Tuesday, August 14, 2018
Dining

Hawkers in St. Petersburg teases brunch, more locations with new menu items

Frequent guests to Hawkers Asian Street Fare in St. Petersburg may notice some changes to the restaurant's wide-ranging menu.

In mid-August the pan-Asian chain, which is based in Orlando, released a new write-up of its kitchen and bar offerings. Standbys on the old and new menu include signature items like roti canai, a slightly sweet Malaysian flatbread with curry dipping sauce; chicken dumplings; and a slightly spicy pad Thai with chicken and shrimp.

At a tasting of new menu items earlier this month, Hawkers owner Kaleb Harrell walked tasters through the new dishes, explaining the inspiration for and preparation of each plate. He hinted that some of the items, including Dim Sum Crunch Balls, may be part of a dim sum brunch spread (with endless mimosas) that owners are toying with.

The new plates include Singapore "Chilli" Crab, a whole soft-shell crab served with chilli garlic sauce; Tiger Salad, poached octopus atop a bed of cilantro and rice wine vinaigrette; and Dim Sum Crunch Balls, pork and shrimp balls coated in crispy strips of spring roll paper. Crispy chicken skin skewers join the yakitori lineup, and 'Nam-Nom Rolls, a new spring roll stuffed with lettuce, cucumber and chicken sausage, were added as well. Featured on an updated cocktail list is a lemongrass limeade (rum, lemongrass simple syrup, lime, mint and club soda) and a mandarin sour (whisky, lemon juice, mandarin marmalade and ginger beer).

Along with the new items comes plans for another location in Florida (in Windermere, later in 2017) and one in Atlanta, the restaurant's first location beyond the Florida-Georgia line. Four more locations are slated to open throughout the Southeast in 2018.

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