Edit: Hawker Fare in Oakland is now closed (but you can find it in SF). Sorry!
The rainy weather is back in session and we all need a little extra motivation to turn off the TV, put on some real pants, grab a friend, and go out to get some food. I advise that you make your destination Hawker Fare, a rice bowl shop on the corner of Webster and 23rd in Oakland, and here are a few reasons why:
1. The “Satay” Beef Short Ribs marinated in coconut milk with turmeric and garlic then grilled, served with a side of savory peanut sauce and greens. My friend and I were sharing two dishes and I got the short ribs first. They were delicious, but I restrained myself from eating with my hands and cleaning the bones, reminding myself that I needed to leave half the bowl for Greg, and that I should pretend to be moderate. About ten minutes after switching plates, all that was left on Greg’s side of the table were some empty bones and a few grains of white rice. Damn me for trying to act like a lady.
2. The playlist. I got caught interrupting my own sentence a few times so that I could pause, check that I was hearing right, and then nod my head to a Tupac song.
3. A few delicious bites of pork belly. Here’s my thing about the pork belly, it’s so fatty that I’m not sure if those few perfect bites are worth all the work. Same thing goes with cracking those little crabs they serve in Salvador, Brazil- I pounded my little heart out with a plastic mallet just to get a few tiny bites of meat. I once went out with a guy that cracked all the crab shells for me and just kept piling perfect bites of crab meat on my plate throughout dinner. That’s called game in Ferronlandia. We ordered the 24 Hr Berkshire Pork, made with five spice and sweet soy, and an optional fried egg on top. As instructed by our waitress, we broke the yolk, sliced up the glistening tower of pork, and mixed it in with the rice, pickled onions, greens, and poured on the Thai sriracha. Those bites of tender pork belly were good, but were they worth the work of sorting through the fat? I’ll let you decide.
4. Everything is under $10.
5. The fact that this is a menu inspired by Southeast Asian street food, but it’s not served from a truck or a cart. The saffron walls are covered with music posters, and a colorful definition of “hawk” is painted on the wall in bubble letters- street art meets street food but we’re not on the street, get it? There are comfortable leather booths, tables with forks and knives, a great beer menu, and nice servers. How novel!
Got the travel bug?