Japan

At Hawkers, the founders Kaleb Harrell, Allen Lo, Wayne Yung and Kin Ho – all traveled the world to curate a menu of handed-down family recipes and hand-picked popular street foods from all over Asia – Korea, China, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and Japan to be exact.  Today, all of the original founders are active in restaurant operations ranging from chefs to brand and operations managers.

Since the brand’s inception in 2011 with the Orlando – Mills 50 location, it has opened three additional Florida locations in Jacksonville, Neptune Beach, and St. Petersburg.  New locations are under construction and slated to open in Windermere (located in the Greater Orlando area) in November 2017 and in Atlanta’s Old Fourth Ward in March 2018, marking its expansion outside of Florida.  Four additional locations are slated to open throughout the Southeast in 2018.

The restaurant’s name is inspired by street vendors found throughout the streets of Asia known as hawkers.  They depend on locally grown ingredients to create dishes sold from mobile carts and stands.

“We are on a mission to disrupt the restaurant industry, and essentially redefine what it means to “eat Asian” in America.  People often ask me who our competition is, and I can’t come up with one–and, for us, that’s a positive thing.”

A place where sharing is not just caring, but the way to eat, Hawkers offers a fresh take on today’s Asian street-fare experience with dishes that are always made to order using local and imported ingredients.  Hawkers is considered a “local’s favorite” and has been featured in Delta SkyMagazine, Florida Trend and Orlando Magazine, and Food & Wine as Andrew Zimmern’s number one pick on his list of “12 Places to Stay, Eat & Shop in and Around Orlando.”

The tables are communal and are inlaid with newspaper to resemble the way street food is often served wrapped in newspaper from hawker stalls.

All Hawkers locations have a weekday happy hour and a wide selection of imported and local wine, beer, and saké.

The menu changes with the seasons and features house favorites such as Roti Canai and award-winning Pad Thai and more common items such as Yi Yi’s Chicken Dumplings and Miso Pork Belly Ramen.  The diverse menu offers options for various palates with vegetarian-friendly dishes, gluten-free and a variety of pescatarian offerings.

(Source credit: Hawkers Asian Street Fare)

We had the opportunity to try some of their new menu items + some classic dishes and we are so excited to share them all with you!

* indicates a new menu item.

*#dimsumcrunchyballs – shrimp, pork, crispy spring roll batter.  This is a traditional Chinese dish using ground up shrimp thrown across the table to get air pockets out, then coated with egg wash and shredded spring rolls wrapper, and finally fried and served with a hot oil-soy sauce.  It has a bounciness to it.

*Crispy Chicken Skin – Hawkers’ version of skewers that can be found in Asia cooked over coals.   They get all of the protein fat scrapped off, season it with Szechuan style seasoning, bake it in oven, then finish it over a grill burning charcoal.   This dish is suppose to be eaten with lime sprinkled over it to accentuate its smokey flavors.

*’Nam Nem Rolls – chilled rice wrap, fried rice paper, chicken sausage, lettuce, cucumber, basil, mint.  Nem in Vietnamese means sausage.  This dish is traditionally made with pork, however, they make theirs with chicken because less people eat pork.  The chicken is baked in the oven then finished on the grill.  The sauce is a Vietnamese vinaigrette consisting of fish sauce, Coco Rico, and red chilies.

*Singapore ‘Chili’ Crab – national dish of Singapore, soft-shelled crab, house-made chili garlic sauce, and fried bao bun.

*Tiger Salad– poached octopus, cilantro, carrots, green onions, celery, cucumber, rice wine vinaigrette, and lemon juice.  A light and refreshing salad.

Roti Canai – Malaysian flat bread served with a side of their signature curry.  Chef Allen Lo describes the bread as “if a croissant and pancake made a baby”.   He ate this dish every day growing up for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Wok-Fired Lettuce – shiitake mushrooms, red chilies, light hoisin soy sauce, lettuce.  This staple dish makes a great side dish with every meal.

Chicken Dumplings – hand-rolled in-house daily, wok-seared (pictured) or steamed.  Hawkers makes their dumplings at 7am every morning; it is the first thing they make.

Pad Thai – rice noodles, shrimp, chicken, eggs, scallions, bean sprouts.  Pad Thai is a staple dish in Asia.  At Hawkers, they let their sauce simmer for eight hours before serving it over the noodles.

Vietnamese Iced Coffee  – available in iced (pictured) or French drip.

Mocha Trio – Green tea, lychee colada, and Thai tea.  Made at the Mochidoki shop in New York.

Be sure to check out the launch of the new menu items this Wednesday, August 16, at a Hawkers near you!

Hawkers Asian Street Fare
1103 N Mills Ave
Orlando, FL 32803
(407) 237-0606

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Tokyo is one of my favorite cities in the world – it’s super clean, the people are super nice, and they are among the most food obsessed cultures I have ever encountered.

For my friends who are travelling to Tokyo, Japan, here are a list of favorite places to visit:

1 Tsukiji Fish Market

If you’ve seen the film Jiro Dreams of Sushi, you know what the Tsukiji Fish Market is – the epicenter of the sushi universe. Visit it while you still can – the market is moving to a new area in the next few years leaving the status of the original location in the air. Check out the cool stalls inside the market, but I don’t know if it is worth it waiting 6 hours for a seat at one of the sushi shops inside. There are plenty of great sushi shops and other market shops just north of the main market that has just as fresh sushi and ingredients. Get there early though as tourists can make it quite the burdensome trek.

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2 Shinjuku

This is one of Tokyo’s most bustling district with lots of shopping and food. Walk on the northeast and northwest sides. On the north east is the district known as Kabukicho – Tokyo’s very own red light district full of bars and other disreputable joints, including the infamous Robot restaurant dinner theatre made famous by Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown episode in Tokyo.

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3 Shibuya

Check out one of the world’s busiest walking intersections (made famous in the film Lost in Translation with Bill Murray) Shibuya 109 and 109 Men’s for youth fashion, Tokyu Hands for cool crafts, Hachiko the dog statue

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4 Tokyo’s Food Basements

All the Department Stores have them – the basement floor is like a supermarket on steroids. You can literally find almost every type of food here. My eyes glaze over. Each major rail station has them. Takashimaya, Mitsukoshi, Keio, Isetan are all just a few of the many. If you are looking for great restaurants, check the top floors as well – not your typical American mall food for sure. Even under the subway stations there are underground ramen dining areas.

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5 Asakusa – Sensoji Temple

I love the little streets that lead up to the temple full of snacks and cool gifts. There’s even a little cake shop that the royal princess of Japan is known to frequent. Get your fortune read at the temple.

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6 Harajuku / Omotesando / Yoyogi Park

Takeshita Dori is the street that Harajuku district is on – lots of stores for young girls and crepe shops, but I was not really interested in this area. The main road is Omotesando, covered in beautiful trees – go over to Kiddy Land – a 5 story toy store with a whole area for Studio Ghibli toys and more, and Oriental Bazaar for all your Japanese souvenir needs. If you have time, check out Yoyogi Park and Meiji Shrine – always interesting folks hanging out there on the weekends.

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For all food lovers visiting Tokyo, I highly recommend Yukari Sakamoto’s Food Sake Tokyo book, it is a great in depth read all about Tokyo’s food scene.

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Here are things you must eat while in Tokyo (more to come later):

  • Sushi – duh you’re in the epicenter of sushi.
  • Korean barbecue with Japanese Wagyu beef – Trust me your life will change.
  • Strawberry Mochi in Ginza if it’s in season
  • Izakaya – get the chicken skin teriyaki
  • Ramen – there’s a whole ramen street inside the main Tokyo Station – go grab some.
  • Gyudon – Beef Rice Bowls – pick one of the many options. You can’t go wrong, it’s so cheap.
  • Tempura, udon, curry katsu, katsu sandwiches, just eat everything.

I’m sure I missed something – what would you add to the list??

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This is a working post….what did we miss? comment below!

MAP of Hong Kong, Taipei, Osaka, Tokyo Eats and Sights

Hong Kong

Places to Eat
– Tsui Wah restaurant (theyre everywhere) – get the French Toast!!!
– Bee Chiang Hang – Beef jerky street food – also everywhere
– Dim Sum – Sam Hui Yaat or Maxim Palace Central or Tim Ho Wan
– Dessert shops – get the mango fruit snow tea or sago mango dessert
– Yat Lok – Roast Goose
– Mak’s Noodle Shops
– Kau Kee for Brisket

More great choices:
http://www.chowzter.com/fast-feasts/asia-pacific/Hong%20Kong
http://danielfooddiary.com/2014/07/25/hongkongfood/
http://www.theguardian.com/travel/2013/jan/21/top-10-hong-kong-speciality-restaurants
http://www.ladyironchef.com/tag/best-hong-kong-food/

Places to See
– Victoria’s Peak – top of HK
– Big Buddha at Lantau Island
– Temple Street Night Market
– Pacific Place mall
– Lan Kwai Fong – night time bohemian district

————————–
Taipei, Taiwan

Places to Eat
Din Tai Fung – Soup Dumplings
Yong Kang – Shaved Ice
Shin Yeh – Taiwanese
Beef Brisket noodles

Night Markets
Raohe Street Night Markets
Shihlin Night Market
Tonghua Night Market
Shida Night Market

Places to See
– Chiang Kai Shek Memorial
– Lungshan Temple
– Taipei 101
– Shi-Men Ting Youth shopping area
– Jiufen Old Street
– XiMending at Night
– ATT4Fun

——————-

Osaka, Japan

Things to Eat
– Okonomiyaki
– Takoyaki
– Kutsu karaage

Places to See
– Osaka Castle
– Dotonbori street food
– Osaka Aquarium
– Universal Studios Osaka
– Spa World
– Umeda Joypolis Sega

43 Things to do in Osaka

Kyoto
– Bike around town
– Kinkakuji Temple
– Fushimi Inari Tasha
– Gion geisha district
– Arashiyama Bamboo Forest

99 Things to do in Kyoto

Nara
– Nara Deer Park


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Tokyo, Japan

Places to Eat
– Tsukiji Fish Market
– Tokyo Station Ramen Street

Places to See
– Asakusa Temple
– Harajuku
– Ometesando
– Yoyogi Park
– Daikanyama, Shibuya, Nakameguro ebisu

101 Things to do in Tokyo

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