- Green Papaya Salad
- Our "Kao Mun Gai"
- 24hr Pork Belly
Date Visited: June 26, 2012
Price: $7.00 for Green Papaya Salad; $9.50 for Our “Kao Mun Gai”; and $11.00 for 24hr Pork Belly.
Hawker Fare is a must-visit if you’re exploring uptown Oakland. Don’t worry, this area is relatively safe; just don’t wander off too far to the east or west. Tucked in the midst of an urban neighborhood, Hawker Fare’s Asian fusion cuisine pulls from Southeast Asian street food influences. The chef, James Syhabout, holds the lone one Michelin star in the East Bay (2012 and 2013) for his restaurant, Commis. He opened up Hawker Fare in place of his mom’s old restaurant. Decorated with graffiti-like artwork on the interior walls, there is also an eclectic mix of vintage posters plastered all around. The artwork says:
Hawker | Hawk “er \ v.i.
[Obs.] – Hudibras [1914 Webster]
To sell goods by outcry in the street
Essentially, Hawker Fare is a rice bowl shop – simple, humble, and traditional yet innovative in flavors utilizing local organic ingredients. From presentation and affordability to food quality, this place encompasses all of it.
The green papaya salad was not as spicy compared to other I’ve tried, but it was very delicious and fresh. The fish sauce flavor goes very well with dried shrimp (yum!), peanuts, lime, and hints of spicy. As an appetizer, the papaya salad was the perfect start to our dinner.
Can this chicken be any more tender? The pieces of chicken are most likely white meat, which was surprising to me because it was so juicy. The chicken is virtually fat-free, and the skin tasted so good. This reminds me of Hainan chicken, except the ginger/scallion sauce is replaced with a salted mung bean sauce. To top it all off, the rice is cooked in chicken fat and broth – the whole dish oozes with fresh chicken aromas.
Jason topped his pork belly rice bowl with an egg. Crisp on the outside, and savory all around, the meat just melts in your mouth. The flavors remind me of comfort food that I used to eat growing up. The slabs of pork belly are high quality, and this dish steals the spotlight as the star of our dinner.
If you’re ever in Oakland, bring out your inner foodie and check out Hawker Fare. The only downside is that they seem to pack less food when you decide to order takeout. During our dine-in experience, everything was great and both Jason and I were fully satisfied. It seems like most restaurants these days pack less food for takeout anyways. Aside from that small detail, please check out this cool joint! Since there’s no good (not that I know of) Hainan chicken in the SF bay area, Hawker Fare has the next best thing.
1) When waiting, you must sign the wait list and stick around. The complete party must be presented to be seated.
2) They cannot accommodate parties of larger than 12 people and parties of 8 or larger will have to be split into 2 or more tables.
3) The chef-owner is famed James Syhabout, who is also the chef-owner of the 1-star Michelin Restaurant Commis in Oakland, CA.
Yelp Review: http://www.yelp.com/biz/hawker-fare-oakland
4 out of 5 stars. 360+ reviews
2300 Webster St
Oakland, CA 94612 (map)
Tel: (510) 832-8896
Mon-Fri 11 am – 2:30 pm
Tue-Thu 5 pm – 9:30 pm
Fri-Sat 5 pm – 10 pm