Students have a knack for finding cheap, good food. Or cheap, good food tends to crop up wherever there are students around. Either way, Hero is a new cafe that’s popped up behind RMIT, targeting hungry students with gargantuan Brooklyn-styled hero subs.
But Michael and Eleena (of The Grain Store fame) aren’t just copy cats, oh no. they’ve borrowed the all-American hero sub idea and turned it into Melbourne-styled feel-good and slightly gourmet sandwiches. It’s messy, it’s hearty, and it’s good for the soul. And whilst Michael had enthusiastically insisted that we try 4 different half-subs between the two of us, by the end we were grateful that we decided to just have 3 – they were THAT huge.
|#Kidroyale ($7.8 half, $11.8 whole)|
I had my eyes dead-set on the #Kidroyale ($7.8 half, $11.8 whole), a mouth-watering concoction of slow roasted beef topped with crispy onion rings. This was a smashing sandwich. The pull-apart tender beef was generously flavoured with a sweet and smoky onion jam, and a thick, creamy honey Dijon dressing. And the onion rings on top? Eat them separately or chow it down with the sandwich – it’s all good.
|#Bythehour ($7.8 half, $11.8 whole)|
The #Bythehour ($7.8 half, $11.8 whole) on the other hand, was a lighter and cleaner taste altogether. Borrowing its inspiration from Mexico, this sandwich was stuffed with pulled pork, flavoursome apple and purple cabbage slaw, and topped with a refreshing corn relish.
|#Brklyn ($7.8 half, $11.8 whole)|
The #Brklyn ($7.8 half, $11.8 whole) was my favourite sandwich for the day. The pulled lamb was cooked for 10 hours, and it shows – the meat was unctuous and melted in the mouth, suffused with fragrant cumin. The tangy pickled beetroot and whipped feta on top was the perfect companion to the sticky lamb.
One thing definitely worth mentioning is the bread. Doing away with the mouth-shredding sourdough, Michael and Eleena sourced their custom-made bread locally, resulting in a loaf that is strong enough to hold the fillings, but soft enough to soak up the juices.
|Jam Hot Ball Donut ($2.8)|
|Chocolate Custard Hot Ball Donut ($2.8)|
Though full, we couldn’t say no to a pair of Hot Ball Donuts ($2.8), and a cup of Americano Coffee ($2.5 cup; $4.8 bottomless). The hot jam donuts were light, crisp, and not too sweet, allowing the sticky jam and smooth chocolate custard to shine. The coffee however, was not really my thing. It was a filtered American-styled coffee, and being used to the heady and fragrant Melbourne coffee, I’m afraid this was a bit too weak for me. However for those of you who can’t handle strong coffees, this is a great alternative made with some of the best beans Melbourne has to offer – St Ali Beans.
Hero is something Melbourne has needed for a long time – sandwiches with great ingredients that doesn’t take itself too seriously. The flavours are punchy and exciting, and the portions huge. It has definitely taken a spot on my list of favourite places for a sandwich.
Rating: 14/20 – bye bye subway.
This rating reflects my personal experience at the time of visit.
Sweet and Sour Fork dined as a guest of Hero