If you weren’t lucky enough to make plans to escape the city for the long weekend, you can take some consolation in the fact that you now have the opportunity to be one of the first to try out Main Street’s new fast-casual, counter-service eatery, Street Hawker.
Chef Justin Cheung, Dominic Sai, Lynn Sakai-Boden, and Darren Chuang (of Potluck Hawker Eatery) have been busy cleaning, painting and wallpapering – as well as menu-developing – since they picked up keys to 3088 Main Street back in February. With staff training complete and finishing touches in place, they are now ready to remove the paper from the windows and invite guests to enjoy Southeast Asian-inspired burgers, sandwiches, fries, and proper milkshakes, beginning Friday (May 19th).
Earlier this week, I slipped in for a pre-opening tour of the space. Besides a few boxes and cleaning supplies here and there, Street Hawker appeared precisely as I was told we could expect when I first visited the site last month. As promised, the 1000 sqft space, divided between two levels, offers 20 seats in the bright loft area plus an additional eight on the patio. Colours and graphic details – right down to the floor-to-ceiling mural (Aime Milot) and the ‘Game On’ arcade game wallpaper in the washroom – are bold, playful and clever (credit to Vancouver-based designer Graeme Jack).
The menu – also bold, playful and clever – is tight but offers range. There are two smashed beef burgers – the Pickle Smash and the Kapow Attack (with black pepper sauce, long beans, and crispy basil) – as well as a couple of whole pickle brined, double fried, Farmcrest chicken sandos (Egg Yolk Flame and General Tao Crusher), and two “Challenger” items – the Sonic Shroom (crispy mushroom cake, with vegan brioche & cheese, and vegan “chilli crab” dipping sauce) and the Shrimp Mac (double beef patties with shrimp toast mid-bun, mango mustard, pickled mustard greens and lettuce on a potato roll).
Also worth noting are the two levels of street fries to add to your order: the misleadingly named ‘basic’ (not ‘basic’ at all, by my standards), elevated by their secret spice and curry leaf sprinkles; and Dirty Street Hawker style, which come loaded with both cheese and chilli sauces, pickled mustard stem, pork floss, and herbs. Then there’s the four killer hand-spun milkshakes – you can choose between Vanilla, Milo, Ube or Mango.
Doors swing open Friday, May 19th at noon, and service will continue to operate softly throughout the week as staff find their footing. An ‘official’ opening is planned for next weekend (May 27th).