A Melbourne based writer who is a travel junkie, dedicated foodie and emerging photographer.
Published September 2nd 2018
Heroes is your new one stop dining and entertainment venue
After a year of planning and building, the talented team from Fancy Hank's and Good Heavens were keen to showcase their latest venture, Heroes Melbourne, which has recently opened in the CBD. This inspired entertainment venue over three floors incorporates a kitchen and bar featuring Hawker style barbecue dishes, a karaoke and a rooftop bar. If the weather's bad, it doesn't matter, you have your whole night's entertainment in one location!
The true hero of Heroes? Head chef Alicia Cheong has recently returned to Melbourne following a stint at a two star Michelin restaurant in Singapore
While I'm not against occasionally getting my karaoke on, it was the food of head chef Alicia Cheong that had me wanting to try Heroes as soon as possible. Cheong has created a bar menu cooked entirely over fire and coals that is fresh, tasty and meant to be eaten fast while staying true to her Singaporean heritage. Having returned earlier this year after a stint at the recently closed two Michelin starred Restaurant Andre in Singapore, Cheong seems well credentialed for the role.
And and so it was that I found myself at a long table with a group of people, enjoying a 'let us pick for you' feast of her amazing food. The 'set menu 2' at $50 per person represented good value for money, as there were plentiful amounts of food, with many little side dishes, and it was certainly filling.
More about the food in a minute, but first a little about the drinks. Heroes has an extensive drinks list, including pages and pages of local and imported beers and wines, and an impressive array of cocktails (with and without alcohol). So, whether you're looking for a quiet drink, something to accompany a meal, or a courage booster pre-karaoke, there's bound to be something to suit most palates.
The 'Float On' cocktail will help you float on into the karaoke!
We tried the Float On cocktail, described as a straight up banger... with a cover of the classic New York Sour with Olmeca Altos Plata [tequila], smoked lychee, vanilla and a red wine float ($20). As well as being aesthetically appealing, the Float On had layers of complexity that made it both interesting and pleasing to drink. The clever smoky hints make it the perfect starter to the Hawker meal to follow. For more information about the drinks available at Heroes, click here.
The 'set menu 2' offers a chef's selection of six skewers, three chicken wings per person, and a mixed barbecue platter (brisket, beef tongue, charred lettuce), along with cucumber salad, achar pickles, and rice. Throw in some extras for good measure - ember-roasted butternut ($8), and a sambal seafood dish ($16), and you're guaranteed a delicious, diverse feast of treats.
Duck heart skewers
When the set menu refers to 'skewers', it could have been any of the six 'sticks' on offer, including two vegetarian options. I was glad we'd left it up to the chef to choose which of the options we were served, as there was no way I'd otherwise have selected one that arrived in front of us - the duck hearts, with a soy glaze and garlic chives. I'm not the biggest fan of game dishes, so I was pleasantly surprised by the duck hearts, which were mild yet flavoursome.
Another stand out dish was the Szechuan brisket - deep fried, smoked beef brisket, with snake beans, pickled radish and smoked garlic puree. Given the relationship with Fancy Hank's, it's no surprise that the brisket here is first-rate, redolent with complex smoky flavours.
The BBQ chicken wings were another surprise. Like the duck hearts, they are listed as a 'kitchen boss specialty', and you'd wonder just how these wings would stand out from any other wings you've tasted. Well, for a start, they're BIG, and juicy and succulent - practically a meal in every wing. And they are delicious, with a hint of chilli and a slug of lime juice.
BBQ chicken wings
While I did think the set menu was good value, a la carte is available if you prefer. There is also a $25 version of the set menu. (Set menus available for four or more diners.) You can view the menu here.
I really enjoyed this meal and hope to be back soon - next time we'll tackle the karaoke!
Heroes is located at 188 Bourke Street, Melbourne. It's open Tuesday - Wednesday: 4pm-11pm, Thursday: 4pm-1am, Friday - Saturday: 12pm-1am, Sunday: 12pm-11pm (Monday: Closed)
The images in this article were taken by the writer.