J and I have been on a bit of a Malaysian food kick recently. All due to one place – Hawkers Delight, located at the Station Street Markets in Subiaco.
It’s hard to talk about Malaysian food without thinking of Char Kuey Teow. Hawkers Delight tick all the boxes with their version of this popular hawker dish.
Fat prawns, sliced lup cheong (Chinese sausage), garlic chives and fat bean sprouts are tumbled together with flat rice noodles and bright yellow strands of egg.
It’s spicy and heady with the essential flavour that only comes from being cooked over a searing hot wok. Don’t worry if you’re not a chili hero – you can choose from mild, medium, hot or searing when you order! :)
The most outstanding part? Fried lard cubes. The crunchy, rich, evil-yet-delectable little pieces of goodness that takes your standard Char Kuey Teow to truly authentic heights.
Another option of course, is the equally popular Chai Tow Kuey, if you’re not in the mood for protein with your carbs.
Chai Tow Kuey uses cubed radish cake in place of the noodles, which are quickly fried in a searing wok with chives, bean sprouts, dark soy, chili and egg.
My favourite dish to order at Hawkers Delight is, without a doubt, their fragrant, totally authentic, Nasi Lemak.
I don’t think I’ve ever met a Malaysian who doesn’t have a soft spot for this, the national dish, and when you taste the Nasi Lemak on offer here, it’s no wonder why.
The rice is rich from the flavour of coconut milk, the odd shred of ginger, and I’m guessing the necessary piece of knotted Pandan for added aroma.
It comes served with the traditional partners: half a hard boiled egg, crunchy Ikan Bilis (the tiny fried fish, served whole) and peanuts, and sliced cold cucumber. Don’t forget the generous dollop of spicy, Belacan rich sambal, and my favourite part – the super crispy fried chicken wing!
It’s a good idea to get your wriggle on, if you’re planning on ordering the fantastic Nasi Lemak at Hawkers Delight. Their crispy fried chicken is very popular (as a snack, and as part of their Nasi Lemak), and sells out quickly.
But if you happen to miss out, don’t despair! The alternative protein option happens to be some of some of the best Malaysian chicken curry I’ve ever had in Perth (that wasn’t cooked by my Mum, or any of my aunties!)
J and I love the sambal here. I wonder whether we could convince them to bottle it and sell it? :)
Another special item on the menu which is worth checking out is the Loh Mai Kai (chicken sticky rice), which features tender pieces of chicken, sweet-salty slices of Chinese sausage (lup cheong) and juicy Chinese mushrooms (dried shiitake) over fragrant, garlicky glutinous rice.
Loh Mai Kai is a steamed in a Chinese soup bowl (or similar), and comes plated with all the protein goodies on top. It’s a filling, satisfying dish that’s great at any time of day – in fact, for the Chews, Loh Mai Kai was often a breakfast special my late grandma would make.
Now that she’s no longer with us, I’m so excited to have found a source of one of my childhood favourites on this side of town!
And if I’m ever in the mood for a late weekend breakkie – Hawkers have it covered, as they’re open early from 9.00am.
After all your chili, if you’re keen for a drink, Hawkers Delight also sell a range of Malaysian favourites, including Teh Tarik, Barley Water, Soya Bean Milk and Cendol. In fact, their Barley Water has become a ‘must drink’ for J and I whenever we visit the Subi markets – whether we’re eating or not!