We’ve heard murmurs of a second eatery from the team behind Sit Lo for what seems like yonks and what they’ve delivered meets all expectations. Meet Honki Tonki, Sit Lo’s “Hong Kongese” cousin that’s opened up around the corner on Hindley St. Owners Vinh Nguyen and Phuong Thai-Nguyen snapped up the lease as soon as it went up on the market. In some ways, it was a functional opportunity as the new shop shares the same alleyway as Sit Lo. With only a tiny 55 sqm space at Sit Lo, running a kitchen to produce food for the restaurant, markets and events was proving difficult, sharing a kitchen with Honki Tonki to split that load was a no brainer.
While the same name behind the fit-out of Sit Lo, Geoff McAllister of Studio Alumni, is responsible for Honki Tonki, the execution could not be more different. They went for a completely different route from Sit Lo’s Asian street inspired approach and instead, we see bright washes of pink, typefaces of Hong Kong pop culture of yesteryear and to top it all off, monotone comic strip style artwork inspired by Bruce Lee and Kung Fu Panda by Hang Ong Artworks. It’s a fun, casual fit-out, even to a point some arcade games wouldn’t feel out of place here, but then again they wouldn’t want to deprive people of seating space to enjoy the food.
Moving onto that, there’s an affordable array of modern Chinese and Hong Kong dishes like Wonton Noodle Soup, Coconut Laksa Soup and a Sesame Prawn Toast with the team’s spin on things. For the lovers of fine dumplings, this may become your new regular, with their array of soft handmade dumplings packing juicy flavours and sauces full of kung-fu kicks. Talk of the town is the handmade chicken and mushroom dumplings with sweet coconut curry sauce, optionally steamed or pan-fried. There’s a noodle experience that’s anything but typical with Japanese buckwheat soba noodles, glass noodles and tapioca noodles on the menu. To top it all off, the shopfront will soon offer an egg waffle station, taking the Hong Kong street dessert to the masses but with a spin on flavours, toppings and adding ice cream.