Just Open: Changz Canteen, Elsternwick

Banh mi at Changz Canteen.
Banh mi at Changz Canteen. Photo: Pat Scala

Get your sauce straight from the source – the crew behind locally made Changz Hot Sauce have opened a canteen dedicated to food you can eat with your hands.

Business partners Tom Jacobson, James Forge and Josh Monteiro​ are creating their fiery habanero-jalapeno concoctions onsite, with a production kitchen out back and snack bar up front. 

The furnishings are minimal, the sound system is cranking and there's a Banksy-inspired Pulp Fiction/Star Wars mash-up mural. Niche.

Changz Canteen features a pop culture mash-up mural.
Changz Canteen features a pop culture mash-up mural. Photo: Pat Scala

Monteiro says they're not aiming to be a novelty burger restaurant (there's a three patty rule) – just a local hangout serving roll-up-your-sleeves bar snacks.

For now, the boys are turning out a reduced menu of fried snacks (giant padron peppers with an anchovy and basil crumb, fried chicken, pork scratchings), banh mi and burgers on Japanese-style milk buns from Brasserie Bread – medium-rare patties with good char, American-style cheese, mustard and pickle with optional fries, jalapenos and bacon.

New dishes will roll out over the next month, you'll find more hand-held options, perhaps a reuben sandwich, a soft-shell crab roll, and some vegetarian alternatives (a vegan, gluten-free bun is in the works).

Padron peppers with anchovy and basil crumb.
Padron peppers with anchovy and basil crumb. Photo: Pat Scala

Grab a good handful of napkins, no cutlery required.

Open Wed-Thu & Sun 11am-9pm; Fri-Sat 11am-late.

256 Glen Eira Road, Elsternwick, 03 9077 0353, changzhotsauce.com.au