Introducing Firebird, Hanoi Hannah’s newest venture

Drink, Eat, Melbourne / 13 March 2020

Open everyday from midday till late.

Vietnamese cuisine has been the backbone of Melbourne’s growing multicultural foodie space. For decades we have embraced the fragrant broth of pho and have bitten into one too many pork rolls to count. However, something distinctly Vietnamese was still missing. “No one in Australia has really focused on Vietnamese flavours of wood fire cooking” restaurateur Simon Blache remarks. “Which is funny, because all of Vietnam smells like barbecue smoke.” Enter Firebird by Hanoi Hannah, a grill driven Vietnamese eatery located in Windsor – it will introduce an entirely new concept to the Comme Group’s already growing South-East Asian portfolio (Hanoi Hannah, Tokyo Tina, and Neptune)

firebird set

Firebird is seen as the rebel to Hanoi Hannah. Where its sister is focused on fresh vermicelli noodles and soups, Firebird is reminiscent of the tiny, smokey alleyways of Vietnam where meat and seafood sit grilling over charcoal. Chef Steven Ngo (who trained under David Thompson at Long Chim) will be serving up dishes inspired by Vietnamese and northern-Thai cuisines, like grilled banh mi rolls and grilled pipis tossed with tamarind in a burnt tomato broth. “Everything,” says Blacher, “has been touched by fire or coal or timber at some stage in the cooking process.”

Even when it comes to cocktails, the wood fire cooking continues – with Firebird’s fiery ethos carrying through the cocktail list. Expect smokey spirits paired with charred fruits, and pours such as burnt grapefruit paloma.

firebird interior

The restaurant was designed by Ewert Leaf, who regularly work with Commune Group to visually bring their restaurants to life. As an ode to the Vietnam alleyways, the 110 seat venue at Firebird features textured concrete walls, timber exposed beams and hues of green that splash across the restaurant. All eyes however will be drawn to the open kitchen which features a custom built chargrill and woodfire ovens, wrapped by an intimate 12 seater bar.

For more information, check out their website here

Nanjing story is bringing Jiangsu cuisine to life in Chinatown.