Hanoi Hannah Windsor
After noticing a lack of hawker-style food in Melbourne’s south-east, Simon Blacher and Paul Nguyen of The St. Hotel and Nick Coulter of Sarti remedied the problem with the affordable Hanoi Hannah in 2012.
It’s similar to many of the restaurants along Victoria Street in Richmond and Abbotsford, minus the picture menus and bland décor. Rather than blending Asian cuisines, the menu is made up entirely of Vietnamese street-eats, albeit with a few modern twists (such as Vietnamese-style pork-belly sliders).
The most expensive item on the menu is a low $17. The five pho dishes (including beef, chicken and mixed mushroom) are a standout. Other options include crispy betel-leaf cigars; yellowfin tuna rolls with wasabi mayo; and a several iterations of vermicelli salads.
The atmosphere is fast and fun. That’s no surprise – there are plenty of light, drinkable cocktails, jugs of “oriental sangria” (passionfruit, pomegranate and Thai basil) and big 640-millilitre bottles of Tsingtao. It’s cheap and cheerful, but with a refined edge.
A few doors down, Hanoi Hannah Express Lane offers a slimmed-down menu for takeaway only.