It’s been a bit since we have explored the latest in the Melbourne Fried Chicken scene and we just found out about a new contender, so it’s time for some good ol finger lickin’ fried chicken. Dr Juicy Jay’s has all the potential to be the next big thing in the land of fried chicken especially with a hip name like Dr Juicy Jay’s Fried Chicken and Crab Shack.
Dr Juicy Jay’s is located in The Public Bar, a live music dive bar in North Melbourne, a suburb that holds special memories for Hollywood. We reached the Public Bar and we have to admit that this place lived up to its reputation as quoted “The Public Bar, with its peeling paint, sagging couches and toilets that promise an olfactory adventure, is probably the only joint divey enough to do this food justice. “It’s a shithole,” says Will. “I love it.” So will you.”. How can we resist a place with a description like that?
We went during the week and the place was full of patrons savouring the limited menu and one table was taken up by a photo shoot. I can only assume the result is now gracing their facebook page. We managed to find a spot at the bar and put in our heavy order of Shrimp (Creole style shrimp, new potatoes, lemon, butter, garlic and old bay), Juicy’s Low County Boil (Traditional Frogmore-style Crab Boil of local crab, cob corn and sausage with plenty of seasonings and spice), and most importantly, the Southern Fried Chicken which was described as Juicy’s secret blend of 21 herbs and spices, golden fried. Then the Chick noticed the Corn Dog on the menu and had to put in a second order, it is rare to find good corn dogs outside county fairs and it was worth a shot!
The food arrived gradually. The shrimp arrived first which was a big portion of 22 pieces of shrimp drowned in a great garlic butter sauce with lemons and potatoes and accompanied by hot sauce. The shrimp was hot, succulent and tasty full of garlic/butter/lemon flavors. Some of the best garlic shrimp we have ever had.
Shortly afterwards the crab boil arrived accompanied with sausage and cob corn. The crab was superb and the Chick smashed it with a great sense of joy. The crab was fresh, the butter was perfect and the sausage matched well. It was a mess in the best possible way.
Finally the corn dog and fried chicken arrived. This was Hollywood’s first corn dog and was not a fan of it due to the taste of the coating. Whereas the Chick felt that it needed a smaller dog to properly balance the flavors and the dough was a bit undercooked.
The Fried Chicken was right on the spot in terms of portion with approximately 20 pieces of chicken strips that were hot, steamy and full of flavor. We couldn’t taste all the 21 herbs and spices but the taste of cajun was all over it. After digging into the chicken we did notice that it was just a little bit overcooked/dry as you can also see by the dark color of the breading. However that didn’t stop Hollywood from smashing all the chicken pieces. The side ranch sauce was ok but seemed a bit thin. The herbs were fresh, but it didn’t have the right strength to match the fried chicken properly. The Chick went for the hot sauce instead.
All in all, the chicken was good but the true stars of the show were the shrimp and crab and that’s probably the reason why it’s called a crab shack. The Chick will remain vigilant for the best Aussie corn dog experience.
Hollywood Rating: 7.5/10 Clucks
The Chick’s Rating: 7/10 Clucks