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Melbourne's New Four-Storey Barbecue Bar and Karaoke Joint Is Now Open

The latest venture from the Fancy Hanks team has a rooftop beer garden, Asian-style eats and private karaoke rooms.
By Jonathan Ford and Sarah Ward
July 01, 2018
By Jonathan Ford and Sarah Ward
July 01, 2018

Barbecue and smoked meat experts Fancy Hanks are at it again — after their highly successful pop-up, Majestic Hawker, where food was cooked over an open flame, they've brought their stoveless concept back to Bourke Street.

The Fancy Hanks team (Kent Bell, Mike Patrick, Daragh Kan and Myles Munro) has named this huge new Chinatown establishment HeroesNow open, it's inspired by their travels around the Malay Peninsula, as well as their experiences dining in Singaporean and Malaysian eating houses and beer gardens.

Given that it's a barbecue bar, everything edible comes off the charcoal grill, in a culinary lineup that's overseen by chef and food advisor Alicia Cheong — who grew up in the region's Singaporean and Malaysian food culture, and previously worked at both Fancy Hanks and Majestic Hawker. Expect both familiar and creative hawker-style food on the menu, including wings with chilli vinegar and lime, a daily sambal, smoked beef tongue, soybean custard with fried dough fritters, and six types of skewers (chicken satay, beef rendang, lamb, duck heart, shiitake mushroom and eggplant). Plus, the special szechuan brisket comes with smoked garlic puree and pickled radish, and is smoked up the road at Fancy Hanks.

Between devouring Cheong's dishes, you can sit back with a drink in the brightly coloured, rooftop beer garden, which boasts views over Chinatown. Beverages span six rotating taps of craft and international beer, including Asahi; more than 20 other brews by the bottle; a wine list paired with the Asian barbecue flavours; and both alcoholic and non-boozy cocktails — such as the Let's Pan-dance with pandan-infused gin, the Gold Finger with both Szechuan-infused vodka and chilli and lemongrass-infused sake, and the First Time in Singapore with pineapple, preserved mandarin, cherry and lime — as curated by Oscar Eastman of Loretta's and Eau de Vie.

Plus, the venue has also filled its first lower floor with private dining rooms and karaoke rooms, perfect for group hangouts. Yep, it looks like you'll be able to enjoy your entire night out here without leaving the building.

Meanwhile, the decor mirrors the high-energy design the crew fell in love with on their travels — very '80s, a little Blade Runner-esque, and old world-meets-new world, too. In fact, Munro, Bell and Cheong picked up many of the bar's interior elements in Kuala Lumpur, rummaging "through dodgy junkyards, thieves' markets, pawn brokers, basement vintage flea markets — all the way to an old lady's backyard toilet," says Bell.

Find Heroes at 188 Bourke Street, Melbourne.

Published on July 01, 2018 by Jonathan Ford
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