For VN's birthday back in October, we went out to dinner at Hawker Fare:
The three of us got there pretty quickly after work, so the place was pretty empty:
The decor was quirky and fun. With its metal folding chairs and communal tables, Hawker Fare is designed to resemble a typical hole-in-the wall restaurant in Thailand.
But more hipster. Way more hipster.
While VN and SY perused the cocktail menu, I went straight for the Thai tea:
Which came in a mason jar. Why am I not surprised?
As usual, we ordered a bunch of dishes to split. We started with a hoi tod ($12) or crispy egg and mussel crepe:
Crispy on the outside, it also included bean sprouts and chives. It turned out to be my favorite thing that night.
Then came the khao mun gai ($13.50) or chicken with chicken fat rice:
And the gaeng pla duok ($15) or jungle curry with catfish:
Just for good measure, we also ordered laab gai ($12):
I love sourness of laab. Mint, cilantro, green onion, and minced chicken doused in fish sauce...that's my kind of salad. However the laab at Hawker Fare was almost unbearably salty. We brought it up with our server, but she seemed to think that was normal.
An order of sticky rice ($3) went a long way to combat the saltiness:
But it wasn't enough. We eventually had to ask for an order of jasmine rice ($3) as well.
A birthday dinner wouldn't be complete without dessert. While the durian sticky rice sounded really good, we ultimately went with the hawker affogato ($7), which was condensed milk soft serve with a shot of thai coffee and coconut biscuits:
That soft serve was pretty awesome. The coconut biscuits brought me back to my childhood when we used to buy those silver packages for less than $1.
The chill atmosphere of Hawker Fare makes it a great place to hang out with friends. Service is attentive and friendly. But while the food was good (minus the laab), I wouldn't say it was exceptional enough to make me want to go out of my way to return. Especially given the somewhat steep prices (and small portion sizes).
AKA hipster prices.
2300 Webster St
Oakland, CA 94612