Friday, 5 November 2010

fried chicken

Sydney is most definitely not on a diet. At least, that's what the chefs of this great city intend for us, if they have their way. With dishes like fried chicken coming back into fashion and on the menus of some of the coolest eateries in town, it's time to pick up the pace on your weekly run or add a few extra laps in the pool...because it's finger-licking good (and we even hear THAT purveyor of fried chicken made The Bentley Bar change the name of one of their bite-sized chicken dishes).

There's pretty much a fried chicken in every cuisine, from karage to southern-fried, ayam goreng tulang lunak and more, so here are three great examples to try. BYO defibrillator.

ATL Maranatha
61 Todman Ave, 
Kensington NSW 2033
(02) 9663 3410

A favourite with the local Indonesian population, 'ATL' is famous for its deep fried soft bone chicken. 
$8 will buy you a plate of Oscar golden, juicy chicken, with a crunch any sound stage foley artist would be proud of. And yes, the bones are so soft you can eat them - courtesy of overnight pressure-cooking that happens before the poor sods are deep fried the following day. When it comes to fried chicken, there's no doubt the maryland is best (fat = flavour), that that's just what you'll get at ATL. Choose from original recipe, salted egg batter, or turn up the heat with chilli sauce for extra bite.

District Dining
17 Randle Street
Surry Hills, NSW 2010

We hear District Dining's co-owner and head chef Warren Turnbull is not adverse to indulging in a bit of junk food from time to time. A contrast from his fine diner Assiette, the bistro serves up shared dishes including a wooden breadboard of crisp fried chicken pieces served with coleslaw and lime aioli, $24. More heavily breaded than ATL, DD's chicken is more Southern USA style in flavour, but the fundamentals remain: golden crunch outside, tender inside.

1 Dixon Street 
Haymarket, Sydney
(02) 9264 1588

'K' may normally stand for 'Kim Chi', but at this Korean joint in Dixon Street, it stands for 'Korean Fried Chicken'. Arrive early to nab a spot in the courtyard and order a beer while you wait for your basket of golden-fried bite-sized pieces of chicken joy to arrive. Choose between original deep fried or the spicy version (resplendant in sticky glaze), either way, the batter is crisp, the meat is tender and really, the only downside is having to wait until it's cool enough to consume. $30.

Honorable Mentions

- Duke Bistro (L1, 63 Flinders Street, Darlinghurst) - served with coleslaw milk and hot sauce spray, $10
- The Eathouse (306 Chalmers Street, Redfern) - ok, so it's Jamaican jerk-style, but it's still lip-sticking, aromatic and moreish..all valid criteria when it comes to this kind of food.