Wanting to impress my in-laws with some ‘fancy’ Malaysian, Ho Jiak in Chinatown welcomed us with polite authentic service. A characterful restaurant with murals and painted faux store-fronts, it definitely captured the street hawker vibe! And with fancy cutlery and passing the napkin test (4/5 stars), things felt very promising for this son-in-law.
With an extensive menu including all your Malay classics (with premium out-of-our-price-range lobster options) we settled on Char kuay teow with duck egg, Nasi Goreng pattaya, KFC Crispy Rendang (one of their “specials”, not on regular menu), some good old veg (Chye Tau Char Bak chui), and a “Michael Jackson” (grass jelly in Asian soya milk). All the dishes were tasty and had a good level of heat to it, however the portions were on the smaller side and a bit pricy (but I wanted fancy right?), while the MJ acted as a coolant for those less tolerant to the spicy dishes. But being on a diet, the portioning suited me fine, and the KFC was the stand-out dish with very tender chicken meat inside a thick crunchy fried batter, swimming in a more-ish Rendang sauce (we couldn’t waste the excess sauce and took it home in a takeaway container).
Solid food, great vibe, polite service, however competition is tough and there are many more places in Chinatown which serves up a comparable meal for three quarters of the price…So unfortunately I don’t think we’ll be back any time soon.
Ho Jiak Sunday 29 July
PH: (02) 8317 4818
92 Hay Street, Haymarket NSW
Mon-Sat 11am – 12 midnight
Sun 11am – 10pm