With a focus on innov-Asian, HWKR has recently opened its doors to the public with a true culinary “bang”, introducing its first four incredible food vendors.
Located on the ground floor of ICD Property’s architecturally acclaimed, award-winning Eq. Tower on A’Beckett Street in Melbourne’s CBD, HWKR’s most distinctive feature – and one that is guaranteed to keep customers coming back time and time again, is a rotating calendar of tenancies which will see it host an array of national and internationally renowned restaurants, each for a limited 3-month residency, in its four permanent, state-of-the-art commercial kitchens.
Its first rounds of tenants, operating from February to April, are;
• Hong Kong’s Bread & Beast;
• Reynold Poernomo’s KOI Dessert Bar and his new savoury offering Monkey’s Corner; plus
• fellow Masterchef alum Diana Chan’s first ever restaurant CHANTEEN; and
• Melbourne-based and loved Khao by Rice Paper Scissors.
Evoking Asia’s urban street markets, HWKR’s design (by Award-winning Craig Tan Architects and BrandWorks designers) boasts three zones over two platform levels. The entrance houses the bar. Moving deeper into the space, patrons are greeted with mesh-clad kiosks, home to each of the rotating tenancies, their names illuminated in ultra tech LED boards above each one.
The tenancy at HWKR will mark Bread & Beast’s Australian debut. As one of HWKR’s first tenants, the venue lives up to its #BEASTCODE – “Eat Bold. Live True. Stay Hungry”, and is famous for its creative sandwiches, bar munchies and original dishes inspired by the flavours of its hometown, Hong Kong. Highlights from its menu include the Ngau Lam ‘Wich – 18 hour slow cooked beef brisket with Chu Hao mayo, spring onion and pickled daikon and the HK-Po Girl - Tsing Tao Tempura Shrimp, Ginger Salt, Sweet Shrimp Paste Mayonnaise, Scallion & Chilli Slaw.
Since finishing his Masterchef experience, Reynold Poernomo has gone from strength to strength. His HWKR residency will see Reynold treat diners to an array of new and exclusive dishes never tasted before including both sweet and savoury offerings. . His savoury offering from
One of the most exciting tenants is CHANTEEN by Masterchef 2017 winner Diana Chan who travelled to Singapore and Malaysia no less than three times to perfect her offering. Using ‘scratch’ cooking (meaning everything is made from scratch daily), Diana has worked family recipes with traditional Singaporean and Malaysian cooking techniques into her menu, with dishes evolving weekly. What really sets CHANTEEN'S menu apart, however, is the fact that all proteins will be finished over locally sourced Murrumbidgee charcoal which are constantly hand basted and fanned, giving dishes a robust and smokey flavour. Our top pick and Chan’s personal favourite from her menu is the Satay in either chicken or beef, marinated using her dad Joe Chan's top secret recipe from scratch using over 20 ingredients. Not to be missed!
The team at Rice Paper Scissors have also decided to answer a question forever asked at its current eateries – why no rice? Enter Khao! Translated as rice in Thai and Lao, Khao brings all the fun and flavour diners have come to expect from the team behind Rice Paper Scissors. But instead of share plate style meals, Khao’s menu is designed for one – and all are served with (you guessed it), rice. We adored the Balinese style barramundi wrapped in a banana leaf with Jimbarin spiced butter sauce, jasmine rice and sambal.
The drinks front will be managed and operated by Melbourne-based non-for-profit MAI Foundation, the Manymore café will offer excellent coffee by social enterprise STREAT, and an on-the-go breakfast menu including, toasted sandwiches, and pastries. By night Manymore will transform into a full service bar with a cheeky, Asian influenced cocktail list as well as a full wine, beer and whisky list available. The best bit is that 90% of profits from Manymore will be donated to food related charities and initiatives, with the other 10% donated to charities directly supported by the MAI Foundation, including Ygap and the YMCA.
Fulfilling a mission to offer friction-free food, HWKR and ICD have developed an innovative HWKR app allowing consumers to access full menus via cashless and cardless operating systems, with AliPay or via WeChat Pay on offer throughout the venue. Customers will be able to pre-order food before they arrive, or from the comfort of their table, and have their meals served to them without having to wait in lines, making the entire ordering process convenient and quick. Diners will also be able to order HWKR’s entire menu for delivery to their desk or door via the Foodora app.
They say variety is the spice of life. HWKR not only guarantees diners plenty of variety, but offers unparalleled access to some amazing international and local upcoming chefs and restaurants. Very cool indeed.
Location: 137 A’Beckett St, Melbourne CBD