Looking for a way to support the hospitality industry while consciously uncoupling with the idea of eating in during the COVID-19 crisis? Popular Malaysian restaurant Ho Jiak has created a "survival" menu of eight $10 and two $15 takeaway dishes in a response to the COVID-19 crisis. These can be picked up from their Town Hall or Haymarket locations or delivered if you live in their proximity.
Ho Jiak's chef Junda Khoo explains, "Survival meals are $10 because they're there to help you survive this. It's cheap, it's affordable and it's cooked to order. It's also there to generate income to or business to help pay for the staff we're saving. It was designed to be a win-win situation, although I can't say anyone's winning in this sh*t storm. So let's just say for now it's survive-survive."
I've been craving chilli and spice ever since we've been in voluntary hibernation. So when we were tossing up which place to get food from Hojiak's spicy noodle dishes were high on the list. Although we've been to the restaurant before many of the dishes on the Survival menu except for a couple are new to me.
The nasi goreng is a classic rice dish and has a nice hit of chilli heat to it and a noticeable hit of shrimp paste with sliced fish balls and fish cakes.
For me Char Hor Fun is pure comfort food. You get the thick, flavoursome rice noodles (the ones with the fried shallots on top) but then you get a separate container of the viscous, eggy sauce that you pour over it. It's a little bit soup, a little bit noodles and perfect on a rainy day.
The Char Kway Teow is Ho Jiak's signature dish. It is spicy stir fried rice noodles with seafood and slices of Chinese sausage. There is a surprising amount of seafood in this with prawns and slices of fish balls and fish cake. I do prefer a bit more wok hei or char flavour to my CKT.
Although I am not the biggest instant noodle fan (I just don't like the texture), the caramelised soy flavour of this dish makes it one of my favourites. Normally the Indomee goreng comes without an egg but I love adding an egg which is $2 extra.
The Nasi Lemak's coconut rice (give me coconut rice over regular any day) is so moreish and comes with three pieces of bone in chicken curry with anchovies, peanuts and sambal. This is another favourite dish of mine along with the Indomee and the Char Hor Fun.
Tau Eu Bak is a simmered pork belly dish in soy sauce. I don't mind this but I think regular rice just isn't as interesting as the Nasi Lemak coconut rice. Out of the two rice dishes the nasi lemak is my pick but of course if you're craving Tau Eu Bak then you'd want this.
While we couldn't eat all of this, it made for great leftovers for lunch the next day!
So tell me Dear Reader, do you have any favourite takeaway places? Do you prefer noodle or rice dishes? Are you craving anything in particular lately?
This meal was independently paid for.
92 Hay St, Haymarket NSW 2000
Hours: 11am-9pm 7 days
Phone: (02) 8040 0252