Sawak Café | Malaysian restaurant | Sarawak | Hobart | Tasmania Restaurants, Wine, Travel, Opinions

Sawak Café
Restaurants and bars
Open: Lunch and dinner Mon - Sat
Price: Moderate

Reviewed By

Sue Dyson and Roger McShane
Phone Number: +61 3 6234 3622
Address: 131a Collins Street
Hobart, Tasmania, 7000
Country: Australia

Sawak Cafe is a small take-away and café serving pleasant Malaysian food that has some influence from Sarawak. The 'Bak kut teh' is a Chinese soup made from medicinal herbs and pork short ribs (the meat is on the bone!), served with a boiled egg, tofu and mushrooms. It literally translates as "pork bone tea".
The spices and herbs include star anise, cinnamon, cloves, fennel and lots of garlic. The pork ribs are simmered in a stock for hours until the meat becomes very tender.
Light and dark soy sauce are used depending on the style of the soup. Some areas like it darker and thicker others like it lighter. Hokkien soup is darker than Teochew soup.
This dish or a variant of it is found throughout Malaysia, Singapore and in some parts of Indonesia and has probably been derived from Teochew Chinese migration into these areas (from the Chaoshan area in the eastern side of the Guangdong province).
They also do a reasonable Nasi Lemak with crunchy ikan bilis (dried anchovies), egg, maybe a rendang curry and some condiments. The other thing to look out for here is the roti canai which is flaky, fluffy and truly delicious.
If you are looking for a laksa then they make their own laksa paste and the noodles are quite good as well. Even the wok-fried dishes are good and we enjoy the char kway teow.
They are open in the evening and you can take your own wine.
We love Malaysian food from every region of that complex country and this provides us with some glimpses of the many times we have visited.
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