THE cyclist clad in yellow lycra rushed up to the counter, his cleats tapping out a rhythm Sammy Davis junior would have been proud of.
“Now that’s a different sort of fast food,” I thought.
“I always order the kway teow,” the cyclist tells the Voice during his short wait.
“We’ve never eaten in, but I always stop in on my way home—my wife loves the laksa.”
The decor at Mr Hawker is about as low key as it gets, and I doubt it’s changed since it was the Yip Kee back in the day.
It’s self-service cutlery, and the adjacent row of sauces have handwritten notes asking customers not to take more than they need.
I heeded this sensible advice and the modest spoonful of sweet chilli sauce I plopped into my bowl was plenty.
Mr Hawker, on Guildford Road, prides itself on its Malaysian street food, serving shredded chicken porridge and braised chicken feet and mushroom ($6), and also some interesting Aussie fusion dishes, including ribs in Marmite sauce ($12).
But for me Malaysian street food is kway teow, especially the Penang-style version.
True to its roots, Mr Hawker’s kway teow was ridiculously cheap ($12.90), and full of flavour, with a mountain of crunchy broccoli.
As requested the chilli quotient was just right, not too hot, not too mild and the flat noodles were an oily delight.
The pot of chinese tea I washed my meal down with was not only very good, it was super cheap, costing only $1.
I’d ordered fish curry ($18.80) and steamed vegetables with garlic ($11.80) to take home.
The waiter kindly brought the fish and curry sauce in separate containers to keep the batter from going soggy, and I couldn’t resist trying a piece.
I reckon I’m onto something as the combination of crisp batter and sweet, firm fish with noodles was terrific.
The curry sauce was thick and flavoursome, with a liberal amount of thickly sliced onion and a pleasant chilli zing.
And the delicious greens retained their crispness even after a quick blast in the microwave.
Great value and good food.
What more could you ask for—driving or riding.
by JENNY D’ANGER
205 Guildford Road,