Join the queue at the sleek New Hector’s Deli Outpost in South Melbourne

Melbourne’s sandwich boom is booming slowly. So it’s fitting that Hector’s Deli, which opened in Richmond in 2017, has expanded to another store in South Melbourne.

And it is not surprising that it already draws a crowd.

“This is a bit of a long time coming,” says co-owner Dom Wilton Broadsheet. “We never started as a brand that wanted to scale things really fast. I’m pretty scared of becoming a cookie cutter chain.”

If you have been to the original place, the new one will feel familiar. The menu is pretty much the same – five fresh and five hot sandwiches plus a changing selection of specialties. But the space is completely its own. “The building was an old bakery,” Wilton says. “For us, it was so important to find the right place, because once you’re there, it’s your world.”

It is a minimalist open plan space with a long counter on one side and a few seats on the other, plus seating by the street. Original textured glass windows remain on the Victorian façade, but the interior has been modernized with splashes of concrete, stainless steel and blond timber.

At the rear, a kitchen is much larger than the one in Richmond, allowing for more on-the-fly recipe testing. “We want to make weekly roasts, whether it’s porchetta or roast beef or meatballs,” Wilton says. “The offers will be adjusted slightly to reflect whatever that team comes up with and what makes sense for the local demographic.”

But all the classics remain – from HCT (mortadella, mozzarella, provolone and tomato chutney) to the melted mushroom melt to the chicken schnitzel sandwich, served on a steamed potato bun with iceberg lettuce, tarragon butter and homemade pickle mayo.

Fresh options include a chicken salad song with herb ranch and a fried pork number with kale pesto and Calabrian chili – both on Turkish sourdough created in collaboration with Flywheel Bakery. “I was a little obsessed with this bread for two years,” Wilton says.

In a few weeks, a handful of simple salads like Caesar and Cobb will be added to the menu. And thanks to a liquor grant, a handful of canned cocktails are on the way, too.

Hector’s Deli South Melbourne

253 Coventry Street, South Melbourne


Daily at 07: 00-16: 00 (sandwiches from 8:00 to sold out)

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