Malaysian street food at Ming’s Pantry has something for everyone. It’s an unassuming restaurant with a great list of typical Malaysian hawker dishes on their menu.
When I mentioned hawker food to a colleague in conversation the other day, I soon realised it was an unusual term not commonly used in Australia. I tried explaining what it was but I don’t think I did a very good job. So here’s attempt two…
Hawker by definition is a person who travels about selling goods, typically advertising them by shouting.
In Malaysia and Singapore however, hawker food or a hawker centre is an open-air complex that houses many stalls selling a variety of inexpensive food. Typical food offered by hawkers are laksa, chicken/duck or pork rice, wantan mee (dry or soupy), prawn mee, popiah, oyster egg, nasi lemak, yong tau fu, bah kut teh, and the lists goes on.
And since I was yet to find a restaurant in Canberra that would make dry wantan mee the way it’s made in Kuala Lumpur, I was excited when I read that it was one of the items listed on Ming’s Pantry’s menu and I knew for certain what I was exactly going to order.
And so, with friends in tow, we embarked one evening to sample their delicious fair.
We ordered laksa (both chicken and vegetarian versions), deep fried chicken wings, spicy fried rice topped with an omelette on special request (yes, they are amazingly accommodating that way) and of course wantan mee or otherwise known as wanton noodles.
The laksas were rich with flavour and had a lovely aroma of creamy coconut milk infused with chilli and herbs. My wantan mee (sans wanton and char sui) was quite lovely, it wasn’t as dark as I hoped it to be but I enjoyed it none the less. The flavour of combined caramelised dark, light soy and oyster sauce tossed egg noodles with choy sum – intermittently mixing it up with some chicken curry – brought back memories of the wantan mee I used to have for lunch right after school at my local hawker centre.
The portions were generous at Ming’s Pantry and I happily packed the left overs home for breakfast the next day. I will definitely be going back to try their other dishes which looked really good as they were served to other patrons. The restaurant is packed on Saturday nights so best to call and reserve a table.
Ming’s Pantry is located at 2 Alinga St, Canberra ACT 2601. View their menu on Facebook.