Hawker Hall, a beer hall and south-east Asian hawker market mash-up from the Chin Chin/Baby/Kong bloodline, is gearing up to start trading on the weekend of November 14-15.
The project began with chefs dabbling in brewing with Asian aromatics. And when the huge space opens, it will have 50 to 60 bottled beers and 24 more on tap – including brews under their own Shiki (Japanese for "formula") label – and seating for 130 or 140.
The menu, by Lucas Group executive chef Benjamin Cooper and Hawker Hall head chef Damian Snell (recently at Prahran's Charlie Dumpling), is built around keenly priced ($10-$20) and beer-friendly barbecue, dumpling, curry and noodle hawker dishes.
"It's a 21st century pub experience but with food as the underlying reason we're there," says restaurateur Chris Lucas, promising authentic flavours, good produce, no shortcuts and accessible prices.
The former stables and furniture shop has been reimagined with plenty of timber and exposed brick.
Hawker Hall is at 98 Chapel Street, Windsor.
Meanwhile, change is brewing at Lucas's CBD goldmine Chin Chin.
Early in the new year he will reinvent downstairs bar Go Go to create an entirely new concept – Lucas hints at an artisan spirits focus – and freshen up the dining room at five-year-old Chin Chin, adding a traditional coconut barbecue grill and smoke extractors to the kitchen.
The change will allow Chin Chin to hit the menu refresh button and add a barbecue section.