Nasi Lemak Burger and hawker-inspired fast food finally done right
Local hawker-inspired fast food is something that many have missed the mark with, but finally, a veteran in the local hawker industry has stepped up to do it justice – No Signboard Holdings! Officially opened at Esplanade Mall on 31st October, Hawker is their newest venture, and also the first full-fledged Asian fast food restaurant in Singapore.
The impressive menu selection offers a wide array of burgers, wraps, buns, and sides in flavours like Chilli Crab, Black Pepper Crab, Nasi Lemak, Szechuan Mala, and Satay, and with No Signboard’s experience in dishing out honest-to-goodness seafood and tze char dishes, it comes as no surprise that everything tasted deliciously authentic!
Burgers, Wraps, and Baos
In general, everything at Hawker hit the right notes because of the attention paid to details – real crab meat is used in their chilli crab sauce, savoury curry sauce is used in their Prata Wrap, and their Nasi Lemak Burger even has turmeric powder as seasoning!
Hawker also isn’t the first to come up with a Nasi Lemak Burger, but it just might be the very first one to get it down pat, both taste-wise and fragrance-wise. Using moist and sticky coconut rice buns to sandwich a juicy chicken patty seasoned with spices and turmeric powder, the burger also had a fried egg, crunchy cucumber slices, and more importantly, a generous spread of sweet sambal chilli sauce.
Those who love chicken rice will also be impressed by their Chicken Rice Burger, which managed to pull off that distinct aroma of sesame oil and ginger! Again sandwiched by flavourful rice buns, the chicken patty is this time blanched and soaked in Hainanese chicken rice chilli, which gave the burger a satisfyingly fiery kick.
Make sure to dig into their Prata Wrap if you’re a fan of late-night prata suppers – crispy and fluffy at the same time, the wrap contained a soft egg omelette, cheese, onions, and flavourful curry, and was essentially a very hearty “egg onion prata with cheese”. You can’t go wrong with that!
Of course, one of the main highlights of Hawker’s menu is their Signature Chilli Crab Bao, which was made with a thick crab meat patty that was breaded and deep-fried, crunchy burger slaw, and creamy chilli crab sauce. Sweet, savoury, and full-bodied, my only gripe was that it wasn’t spicy enough, although those who can’t handle their spice well will be grateful for that!
Just like most fast food joints, Hawker also offers a variety of sides. Think crispy nuggets, flavourful garlic drumlets, creamy mashed potato, curly fries, and best of all, golden fried mantou with a chilli crab sauce dip!
As an added bonus, Hawker’s desserts are just as irresistibly delectable. Besides the usual vanilla and chocolate cones, they also have a refreshing Mango Peach flavour and Chendol Softee, and 2 of our favourite breakfast items reinvented as ice creams – Peanut Butter Spin and Milo Koko Krunch Spin!
A grand total of 6 to 8 outlets will be open islandwide by the end of next year, and while there won’t be any more additions to their menu any time soon, diners can look forward to even more uniquely local creations like white pepper crab burger, biryani burger, and roasted chicken rice burger in the future!
Address: #01-13E Esplanade Mall, 8 Raffles Avenue, Singapore 039802
Opening Hours: Sun – Thurs: 8AM – 10PM | Fri, Sat & PH: 8AM – 12AM