I feel like I hit the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow when I coincidentally found Hawkers in Chapel Hill while looking for a place to grab a quick lunch with my daughter. I have been to University Place a few times and even eaten at neighboring restaurants like Bar Taco but, Hawker’s was not there yet. So, I got excited when I saw the “Now Open” sign and that it was one of my FAVORITE types of food to eat… Asian Street Fare. I immediately knew I was in for a treat! Everything was perfect from the moment I entered the front door.
Special seating was arranged due to COVID-19 and social distancing was being practiced. Outdoor seating was also available, and they have a fire pit that I cannot wait to enjoy. The first time I visited we ordered take-out and I had the Pad Thai but, needed to alter my order due to my peanut allergies. They were great about making sure they used a different sauce and not use peanuts in my ingredients. My daughter ordered Spring Rolls and Chicken Dumplings. We both enjoyed our meals and could not wait to return. I am already planning my Birthday Dinner event at Hawkers! I mean… It is perfect!
Let me tell you about the restaurant décor because I was in full on paparazzi mode taking all the pictures. You walk in and there is a cute lounge area to your left to enjoy which they currently have roped off due to COVID-19 but, it is super cute! To the right you have the dining area and you can also utilize the bar area to eat (not during COVID-19). Post COVID-19 the bar area will be available to sit down and enjoy your cocktail and meal. It is at the center of the restaurant and you can see in every direction. There is also a separate lounge area inside where you can possibly host a private party.
The walls are filled with Asian themed décor that give you all the authentic Asian feels! Did I mention, I could not stop taking pictures. Everything is so well put together and even though the décor is so authentic you still get a modern feel with the neon lights and fun quotes on the walls. In case you do not know what, a hawker is, it is a street vendor who depend on local ingredients to create dishes sold from mobile carts and stands. The most successful recipes typically passed down from one generation to the next, bring flocks of eager patrons. I love street food wherever I go!
I had such a great experience my first visit with take-out that I had to visit shortly after to have a dine in experience. This time around I had a working lunch/ date with my sister. We both had our laptops in tow and phones in hand ready to work. We decided to sit outside in the patio area. I ordered a Malaysian Mule to start. It is Prairie gin, turmeric-infused simple, lime juice, Fever Tree and candied ginger. My sister ordered a Margari-Thai with Corazón tequila, Cointreau, mangosteen, Bird’s Eye chili simple, coconut water and lemon-lime juice. They were tasty!
Since I had the Pad Thai before I decided to try the Yaki Udon noodle bowl. It is yummy! Ingredients: thick udon noodles with sliced chicken, eggs and veggies in a savory sauce and a chili finish. Fire. My sister was able to enjoy the Pad Thai with no alterations. She does not have as many food allergies and sensitivities as I do. Pad Thai: A Hawkers staple. Rice noodles with shrimp and sliced chicken, wok-fired in a tangy, red chili pepper sauce with eggs and veggies. Topped with roasted peanuts and a squeeze of fresh lime. We enjoyed our entrees. I cannot wait to continue exploring the menu.
Overall, both my experiences with Hawkers dine-in and take-out were GREAT! The décor is AMAZING! The food is TASTY! I cannot wait to go back AGAIN! Birthday planning shenanigans are under way.
Have you had a Hawkers experience? If not, what are you waiting for?