Start practising your best karaoke tune because the team behind Bourke Street’s new Hawker-style barbecue bar, Heroes, has confirmed it will open in late-May.
Located on the edge of Chinatown, Heroes is a multi-level South East Asian charcoal wood-fired barbecue bar. The venue splits across four levels with karaoke rooms and private dining rooms in the basement and level 1, the barbecue bar on level 2 and the ‘weather-proof’ rooftop bar on level 3.
Heroes is the second major project for Mike Patrick, Kent Bell and Alicia Cheong, who all worked together in the early days at Fancy Hank’s when it called the Mercat Cross Hotel home. Alicia left Fancy Hank’s before it moved to Bourke Street for a stint at Restaurant Andre, a two Michelin-star restaurant in Singapore. After Mike, Kent and Alicia went on numerous trips involving mainly eating and drinking in South East Asia along with fellow Fancy Hank’s owners Myles Munro and Daragh Kan, the concept of Heroes was born. The team road-tested the idea with their successful Majestic Hawker pop-up in 2017.
Once again, Bell has taken the reigns of designing and fitting out his new project. Bell designed the interior of Fancy Hank’s and Good Heavens when they opened on Bourke Street in December 2016.
Heroes is a mix of east meets west, old world versus new world, a dystopian future of sorts referencing iconic 80s pop culture a-la Blade Runner. In late 2017 Munro, Bell and Cheong went on a ‘strike mission’ for décor in Kuala Lumper. “Driving in a shitty second-hand van, we rummaged through dodgy junkyards, thieves’ markets, pawn brokers, basement vintage flea markets – all the way to an old lady’s backyard toilet. We squeezed these treasures onto a 40-foot shipping container and hoped for the best,” said Bell.
The Heroes food menu takes inspiration from the street food and Hawker centres in Singapore, Kuala Lumper and Penang. Think high-quality barbecue skewers, chicken wings and barbecue share plates including a special Szechuan brisket smoked up the road at Fancy Hank’s. All food will come off the charcoal grill, with sides of steamed rice and pickles. “This is bar food – similar to a yakitori bar in Japan. You might have a beer or a microphone in one hand and a barbecue skewer in the other,” said Patrick.
The bar will feature a cocktail menu driven by Asian ingredients. There will be a cocktail with Kopi O (coffee) as well as their version of a Singapore Sling and Chai Masala, curated by Oscar Eastman of Loretta’s and Eau de Vie fame. A tight wine list paired to match the Asian barbecue flavours will be on offer as well as tap sparkling wine and rosé. Six rotating taps of craft and international beer featuring Asahi will also be on hand.
Everything will be ordered at the bar and then the staff will come and find you, be prepared for the place to get rowdy. Overall, the team hopes guests will embrace the simple and fun atmosphere Heroes is striving to deliver.
Image credit: Laura McGuire, loulouchilds.com
188 Bourke Street, Melbourne
Tuesday: 4pm – 1am
Wednesday: 4pm – 1am
Thursday: 4pm – 1am
Friday: 12pm – 1am
Saturday: 12pm – 1am
Kitchen open for lunch 12pm – 3pm and dinner 5pm – 11pm