Review: Toronto: Ossington Area: hawkerbar

hit it on a Thursday night around 7. had to sit at the bar for a few but was soon seated on a tree stump and was handed a cut-up wine box with a menu hand-written with a black sharpie. there was a nice buzz in the place with a diverse crowd…older, younger, daters and drinkers. Service was decent. he made recommendations when asked and explained the dishes he brought out.

must

the cucumber salad was the best thing on the menu. it was fresh, spicy and well-balanced.
the chili salt tofu was at the perfect temperature, had great contrast in both flavor and texture
the banana fritters are unorthadox but delicious.

Banana Fritter with Red Bean Ice Cream

maybe

the son-in-law eggs are a good idea, but i think you need to like their version of prik nam pla. i found it a bit too fishy which overpowered the egg. it may also be difficult for some with a mouth smaller than mine (which is very common) to follow the restaurant’s recommendation to eat the whole egg in one bite. cocktail and beer selection decent and an ok price.

mundane

i’m in agreement with a few other reviews of the laska soup. i found it one-dimensional and extremely rich. i can’t imgaine coming anywhere close to finishing the medium size i ordered.

my take

hawkerbar is a fresh, fun place along the same line as most of the new restaurant concepts in the area. many items succeed and they appear to be willing to try new things. laska should not be the signature dish. i would pop in but wouldn’t wait too long if there is a line. and be sure not to use captial letters or spaces or you may have to write out the new menu on a piece of cardboard 50 times after class.

Hawker Bar on Urbanspoon

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