Hawkers Korean BBQ
First of all, I want to say that I was NOT paid or compensated in any way for this review or for the food that I ate, but I’m open to future possibilities. LOL! If you’d prefer to watch the video review, you can click here or you can scroll to the bottom of this post. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get on with it.
I have recently tired of American food.
I come from a relatively small town that offers a relatively small variety of ethnic food. Most of our restaurants sell processed food American food. Now don’t get me wrong, I love Chic-Fil-A like a play sister, but sometimes I want to eat something with a history behind it. We do have our share of restaurants that serve great, gourmet food like Farmer and the Larder and others, but those kind of eats can also be a bit too pricey for frequent consumption. On one of my quarterly trips to the A (Atlanta) I discovered the Ponce City Market’s food hall. It was love at first bite! I know that you’re probably thinking that that was my first time eating Hawkers Korean BBQ, but it wasn’t.
Takiela, Meets the Korean Bun
I actually ended up eating Italian. It was, however, the first time that I had ever seen a Korean bun. The food hall has an open seating design meaning that perfectly good strangers can be sitting next to each other enjoying a bite to eat. It was then that I saw 2 couples in a row eating a white little bun with meat in it. They ate those buns like they were the best things that they’d ever eaten in life. My antennae went up immediately. I knew that I definitely had to try that little bun, so I questioned both couples about the taste and name of the food. Lo and behold, a Korean bun addiction was born! On my next trip to the Ponce City Market, I tried a Korean bun with chicken; best culinary decision I’ve made in life in a while.
An Ethnic Craving
Needless to say, my Ponce City Market food hall experience was like a gateway drug. It opened the door to crave more ethnic food!
Since I wasn’t about to drive 4 hours for a bun, no matter how good it was, I had to research some restaurants close to home that sold Korean food. That is how I stumbled upon Hawkers Korean BBQ in Jacksonville, Florida. I rounded up my crew (my husband and my parents) and we drove south an hour to experience Hawkers. Hawkers is a chain of Florida-based restaurants that serve Asian street fare, also known as street food. If you want to find a location, view the menu, or learn more about the company, check out their website. So, to answer my own question: Did Their Street Food Satisfy My Ethnic Craving? It most definitely did!
What you’re looking at above is what I ate. Yep, I ate all of that. Don’t judge me either! I had the chow faan (chicken, shrimp, char siu, eggs, onions, soy sauce), roast duck steamed baos (buns), cinnamon roti a´ la mode, and I shared a flight of cold sake with my fam.
Above, you’re looking at some of the food that my family ordered. They ate fried pork belly, spring rolls, chicken lo mein, and chicken skewers. I may or may not have tasted a little bit of everything on our table. I’m just saying.
What I Liked, What I Didn’t Like
The chow faan was delicious. I added a little salt to it because I like my food highly seasoned. The duck buns were good too. I just wish that they had been delivered while they were hot as opposed to being warm. Sake, what can I say about the sake? Thanks for the experience! I grew up watching Karate Kid, so some part of me always wanted to taste sake. I’m not even sure if Mr. Miyagi ever even drank sake in the movie, but my brain has made that connection. Despite carrying that 80’s movie-induced desire for all of those years, I realized that I’m not a fan of sake. Let’s talk about the cinnamon roti a´ la mode…to-tal dis-appoint-ment! Total disappointment. It was definitely the blandest dessert that I’ve ever tasted, but at least the vanilla ice-cream was yummy.
Would I Go Back?
Now to answer the question that you may be wondering…or not. Would I go back? I would in a heartbeat, and you know I would get more buns, hun!
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