty tough competition. But luckily for Hawker Hall, it was able to hold its own. The venue itself is very similar to the others restaurants in the Lucas Group - cramped, noisy and crowded, but still managing to carry off an incredible buzz and a funky vibe.
To start with we shared the prawn and ginger dumplings with chilli and black bean sauce, and the yellow curry potato filled martabak with cucumber pickle. The dumplings were generously stuffed with juicy prawns and the black bean sauce was a clever compliment. And the martabak? Well martabak just so happens to be a favourite dish of mine, so I went into the dish with great expectations. Luckily these expectations were met as the roti encasing the parcels was buttery and flaky and the filling was well cooked and fragrantly spiced - a dish that definitely left you wanting for more.
For mains we shared the Portuguese devil chicken curry and the short beef ribs with oyster sauce, red chilli and coriander. The chicken curry came with a warning - real hot! And real hot it was. But despite the heat, the dish still managed to cleverly carry with it a real depth of flavour, and the chicken was perfectly cooked. The short beef ribs, however, were not cooked so perfectly. Whilst the flavours were definitely enchanting, the meat was unfortunately tough.
Whilst not hitting a home run on the food front just yet, the flavour combinations were spot on and Hawker Hall definitely has potential - I look forward to trying some of the other scrumptious looking items on their menu soon.