In a narrow ground-floor space a few blocks from Queen Victoria Market, you’ll find a different kind of market. HWKR is an Asian hawker-hall concept that features a rotating cast of tenants every three months.

HWKR is backed by developer ICD Property – the venue is located on the ground floor of one of its residential towers. The food hall’s only permanent tenant, Manymore, is run by the developer’s charitable arm, the MAI Foundation. The cafe-by-morning, bar-by-night donates 90 per cent of its profits to food-related charities and initiatives. The remaining 10 per cent goes to charities such as Ygap and the YMCA.

The first four tenants moved in at the start of 2018. Sydney-based chef Reynold Poernomo (previously of MasterChef) and his brothers ran their Koi Dessert Bar and cocktail joint Monkey’s Corner.

Diana Chan (another MasterChef alum) was another debut tenant, with her hawker restaurant, Chanteen.

Hong Kong-based Bread & Beast made its way to Melbourne for the opening, slinging Asian sandwiches such as the Ngau Lam ‘Wich with slow-cooked beef brisket, spring onion, pickled daikon and mayo.

Khao by Rice Paper Scissors completed HWKR’s first chapter, with dishes and flavours from Bali and the Philippines.

Craig Tan Architects and BrandWorks designed the space, which is filled with lanterns, neon lights and timber tables. Each stall is clad in mesh, with its name lit up in LED lights.

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Updated: May 7th, 2021

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