When discussions of food takes place Trinbagonian people in particular become quite passionate. It is such a touchy subject (no pun intended). People often get quite intimate to describe their love affair with their favourite food, their detrimental journey fasting from it, their lack of behavior when gorging on their delectable treats. Some people get so extreme you can immediately visualize them as movie character Smeagol to Gollum hoarding their food and screeching, “my precious”. Jeez people take it down a notch! Okay I am just kidding it is your life to live after all and not mine! But do not take for granted your luck to be born in a multicultural nation, Trinidad and Tobago. There are so many variations of ethnic food in this country yet little to zero discrimination or offense taken from preparation, cooking or consumption in comparison to other nations. This is why I say there is no room for cultural appropriation but cultural appreciation for Hakka as even this type of food can be embraced in the safest haven for culture in the Caribbean and possibly the world.
(Photo Credit: Hakka Facebook)
My first experience with Hakka cuisine took place a few months ago at The Shoppes of Maraval branch. Now if you are familiar with The Shoppes of Maraval you will understand how challenging it is to choose somewhere to dine as there are so many options and so little parking at peak “hungry man/woman” hours. Nonetheless, The Hakka Express is fairly new there so if you are one of those persons who likes to try new cuisine you may more than likely be motivated to try Hakka unless you are pulled down by the centre of gravity to buy your same old lunch time special. Perhaps you are more like me and leave The Shoppes of Maraval with purchases from Hakka and another food outlet.
(Photo Credit: Hakka Facebook )
Regardless, I chose Hakka because I fell for their history of origin story. It is said that over a hundred years ago a tribe of Chinese persons called the Hakka people travelled to Calcutta, India and settled in a village called Tangra. It was there that the fusion of traditional Chinese cuisine, Indian spices and Indian ingredients began to take place and the Hakka food was born. The graphic design for the Hakka Express logo is electrifying and bold boasting of the strength of the people, the warmth of their service and the fiery blends of their gastronomy that hit your palate with a tasty yet feisty kick. I chose spicy noodles, deep fried chili eggplant and peppery shrimp (not the actual names of the food ). The service was impeccable and the prices were reasonable if you decide to go with a two portion combo or any of the combos. However, if you are feeling to splash the cash a bit more then you will discover that the entire menu is your playground to do just that. Overall, The Hakka Express maintained a clean, friendly and safe ambience great for their target market of walk ins with kids, families, couples and friends. Usually, they are open every day from 11 a.m.
(Photo Credit: Hakka Facebook)
(Photo Credit: S3Mini ) (Noodles, Eggplant and Shrimp)
(Photo Credit: S3Mini) (Hakka Express Take Away Box)
If you would like to find out more about The Hakka Express see below.