Published on Wednesday, 16 March 2016 00:00
Written by Cheryl Teo Kai Lin
Fighting crime and saving the world can work up a colossal appetite, fortunately there is one restaurant in Singapore which specially caters to these huge gastronomic requirements.
Along a stretch of charming shophouses in Little India lies a secret superhero hideout where anyone who ventures into it will find themselves starstruck as they come face to face with their favorite superheroes and greeted by a plethora of glorious food worthy of these comic gods.
Upon stepping foot into Hungry Heroes, you will immediately by blown away by the countless superhero posters, vintage comics, paintings, action figures, busts, life-sized statues and various other memorabilia covering every square inch of this quaint two-storey shophouse that seats a total of 84 guests (excluding outdoor seating).
The impressive collection that consists of superheroes and villains from Marvel and DC Comics was passionately collected by the owner of the establishment for over 25 years.
Despite the explosion of colors from the superhero paraphernalia, the décor on the first floor is classy, elegant and cozy when it could have easily been trashy without meticulous planning and designing. Precious limited edition figurines are encased in glass and rare posters are framed in multi-layered ornate frames and mounted on sleek dark panelled wooden walls that ooze sophistication.
Restored gold aviator tables contrast beautifully with lush Chesterfield sofas and bar stools of various style. Stunning chandeliers reminiscent of medieval wrought iron ceiling lights adorn the airspace with many other contemporary and unique lighting such as one made with a cluster of trombones. A gigantic 3-meter long baroque mirror and an awesome faux weapon cabinet are other hightlights of the first floor.
The second floor is a stark contrast to the first. The colors of the rainbow run wild on the top floor, and the myriad of hues give a bright and cheerful ambience to the place. The second floor has more of a pop art theme with quirky mismatched furniture, brightly painted walls, bold artisanal statement framing, and overall avant garde interior.
I was especially enamored with the chandeliers that were designed by a creative genius who thought of using different action figures woven together to form one of the most unique lighting fixtures that I have ever seen. A huge mural of the Last Supper with superheroes and villains in place of Jesus and his disciples makes for a wonderful photo op backdrop as you consume your food.
There is an entire wall that runs up from the first floor to the second which showcases shelf upon shelf of extremely detailed and intricate superhero busts and life-sized statues.
As a closet comic book geek who studiously catches up on comics frequently, I was extremely envious of the place and wanted to make it mine. It is said that there are two types of people in the world – DC fans and Marvel fans. I slightly prefer DC over Marvel, but since I am also a comic book slut who constantly gets frustrated with the extremely slow rate in the release of new issues, I swing both ways. It felt like I have just stepped in the crossover world of DC and Marvel, and I wanted to get lost in the geekish fantasy forever.
Naturally with a name like Hungry Heroes, you can assume that they will include meat on and in everything since it is protein for the muscles, and our superheroes need their muscles to effectively save the day. Meat, meat and more meat is exactly the dominant element of their menu much to my rabid carnivorous delight.
Heroes Fries, $10
Hungry Heroes' version of chili cheese fries consists of steak cut fries, beef chili con carne, nacho cheese and mayonnaise. A generous serving of golden-brown fries is drenched with melted and gooey cheese before a hearty heaping of chili is piled on top, and mayonnaise is then drizzled over for the final touch. Because the fries are of a thicker cut, it holds together well under the cheese and chilli without getting too soggy, and it is just the perfect amount of starch to the balance out the saltiness from the chilli and cheese. The little bit of mayonnaise helps in amplifying the creaminess of the nacho cheese, and the chili provided a nice meaty contrast to the fries which were crisp on the outside yet soft and moist on the inside.
Clash of the Potato, Mayo & Scallions, $7
This dish may not look like much, but you know what they say about judging a book by its cover. Hungry Heroes managed to revolutionize the potato salad by infusing it with duck fat. The potatoes are roasted in duck fat till fork tender, then tossed in kewpie mayo (Japanese mayonnaise) and topped with chopped spring onions. The flavors of the duck fat have thoroughly permeated the potatoes rendering the potatoes extremely rich and full in flavor, yet it is not greasy and remains light and refreshing. The potatoes combined with mayo are creamy and melt in your mouth, releasing a taste akin to bacon which is a result from being cooked in duck fat. One spoonful of this will blow your tastebuds clean off. As of now, I am aggressively fighting off hunger pangs with everything I got while recalling the heavenly sensations this created in my mouth.
Bacon Karate Chop with Honey Thyme Gastrique, $20
This slab of high-quality pork belly is first vacuum-packed and placed in a sous-vide bath ensuring that the inside is properly cooked without overcooking the outside, and that it retains its moisture. After which it is then seared in a blaze to slightly caramelize the meat before being dunked in a sweet sauce that takes a tedious two hours of preparation. The result is a succulent chunk of pork that is naturally salty and savory with a hint of charred sweetness from being seared on high heat, the sweet sauce that is made up of vinegar, honey and thyme balances out the saltiness of the pork belly and gives it that lip-smacking touch.
Nuclear Fission Angus Beef Cheeks, $27
A wondrous nuclear reaction of flavors will occur with every bite of this insanely soft hunk of beef cheek. It is braised in veal jus with a high pressure cooker that allows the beef cheek to soften up and absorb all the aromatic properties of the veal juices to the point that when it is taken out, the cheek that is wafting with a combintion of the sweet veal and its own gamey beef fragrances is so tender that it falls apart at the slightest tug and practically disintegrates in your mouth. The beef cheek is extremely juicy and succulent with a viscous consistency which is courtesy of all the luscious collagen produced from the slow melting of its connective tissues. It is served on a bed of velvety, creamy and earthy truffle mash that perfectly complements the melty and savory beef cheek.
Spider Pig Burger, $21
If there is one word to describe this burger, I would go with “hearty”. This is a very versatile meal that you can indulge in for breakfast, lunch, dinner or even supper. It consists of a sunny side-up egg, coleslaw, a slice of pineapple, hand-shredded pork shoulder slow cooked in a secret spice recipe (that involves onions) sandwiched between two fluffy buns slathered with in-house made bbq sauce. It tastes tangy, refreshing, sweet, and porky all at the same time and you won't go wrong with this burger regardless of the time of the day (or night).
Meat Fury's BBQ Pork Ribs, $21 / $38 (Half Rack / Full Rack)
Meet the Meat Fury which is a rack of baby back ribs cooked twice because of Hungry Heroes' OCD towards superb taste and texture in its food. The pork ribs are first braised over low heat till the meat almost slides off the bones before being glazed with house BBQ marinade and placed in the oven to seal in the juices. Before it is served to you, it is again generously drenched in the yummy BBQ sauce. The BBQ sauce has just the right amount of smokiness without being too overwhelmingly sweet, the pork ribs easily separates like pulled pork and remains soft and moist on the inside. Don't be afraid to get messy while devoring these ribs, after all, Nick Fury gets his own hands messy from time to time too with Shield missions.
The Roost (BAMZ! Chicken Burger), $21
You will crow with happiness after chomping down on this decadent chicken burger. I have never been a fan of chicken burgers and always thought that burgers should just be made with beef patties, but I was pleasantly surprised that I was proven dead wrong with The Roost. This is hands down, the best chicken burger I have ever had, and it is on my personal “top three best burgers in the world” list, and that is saying a lot because I have eaten a ton of fast food and gourmet burgers on my travels. This chicken feat is no chicken feed, and it takes a whole lot of patience, dedication and culinary passion to create this deceivingly unassuming burger. A deboned chicken leg is brined for two whole days, this process breaks down the protein molecules in the meat so that the chicken becomes more tender and juicy even though everyone knows that the leg of a chicken is already the juiciest part. It is then marinated, coated in flour and deep fried. The by-product is a chicken patty that is cripsy on the outside yet bursting with juices and soft as butter on the inside. Besides the explosion of chicken juices, there will be an eruption in the combined flavors of the tangy pineapple cilantro colwslaw and slightly spicy cajun mayo.
Mother of all Chicken Burgers, $32
If you have a raging hunger that can rival Galactus a.k.a. The Devourer of Worlds, this Hulk of a burger will perfectly satisfy your colossal appetite. If you thought that The Roost sounded good, you will fall in love with its mother, which is a total MILF. Check out its sultry goodness in all its glory – two sexy and juicy chicken legs (which has been brined for two days just like The Roost), with a runny sunny side up egg, melted cheese, coleslaw, caramelized onions, slices of bacon, pickled jalapeños, tomatoes and cajun mayo stacked in a towering heap between two toasted buns. The overall result is a multi-dimensional kaleidoscope of flavors and textures that will tantalize your palate as you completely annihilate this monster burger.
Captain America vs. Red Skull
Other noteworthy items to order are the Super Soldier Serum and Red Skull which are both alcoholic cocktails. The Red Skull is a concoction of choya, cranberry and raspberry that comes in a 400ml glass skull for $23 and packs a fruity sweetness. The Super Soldier Serum is a stronger alcoholic cocktail served in ½ dozen test tubes for $24 or a dozen for $38, and has a bitter citrusy taste from the grapefruit juice which is mixed with vodka and choya. These two cocktails make the perfect way to end off a wonderful meal, or even just a fun night out with the boys/girls.
Other than tucking into a sumptious and delectable meal, Hungry Heroes offers diners a fun and unique experience by immensing them in the world of comic book superheroes and villains. Even if you are not a comic book fan, this restaurant is still worth checking out for its sui generis décor and unparalleled finger-licking dishes. It might be wise to make a reservation before heading down to Hungry Heroes as this establishment gets really crowded during meal times (especially during dinner) as patrons tend to linger longer to soak in the jovial ambience.
Address: 33 Tessensohn Road, Singapore 217656
Opening Hours: 4pm – 11pm (Mon – Fri), 12pm – 11pm (Sat, Sun & PH)
Telephone No.: +65 6295 5401