Fancy Hanks has long been one of Melbourne's premiere destinations when it comes to old-school American-style barbecue. But if you think that's the only string to their bow, then prepare to be pleasantly surprised.
Taking over an Abbotsford warehouse for two nights in July, Hank's Majestic Hawker pop-up will see the brisket and pulled pork substituted for an array of Singaporean dishes — including soy marinated chicken wings with chilli vinegar, sambal stingray served in banana leaf, rice noodles with Chinese sausage, fishcake and egg, and fried banana fritters with pandan coconut ice-cream. Turns out Americans aren't the only ones who know their way around a charcoal grill.
Fittingly, the chef in charge of the pop-up is none other than Alicia Cheong, who previously ran Hank's kitchen when they were based at The Mercat Cross Hotel. Cheong is back in Melbourne after a year-long stint at the Michelin-starred Restaurant Par Andre in her native Singapore.
But Cheong isn't Hank's only South East Asian connection — co-owner Daragh Kan's father was born in Malaysia. "My childhood holidays were mainly spent having satay eating competitions with my brothers at hawker centres," he says.
Tickets to Majestic Hawker cost $30 for three dishes — a one from the BBQ, one from the wok, and one for dessert. For $50 you also get drinks included, with both beers and cocktails on offer.