Baba Hawker, Brunswick

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MELBOURNE | When lock down 1.0 ended and Melbourne’s restaurants opened up once more, Lauren and I decided to do something we hadn’t done in a while, and that was to choose a random restaurant new to us to dine in at for dinner. We wanted to keep things local and were craving something Asian. As chance would have it, the Seasoned Traveller newsletter arrived in my inbox while we were having the conversation. And in that newsletter was a feature on a place serving Peranakan/Nonya cuisine in Brunswick. Dinner sorted.

The restaurant is Baba Hawker, and the kitchen is run by former school teacher Mila Ramsing, who grew up in the Borneo jungle and co-owns the restaurant. Peranakan are descendants of early Chinese migrants who settled in Penang, Malacca, Singapore and Indonesia, inter-marrying with local Malays. The cuisine is a wonderfully delicious fusion of Chinese, Malay and other influences.

There’s also an assortment of curries on the menu, a nod not just to Peranakan cuisine, but to the curries that Mila’a British born husband and co-owner Ben grew up with in the UK. For drinks, it’s Ben’s love of craft beer and gin that shines through, with a particular focus on local, unique drops.

To start, fluffy, crispy double pastry curry puffs. One duck and hoisin, one chicken . Following that, a selection of mouthwatering mains, all keenly priced. Nyonya mah mee stir fried noodle with fermented soya bean paste and prawns is outstanding. As is the nasi lemak. It’s served with your choice of curry (I went for the fragrant Nyona chicken rendang) and some very fiery sambal.

They curry bento boxes are a great option too. A bento box full of goodies and your choice of curry. I opted for the fall off the bone tender Kashmiri influenced goat rogan josh.

There’s so much that looked good on the menu, and I’ve been back since, during lock down 2.0 when Baba Hawker is still open for take away. Oh and for those who are that way inclined, there’s also a full vegan menu.

Baba Hawker

148 Sydney Road
Brunswick
Victoria 3056
Australia

Telephone: (03) 9380 9824
E-mail: [email protected]
Website

Open
Mon: 6:00pm to 10:00pm
Tue – Sun: 11:00am to 3:00pm; 6:00pm to 10:00pm

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Paul
Paul
Paul founded The City Lane back in 2009 as a place to share photos of his travels around Europe with friends and family. The City Lane might have changed quite a lot since those early days but one thing that’s remained constant is Paul’s passion for food, travel and culture, and a desire to photograph and write about his experiences. Paul has a strong inquisitive nature that drives him to look beneath the surface in order to discover what really makes a city and its people tick, and what better way to do this than over a good meal or drink, with a city’s locals, at places that people who live in that city actually frequent. Paul is also a co-host of The Brunswick Beer Collective, a podcast that may or may not actually be about beer.

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