What do you get when you take a southeast Asian-style hawker market, give it fresh, neon-lit designer digs and throw in some modern technology? Well, Melbourne is about to find out, because HWKR has opened its doors.
Taking over a contemporary space beneath A'Beckett Street's Eq. Tower, HWKR is bringing a relatively unique dining experience to Melbourne. First of all, it doesn't have one kitchen — it has four. These will house four local and international Asian food vendors at any time. Tenants will take over the kitchens for three months at a time, each plating up a menu of signature fare alongside one exclusive HWKR dish.
Among the first eateries to give the concept a workout is Hong Kong's Bread & Beast — it'll be bringing its award-winning sandwiches and Hong Kong-style po' boys to Melbourne for the first time. Alongside those will be Reynold Poernomo's savoury and sweet creations (all the way from Sydney), 2017 MasterChef winner Diana Chan's riff on hawker fusion fare — including satay and lobster brioche rolls — and a new rice-heavy spin-off from Rice Paper Scissors. Meanwhile, on-site cafe ManyMore — run by local not-for-profit group the MAI Foundation — will be slinging coffees by day and cocktails by night, with all its profits heading to charity.
The space will feature loads of seating options throughout, including a stacked staircase along one wall, where you can get amongst the hawker buzz while chowing down on your food.
Best of all, HWKR's tech-savvy setup means there'll be no scrounging for change when it comes time to pay. Diners simply download the venue's app to order their food, either from their table or before arriving, and pay via their device using the cashless and cardless systems.
HWKR is now open at 137 A'Beckett Street, Melbourne. The cafe opens at 7am daily, while the other eateries open from 11am. For more info, visit hwkr.com.au.