Well seing how Hawa serves halal Chinese food, I wanna know his take on it.
Half a roasted chicken - $14
He was pretty impressed by the sight of roasted chicken on display and sought to order 1/2 a chicken to share. He even asked for chicken rice instead of the regular white rice.
I asked for his opinion and he said, "Not bad." He continued to remark that he's eaten those that are wayy better but they're non-halal so there's no way he can compare. Especially when he often prefer to have some char siew (roast pork) alongside his chicken.
And it's true that Hawa restaurant serves pretty good chicken rice. The chicken meat ain't dry, the skin look & taste like it's been roasted well and the sauce poured over the chicken pieces complement them nicely. And the 1/2 chicken was more than enough for us 4. Would have fed 5 pax just right.
The chilli is available free-flow in a jar on every table, alongside the pickled green chillies. Cut red chili padi available on request.
Cereal Squids - $12
Felt like trying out their rendition of 'cereal prawns' but we find that having prawns during lunch seem a tad overwhelming. Therefore, we settled for squids instead.
The squid ringlets aren't tough or overly chewy. And those cereal bits... Yummy! Love it enough to have a spoonful with every mouthful of rice.
Kailan w/ Beef - $10
For our choice of veggies, I have no idea why we didn't settle for the popular kangkong belachan (morning glory/water convolvulus stir-fried in shrimp paste chili).
Here they used the baby kailan (chinese kale), which has tender leaves with slightly sweet taste. The regular kailan have thicker leaves which are slightly bitter. Plus they also have these very thick stems that can be a turn-off to some.
The beef slices were tender (not sure if they used tenderiser or simply corn starch). The canned button mushroom was just.. ho-hum. Would have preferred straw mushrooms instead.
Personally, in Chinese cooking, I prefer to have the slight gingery scent & flavour with any beef dishes. To counter the meaty smell and it also add dimension the the taste. That aspect was missing here.
Tom Yam Soup - $12
It was drizzling when we were dining here. Seeing that this is an al-fresco dining area, with no walls; we felt 'exposed' to the weather. So we took the chance to order a bowl of hot soup.
What better than to have a bowl of tangy & spicy tom yam, chock-full of ingredients? Not exactly the best I've ever had but it's good enough to please us.
I'm just so glad to have discovered this place. Should I happen to have
Verdict: As quoted by my colleague, "Not baddd..."