Healthy Eating

We're championing fresh food that packs a flavour punch, from salads and vegetable-packed bowls to grains and light desserts.

Subscribe to Gourmet

Subscribe to Australian Gourmet Traveller and receive a copy of Nordic Light - offer ends 23 April 2017.

Gourmet digital

Subscribe to Gourmet Traveller for your iPad or Android tablet.

Hawker Hall, Melbourne

Chris Lucas

Chris Lucas

The beer came first at Chris Lucas's latest hospitality behemoth, a 200-seat Asian hawker-style restaurant named, appropriately enough, Hawker Hall.

Lucas, the impresario behind Melbourne's permanently buzzing Chin Chin, Baby and Kong, had noticed shifting beer tastes among his customers over the past few years. "A quantum shift, I'd call it. Women in particular are drinking more beer but it's of a fresher, lighter style that suits Asian food particularly well."

His increasing interest in hops led to a collaboration with Manly's 4 Pines brewery, the "huge" response to which "drove the idea for a beer hall initially, but we're restaurateurs first so we thought it made sense to combine it with food, and we wanted to stick to the Asian genre."

Enter the former furniture factory at the Windsor end of Chapel Street, stripped back to its bare bones - supporting timbers, corrugated iron roof - and due to open as a reinvented Asian hawker market in July.

Hawker Hall will be devoid of the Lucas neon trademark. "I'm trying to put some distance between us and the me-toos, but I have some surprises up my sleeve." The group's executive chef Benjamin Cooper is along for the ride, meaning the food will be bold, brash and authentic. "It falls into the broader categories you see in a hawker market," says Lucas. "Dumplings, noodles, curries, barbecue. Street food in the last little while got lost in the ether so we're making sure it's a true representation."

As for those house beers, there will be one designed to go well with chilli, another suited to sweet-and-sour Thai flavours. Of 30-plus beer taps, four will be devoted to Lucas's own as-yet unnamed label, made at Stefano de Pieri's Mildura Brewery.

"We're pushing back against the parochial craft-beer culture. Going in the opposite direction, as it were, with the food first and designing the beer around it. I like to mix it up."

Newsletter

Sign up to receive the latest food, travel and dining news direct from Gourmet Traveller headquarters.

Latest news
Dining at Jackalope, Mornington Peninsula
20.04.2017
La Lune Wine Co opens in South Brisbane
19.04.2017
Three Blue Ducks chef Darren Robertson to open Rocker in Bondi
19.04.2017
A menu by Adam Wolfers inspired by heritage and tradition
19.04.2017
Hot Plates: Hardy's Verandah, Crafers, SA
18.04.2017
Hot Plates: Iberia, Adelaide
18.04.2017
GT
Signature Collection

Find out more about the Gourmet Traveller Signature Collection by Robert Gordon Australia, including where to buy it in store and online.

Read More
Recipe collections

Looking for ways to make the most out of seasonal produce? Want to find a recipe perfect for a party? Or just after fresh ideas for dessert? Either way, our recipe collections have you covered.

See more
2017 Restaurant Guide

Our 2017 Restaurant Guide is online, covering over 400 restaurants Australia wide. Never wonder where to dine again.

See more

You might also like...

Australian chefs to follow on Instagram in 2013

There are a lot of food shots on Instagram: the good, the ba...

Where our chefs want to eat

We asked Australia's leading chefs to name the restaurants t...

Hot 100 2015 - Restaurant news

The world is getting hotter and we’re not talking about glob...

What the hell is Gelinaz anyway, and why is it shuffling?

On the eve of the second outing of one of the world’s strang...

Grant Achatz interview

Pat Nourse talks to the chef of Chicago’s Alinea ahead of hi...

Nahm named best restaurant in Asia

The 2014 50 Best Restaurants in Asia were unveiled this week...

Restaurants cooking with seaweed

With its complexity in flavour and texture, seaweed is the c...

On the pass

Tell us about Tomahawk’s menu, Ali...

S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2015

A mighty fine plate of beef short ribs with roast celery vin...

Dan Barber talks sustainable food

Farm-to-table is a neat catchcry but, argues Dan Barber, one...

Alessandro Pavoni, Ormeggio, Sydney

You’ve just released your first cookbook, a tribute to Lomba...

The 2016 GT Restaurant Guide Top 100

Here's the list of our 2016 Restaurant Guide Top 100. How ma...

First look: 108 at Noma, Copenhagen

Rene Redzepi may be headed to Sydney next month, but he's ba...

Party-starting playlists

Music is a key ingredient that can turn your party from good...

Edible seaweed guide

With its complexity in flavour and texture, seaweed is the c...

get the latest news

Sign up to receive the latest food, travel and dining news direct from Gourmet Traveller headquarters.

×