1/94 Buckingham St
Richmond, VIC 3121
Call me a sucker for a good sandwich. I love the way that it can be beautifully simple, or startlingly complex, yet absolutely delicious either way as long as you know what you’re doing. And today, I’m going to tell you about one of the best places in Melbourne to get that pesky sandwich craving sorted.
With alumni from Attica and Stokehouse, Hector’s Deli is possibly the most over-qualified sandwich shop in all of Melbourne. Yet despite the heavy-hitting names, Hector’s is remarkably humble. Located in a whitewashed building in a quiet Richmond backstreet, the fit-out consists largely of shiny white tiles and friendly blokes, and seats a grand total of 8, with a few more milk crates loitering around in the adjacent alleyway if you’re really not keen on takeaway.
The brew here is from Axil Coffee Roasters, and my Skinny Flat White ($4) is as good as I’ve had, boasting a smooth, sweet character that made for ridiculously easy drinking.
The Reuben is one of my all-time favourite sandwiches, and the rendition at Hector’s – the Beef and Pickles ($16) – is a total winner. It may not be made entirely by the book; there’s neither Russian dressing nor Swiss cheese, but it’s still a stunner. The wagyu pastrami, sourced from Meatsmith and stacked 4-layers high, was pure salty goodness. The richness of the meat was balanced out by 3 types of pickles, including a sweet onion relish that brightened up each bite. Rounding it out was what’s possibly the most amazing bread I’ve ever had in a sandwich. The thickly-sliced rye loaf was spread with generous amounts of butter, then slapped on the grill until a gorgeous golden crust was formed. Each bite from beginning to end had a wicked crunch, but without ever being tough, or losing the satisfyingly carby-goodness of the bread.
The most popular sandwich at Hector’s is listed simply on the menu as Chicken ($16) – a name that absolutely does not do the real thing justice. Sandwiched in the fluffy milk-white roll was the most succulent chicken cutlet I’ve ever eaten. Battered in a feathery Japanese crumb and deep-fried to crunchy, juicy perfection, it really needed nothing more than the house-made mayo and a smear of tarragon butter to make it sing. However, that didn’t stop me from being jealous of the blokes sitting next to us – one added a slice of melted American cheese to his sandwich, whilst the other a generous slathering of the house-made Hectic Sauce. The food envy is very real, and very painful.
Having shared my meal with K, we unanimously agreed that without a doubt, Hector’s does some of the best sandwiches we’ve had in recent memory, if not ever. I can’t even begin to describe how much I adore the way they’ve elevated a handful of simple ingredients into such luscious, crave-worthy sandwiches. It is a bit out of the way, but trust me – it’s well worth your time.
Rating: 15.5/20 – hec-ing good sandwiches
This rating reflects my personal experience at the time of visit.