The new concept draws inspiration from the street food of Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing, with Hanoi Hannah executive chef Anthony Choi taking well-loved, if a little old-school dishes such as prawn toast, steamed dumplings and Peking duck, and giving them a contemporary nudge.
“Like our other restaurants, [Beijing Betty is] not bound by tradition,” says Commune Group director Simon Blacher.
Between (or during) matches, diners can stop in for sweet’n’sour wings, wild mushroom and ginger bao, pork hock with charred pineapple and tamarind, and steamed pork-and-prawn wontons with chilli and black vinegar. For a more lo-fi, courtside dining experience, there’ll be takeaway options.
Visually, the temporary spot will evoke a busy, urban laneway, loaded with ornaments, trinkets and loud signage. Even though it’s a pop-up, for Blacher, the lead up works like any other major restaurant launch.
“We're putting the same amount of time and effort into Betty as we would any other venue,” he says. “With that comes a new menu, new elements and ultimately a new brand. [Interiors will be] young Melbourne meets industrial ’80s China, [with] layered textures and pops of colour.”
Wine and cocktails will be looked after by the Australian Open, but the restaurant will be serving a modern take on milky, fruity, occasionally herbal bubble tea – a Taiwanese tea-based drink typically containing tapioca pearls or jelly – in peach and mint, and coconut and pineapple.
The Australian Open 2019 will run from January 14 to January 27. Beijing Betty will be open to all ticketholders and will operate on a walk-in basis only.