Take one permanent, architecturally designed space, add regularly interchanging Asian food vendors, along with a tech-savvy app-powered ordering system, and you have HWKR, Melbourne’s new hawker-style food offering that prides itself on ‘friction-free’ food.
At its essence, HWKR is all about innovation. It has quite literally taken the concept of traditional hawker- style markets from around Asia – the way the locals eat, share and socialise, and given it a modern update with the use of an app and sleek ordering system to create a totally interactive eating experience.
The HWKR concept was pioneered by ICD property and occupies the ground floor of their architecturally acclaimed, award winning Eq. Tower on A’Beckett Street in Melbourne’s CBD. The HWKR brand and interior has been designed by award winning BrandWorks and Craig Tan Architects respectively.
Stepping into the venue, the design takes inspiration from a South East Asian hawker market but with a modern update. It is overlaid with contemporary timber finishes, colourful neon lighting and a clever layout to maximize space and seating options. Sure to be popular with customers are the ingenious ‘seating stairs’ – a stacked staircase cascading up one wall where diners can relax and enjoy a snack or a drink while watching the theatre and activity of HWKR.
Managed and operated by Melbourne based non-for profit MAI Foundation, the ManyMore café will be offering excellent coffee all day. 90% of profits will be being donated to food related charities and initiatives and the other 10% will be donated to charities directly supported by the MAI Foundation including Ygap and the YMCA who support the local community.
The space features four permanent, fully functioning kitchens with interchangeable cooklines, and it is these that provide HWKR’s most interesting twist. All four will be occupied by rotating food residencies, with appearances by some of Australia’s – and the world’s, best Asian chefs and food concepts already confirmed for 2018. Each kitchen will host tenants for a limited time – three months only, not only guaranteeing diners plenty of variety, but providing them with unparalleled access to some amazing international and local upcoming chefs and restaurants.
Even better, each resident tenant will be offering an exclusive dish available only to HWKR diners. When it comes to friction-free food, consumers will be able to download the HWKR app and access full menus via cashless and cardless operating systems, with AliPay, or via WeChat Pay in the venue itself. Customers will be able to pre-order food before they arrive at the venue, or from the comfort of their table, and have their meals delivered to them without having to wait in lines, making the entire ordering process convenient and quick.
“ICD is looking forward to bringing food-obsessed Melbournians a completely new dining concept, and we think it will totally revolutionise the way diners order and experience food. Not only is HWKR an amazing extra amenity for the residents of Eq. Tower but will also contribute to the greater Melbourne city,” says ICD Deputy Managing Director, Matthew Khoo.
Launching in early February 2018, HWKR is delighted to confirm that 2017 Masterchef Australia winner Diana Chan will be amongst it’s first round of tenants, opening her hotly anticipated Asian fusion hawker concept.
Using closely held secret family recipes she’s been perfecting since a young age, Chan will be serving a variety of traditional hawker style dishes inspired by her upbringing in Malaysia and combining these with some modern fusion touches to create everyday, delicious fusion hawker food.
“I am so excited to be bringing my modern Asian hawker concept to life. The last year has been an absolute whirlwind and I have loved every minute. In the last few months I’ve embarked on several research and development trips back to Malaysia and Singapore to refine my concept which will see a mix of traditional dishes combined with some modern fusion elements. We are all about the best produce and scratch cooking – making everything from scratch in house each morning. It’s the kind of food you can enjoy everyday.”
“For the menu, satay, a more traditional hawker item will feature, but the real crowd pleaser might be the lobster brioche roll, paired with pickled vegetables and oozing with Singapore chilli crab sauce. I can’t wait to bring my concept to the public in 2018.”
HWKR is now open to the public.
HWKR 137 A’Beckett St, Melbourne CBD www.facebook.com.au/hwkr @hwkrmelbourne hwkr.com.au