When Luan texted me about going to Street Feast’s Hawker House this weekend, I was more than happy to be aaallll over it! I missed out on the chance to go the last time round, but this time, Hawker House is back for another 10 week run and I couldn’t wait to get my greedy hands on the delicious bites on offer. Fittingly for an East London location, it was taking place inside a warehouse a short walk away from Cambridge Heath station- take that Winter!
We got there bang on the dot at 5pm, our hands were stamped and in we went to plot our food tasting map! In fact, we were so on time, a few vendors were still prepping their food. The first on my hit list was Breddos Tacos with their 10 hour chipotle-beef short rib or Crunchy Nut fried chicken tacos. We got one of each taco, walked up the rickety wooden steps onto a mezzanine seating area- ducking under pipes to get to a chair- and shared the goods. The short rib was tender and juicy, and the Crunchy Nut fried chicken…well…its covered in Crunchy Nut, you know it is going to be GOOD. I’ve heard good things about Breddos fish tacos- maybe I’ll be lucky next time! From our perch above, we people watched over the Whisky Bar. By then a small queue was forming at Yum Bun– it was time to duck and dive down the wood steps to get our hands on a fluffy Hirata bun!
Part of the fun was sitting in the mezzanine areas built on top of the stalls, lit by candle light, munching on our food. Yum Bun was worth the small wait. The steamed buns were soft but not sticky, with just enough hoi sin sauce so as not to be overbearing, the cucumber crisp and fresh and the meat fillings were insanely tasty! I would happily eat two all to myself. And queue for more.
By then, we were ready for some sweet treats. Strangely, there was only one stall selling anything sweet and that was from You Doughnut! We bought 5 to share- hot little doughnuts, straight out of the fryer, dusted in vanilla sugar, drizzled with warm salted caramel sauce and a handful of chopped pecans. It was ridiculous. We were scraping the bottom for leftover caramel sauce. I want more! I would have called it a night there, but the menu from Cheeky Italian caught my eye and I found myself queuing up for a bowl of rabbit ragu with fusilli pasta.
I’ve never tried rabbit before, but my Dad often told stories about eating rabbit when he was little. So I gave it a go! The meat had been slow cooked and was meltingly tender. I watched as the chef quickly tossed the pasta and ragu in a hot pan and then sprinkled a good dollop of parmesan and parsley on top- bosh, done! I think the magic ingredient was the parsley, it really complimented the meat. If anyone asks me what rabbit tastes like, I can only give them the same frustrating answer my Dad had- rabbit tastes like rabbit!
There is plenty of seating, it’s family friendly (if you go early enough) and you’ll be spoilt for choice drinks-wise. There was a separate wine bar, a whisky bar, the Hot Bar and lastly- the Rotary Bar, that had also set up shop (if they’re anything like the restaurant, their cocktails will be pint sized!) But being Dry January and all, I didn’t try anything. The Hot Buttered Rum at the Hot Bar did sound tempting, though heart attack inducing!
Interested in giving it a go? Hawker House is here for the next 2 months, I can’t recommend it enough! (please eat ALL the doughnuts for me)