Thursday, April 09, 2015

COMFORTING CHOICES AT HAWK & FISH

One doesn't go to a resto just for its kick-ass sambal but Hawk&Fish may just draw chilli fiends there for that reason. It's a casual eatery that strives to be one up from your local chap farn (economical rice) set-up - the resto's clean, air-cond and the local fare pricing is just a few ringgit more of what you'd pay at kopitiams.
 
We love the pub grub fare on the menu - they're perfect for Happy Hours when you can graze without overdoing it. The mod industrial concrete finishing and exposed ceiling sets the stage for wire-structured chairs and round glass tables coupled with some wooden dining furniture.
The first culinary chart-topper that bowled us over is The Pound Pork Balls (RM18, 3 pcs) - wickedly delish, oversized hand-made and fried minced pork balls with melted, stretchy mozzarella oozing out of them.
Wrapped in thin chive omelette and streaky bacon, you'd go barking mad over the Dogs In A Blanket...and Quilt (RM25) - devilishly scrumptious, chunky pieces of thick sausage enrobed in fluffy omelette AND crispy bacon strips. Trust me, the smoky-brininess and mellow oniony-sweetness meld so beautifully together, it's hard not to wax lyrical over it.
An assertive zingy hotness ensures the house speciality of Spicy Wings (RM20, 6 pcs) fly high with diners; a commendable Asian take on the Western classic of Buffalo wings.
Good wok hei breaths lively charred accent into the Char Kway Teow (RM15) here. The flat rice noodles take the fiery heat of the house sambal to heart, regaling one's palate with fiesty smoky hotness. Prawns, squid and beansprouts help to ramp up the deliciousness further. Diners can also opt to have the whole works  such as fried chicken wings (RM6) or a sunny-side up egg (RM2) thrown into the equation.
Fried rice fans would have much to cheer and chew on at this eatery. The Homespun Fried Rice (RM20) comes in three versions - spicy Pound special, Thai- or Chinese-style. Don't let its pared-down appearance fool you. Chilli fiends would find their tastebuds set alight by the unabashedly robust nuance especially for the hot ones; render to tongue-searing heights by the insanely hot house sambal. Besides chopped bacon bits (hurrah!), supporting cast for the rice dish includes fried chicken wings, a fried egg and more sambal.
Uncle Chee - a long-time TTDI resident and cook - does tour of duty for lunch with his range of chap farn staples. He's also instrumental for the presence of signature specialities such as Dry Style Bak Kut Teh (RM15), Ancestral Original BKT (RM15) and Herbal Wine Chicken (RM15) at Hawk&Fish.
Personally, I'd plump for wong jau gai (herbal wine chicken) any day. Mildly sweet with a warm boozy aftertaste, the chook with ginger, red dates and fresh coriander will give you a nice heady buzz. A comforting tummy warmer that should goes best with plain rice.
Admittedly, the hardcore Hokkien in me is ambivalent about the Dry Style BKT. Darkened by lashing of dark soya sauce and flavoured by local herbs and spices, the porky dish is agreeable. I guess I couldn't get pass that it looks more like tau eu bak - braised pork in dark soya sauce. But any urban singleton or small nuclear family who hankers for home-style offerings, this heirloom recipe of Uncle Chee's should satisfy familial food cravings.
Soup lovers would probably prefer Uncle Chee's Ancestral BKT as the milieu of pork, button mushroom, enoki, beancurd puffs and innards come bubbling hot in a claypot of herbal broth. Die-hard BKT fans may find the soup too mild for liking but as the owners tell us, it's good enough to assuage sudden BKT cravings especially when one can't run to Klang on a mere whim.
The only dish that didn't measure up during our visit was Fish & Chips (red snapper RM30, dory RM20). We found the fish fillet somewhat tough and leathery...it could have been a one-off hiccup so fans of this British classic should try this house speciality and judge for themselves.
Dessert is simple - you can try crisp Apple Pie that looks disconcertingly like those from a famous fast-food chain. 
Hawk&Fish is worth checking out - it's a viable alternative especially for lunch when you rather eschew fast-food or be hot and bothered eating at local kopitiams.

For reservations, call Hawk & Fish, hp no: 011-2627 6544 / tel: 03-7732 2328. The outlet is at 50 Jalan Tun Mohd Fuad 1, Taman Tun Dr Ismail, Kuala Lumpur. Business hours: Mon-Sat 11am-3pm; 6pm-11pm. Closed on Sunday.

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