Hawkers is an Asian restaurant located in the Mills 50 district of Orlando. The restaurant is a tribute to the Hawkers that roam the streets of Asia peddling their unique dishes. Their small plate menu includes inspiration from China, Japan, Thailand and Malaysia. So for those of us that haven’t had the chance to travel around the world yet Hawkers is like a little tour of Asia for your belly.
The service has been stellar; Their servers are knowledgeable about the food menu, but more importantly the craft beer menu. We’ve gotten some great recommendations and haven’t been disappointed yet. It would be great if they could get some stuff on tap and not just in bottles but it seems like it might be a space constraint given how small the bar is. It’s a calm and relatively quiet which makes it a great place for catching up with friends or just hanging out with some good food and good craft beer.
This is a fried flat bread – kind of like a pancake but not sweet – with a spicy curry dipping sauce. I’d suggest ordering the extra peice of bread because there’s so much sauce and its so addicting. The spice can build up on you if you eat too fast. Its a great mix of textures with the crispy fried bread and the creamy sauce.
Summer Rolls “Goi Cuon”
These are a roll wrapped in rice flour paper with mint, carrot, bean sports and cilantro. They come with an excellent peanut dipping sauce (quite honestly would just eat the dipping sauce with a spoon if it were culturally appropriate). I think this is a great companion to anything spicy because you get a really fresh cool crunch with a sweet dipping sauce thats a really great cool down in between bites of pad thai or curry.
South Asia Curry (shrimp)
A great classic curry that hits all the right notes on your pallette. I’d highly recommend getting a bowl of rice to go with it (that might just be my own habit but I like rice with it). Its got a great level of heat and a good mix of vegetables (you can add in a variety of meat or tofu).
Curry Duck Noodles
This is egg noodles stir fried with vegetables and roasted duck. This is one of our favorites (in the words of Tracy Jordan we’d like to take it out back behind the Wendy’s and get it pregnant). The heat level is just right, a nice burn without it burning your face off. And the egg noodles and still crispy vegetables cut the spicy and mix the textures into a really great dish.
Five Spice Fish Tacos
I don’t know who could complain about a perfectly fried flaky piece of fish coated in five spice but I feel like I could mount a pretty good defense. They’re topped with a refreshing pico di gallo and are just delicious. There’s a great crunch from the outside of the fish and the five spice is perfect and hits everyone one of your taste buds.
Satay Chicken Tacos
These were pretty good but to be honest I think I ruined them for myself because I dumped the Satay sauce all over them before I tasted it. That sauce has quite a kick and my mouth was burning, my nose was running and I was tearing up a bit. That said Josh (who likes things a lot spicier than me) loved them and was licking the plate.
Curry Mashed Potatoes
Here we have a dish where it’s important to think about the portion size (because a “small plate” of mashed potatoes is still a LOT of mashed potatoes). They are delicious, creamy, and spicy, with a somewhat strong curry gravy. However, keep in mind this is best shared amongst 2 or more people. Don’t worry, there will be plenty to go around. But they are worth passing around the table.
Hawkers’ Pad Thai is the classic combination of rice noodles, chicken, eggs, bean sports, carrots and chili pepper. You don’t select the heat level like you do a lot of other Thai places but thats fine with me because I think Hawkers does a really good job balancing the heat with the other flavors in all of their dishes.