I’m generally the one that least craves for Asian food when we go out. It might have to do with the fact that I’ve grown up eating rice my whole life and so when we do head out to eat, I always feel like Western cuisines. I guess it doesn’t explain why Davin still has his cravings every now and then though!
But on this cold night when we were warmly invited by HWKR to try out their new Winter menu, the menu items listed for Khao by HWKR looked appetising indeed for Asian fusion.
The first dish we ordered was the Balinese-style barramundi with jimbaran spiced butter sauce, pickled cucumber, sambal and jasmine rice. We were delighted to see that the fish wasn’t fried but baked, and served on a banana leaf – because everything tastes better when it’s served on a banana leaf!
Anyway we dug into this dish and it was SO good! The lovely spiced butter sauce was subtle but you could taste the heat from it. The fish was cooked to perfection and that sambal! It’s probably one of the best I’ve had. I kept scooping more of that hot sauce onto the fish and rice. The pickled cucumber was very lightly pickled and provided the right coolness you needed to a beautifully well rounded and spicy dish!
The second dish we ordered was the Filipino roasted lamb ribs which came with burnt coconut sauce, pickled cucumber, toasted coconut and jasmine rice. The meat from the ribs literally just fell off the bone. I remember picking up one of the ribs with my hand and before I could do anything the lamb had just fallen onto my plate. It was so tender and soft. The burnt coconut sauce complimented it so well. It wasn’t too overpowering and was more like it’s equal friend in providing the perfect combination of flavours.
In the end we didn’t even know which dish was better. They both provided a burst of spice and flavours that made it so easy to scoff up with the jasmine rice. We couldn’t fault the dishes at all and we will certainly be thinking about this place on another cold night when we feel like something warm and appetising.
Khao by HWKR
Approx $20 AUD per person
Address: 137 A’Beckett St, Melbourne VIC 3000
Phone: +61 3 9018 7135