I honestly had no idea what I was getting myself into by attempting to compile a worldwide listing of Hakka restaurants! But after getting to #96 in the Toronto area alone, I knew I was in for a long research project.
I’ve made some interesting observations while compiling this list. Certain specialties have developed for each concentration of Hakka people as they branch out to all parts of the world. In Singapore, Hakka food is synonymous with the Yong Tofu dish and Thunder Tea Rice, in Malaysia it’s all about the fried noodles or “mee-foon”, and in Toronto it’s Chinese dishes with Indian spices.
It’s an example of the adaptive nature of the Hakka culture; wherever the Hakka people settled, they learned what the local population liked and adapted their food to appeal to the masses. That’s why it’s so hard to define exactly what is Hakka Food. It’s distinctive to the region rather than the culture.
But I imagine a world where one day “Hakka Food” will be as well-known as other Chinese cuisines such as the Szechuan or Cantonese styles. There’s already a high end global restaurant chain called “Hakkasan” and increasingly, restaurants around the world are using the word “Hakka” in their names to distinguish themselves from the broader category of Chinese Food.
Finally, a disclaimer: this list is far from complete. Especially throughout China, I know I must be missing a ton of restaurants simply because of the fact that I’ve been limited by my research being done in English. But I’m hoping for help from you. If you see something that’s not right, or you know of a place that’s missing from my list, then please contact me and let me know. Also, if you own a Hakka Restaurant and are interested in providing my readers with a coupon to visit your establishment, then I can definitely help you set something up. There’s a specific field in my contact form below for Restaurant Listing Updates.
So get out there and visit your local Hakka restaurant and don’t forget to join my mailing list if you haven’t already!