Mary’s Shines

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6 Mary St Newtown, NSW

Mary’s had been on our list for some time, but since it is out in Newtown, it was never convenient to go. Finally, the day after a Thanksgiving celebration took Hollywood and the Chick to Sydney, the time was right. There was another contender nearby, Hartsyard, but we felt the greasy spoon style plastic baskets were the best way to serve fried chicken and so off to Newtown we went.

It is clear that Sydney’s change in liquor license laws is having the desired effect and there are now some cool bars popping up in unexpected places. Mary’s is one of these and you have to know it is there or you’ll pass right by it.

Turn in when you see the bouncer and the sketchy blue entrance way

Turn in when you see the bouncer and the sketchy blue entrance way

There was a bouncer out front who waved our group in. The Chick led the way into a dark hallway filled with heavy metal music and our companions wondered if we’d ended up in a club rather than a restaurant. Mary’s is a hot spot and if you don’t arrive early you’ll wait in line outside. We passed into the bar area downstairs and headed for the stairs that lead up to the service area. At the foot of the stairs we confirmed that the line began there. So we reviewed the bar menu scrawled on the wall in Slayer font and ordered some cocktails to ease our wait. The Bloody Mary comes with a slice of American cheese and bacon on top, not for the easily queasy! All the cocktails we ordered were well balanced and easy to drink – though the Wingman had a bit of a strong flavour at first, it mellowed upon the second sip.

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Line up the stairs to the second floor seating.

Line up the stairs to the second floor seating.

The line moved quickly and we didn’t even finish our drinks before reaching the summit. The waiters were friendly and quirky, completing the ambiance and making the experience worth the wait.

We waited and were not disappointed

We waited and were not disappointed

Our table was a cozy affair under the menu on the ceiling. With four to feed we ordered a whole bird (8 pieces), a Mary’s burger, a mushroom burger and a side of Mash and gravy. Table service was quick and we got our order in right away. Drinks were refilled quickly and we happily chatted away despite the booming music. A few classics played that took us down memory lane to the 90s. The food wasn’t quick, but came soon enough, chook first.

Saving trees by putting the menu on the ceiling. Short and to the point!

Saving trees by putting the menu on the ceiling. Short and to the point!

The Chick knew immediately, this was some of the best Fried Chicken in Australia. Even better than Belle’s and Rockwell. It was juicy, not too greasy, fresh out of the frier, crispy on the outside with a good seasoning, meaty pieces. The only downside was the lack of proper hot sauce. The little bottle on the table had chili flavor, but not much heat. But this was acceptable since the fried chicken stood well on its own.

One bird in a basket, fried to perfection

One bird in a basket, fried to perfection

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Perfect balance of juicy meat and crispy coating

 

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Let there be light! It was dark in Mary’s but the chicken shone from within.

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Mary’s burger, lots of crispy lettuce and still sloppy!

 

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A full table!

The Mash + Gravy had an out of the box taste to the Chick, perhaps it is a thickening agent that was used. It may be the perfect taste for some, but didn’t satisfy us. Next time we hope they swap it out for a mac n cheese side instead! The Mary’s burger was a small messy burger, small patty, lots of sauce – yummy! The Mushroom burger was the surprise, basically the same as Mary’s burger but a mushroom instead of the burger patty. What a delight, perfectly cooked and a good strong mushroom flavor. The side of fries were good, but not the best fries we’ve ever had.

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After we went, the Chick discovered that Mary’s was written up on Time Out Sydney’s “Sydney Bucket List” but the burger was highlighted rather than the Fried Chooks.

Hollywood and the Chick say: Go here now, for the ambiance, but most of all for the Fried Chicken – and if you are hungry have a burger while you’re there!

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Shoot a hoop while you wait to get the table up there

Taiwan Pop Chicken at The Suzuki Night Market

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Queen Victoria Night Market

Hollywood found a crispy surprise of Melbourne Fried Chicken at the Suzuki night market (at The Queen Victoria Night Market on Wednesdays). The style of chicken was Taiwanese and had the signature flavor of Tapioca style breading which tasted so good

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If you are at the Vicky for the Wednesday night market and are having the feeling for a good crunchy fried chicken meal then give this place a go. It is good!

Hollywood’s Rating: 7/10 Clucks

Night Noodle Market Fails to Impress

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Melbourne always has some food event on and since this is Good Food Month it is even more true. The sun is out and so are the red lanterns marking the Night Noodle Markets. This is the second year and they learned a lot of lessons from last year in terms of layout and seating. Sadly it was not the best place to find Melbourne Fried Chicken.

Lucky Cat welcomes you!

Lucky Cat welcomes you!

Hollywood and The Chick tried two places, one of which was severely lacking, the other was acceptable for fair food.

Izakaya Den looked promising

Izakaya Den looked promising

A squeeze of lemon and a side of mayo for this Chicken Karage just didn't make up for the lack of flavor in the chicken morsels themselves.

A squeeze of lemon and a side of mayo for this Chicken Karage just didn’t make up for the lack of flavor in the chicken morsels themselves.

So bad we had to bin it in hopes of finding something better.

So bad we had to bin it in hopes of finding something better.

Gogi offered a second chance. This time, Korean Fried Chicken.

Gogi offered a second chance. This time, Korean Fried Chicken.

Friendly Gogi service from a big food truck.

Friendly Gogi service from a big food truck.

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Nice nuggets with a bit of bone.

Nice nuggets with a bit of bone.

Belle’s “Really F**king” Hot Chicken!

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150-156 Gertrude St Fitzroy VIC 3065
When Hollywood and the Chick started exploring the Melbourne Fried Chicken scene, it was a nascent scene. But these days, it is in full swing, so much so that Belle’s Diner has been redesigned and renamed “Belle’s Hot Chicken”.
Meat, Heat, Sauces, Sides, Eat

Meat, Heat, Sauces, Sides, Eat (not Fat)

Menu options - this time it is "Really F**ing Hot"

Menu options – this time it is “Really F**ing Hot”

Hollywood had returned without the Chick, and after validating it was worthy, returned with a full entourage, including the Chick, to watch him take on the “Really F**king Hot” version.
The Chick ordered the the Dark meat “Southern” style with a side of Mac n Cheese with extra pickles. And for a touch of class, a glass of sparkling wine, Brut and the Beast. I’m not sure if it was the wine or the lack of a proper flute, but it just didn’t bubble enough for my tastes, but hey, don’t judge a chicken spot by its sparkling wine!
Southern Style Dark Meat with Mac n Cheese and extra pickles

Southern Style Dark Meat with Mac n Cheese and extra pickles

The “Southern” style is a bit seasoned, but not spicy at all. So the Chick piled on the hot sauce from the conveniently placed bottle. It is a good way to take control of your amount of spicy if you aren’t sure what the different options really taste like.
Sparkling wine in the wrong glass, but plenty of hot sauce and a side of Mac n Cheese made up for it.

Sparkling wine in the wrong glass, but plenty of hot sauce and a side of Mac n Cheese made up for it.

The medium spiced Mushrooms on the other hand were hotter than expected and crisped to a dark color. Wonderfully hot and spicy, recommended for any mushroom lover.
Medium spiced Mushrooms. So moist and crispy!

Medium spiced Mushrooms. So moist and crispy!

Finally, Hollywood had the “Really Fucking Hot” Tenders. The red color warns you right away that there may be some fire there. It is a heat that creeps up on you, but after a full basket his lips were burning! Not the hottest chili available, but hotter than most would care to savor. Next time the Chick is taking it up to the top notch to prove she can handle the same!
Really F**ing Hot Tenders with Mac n Cheese and pickles.

Really F**ing Hot Tenders with Mac n Cheese and pickles.

Hollywood: 9/10 Clucks
The Chick: 8.5/10 – new favorite!

Belle's Hot Chicken on Urbanspoon

Mr Big Stuff (Not so big after all)

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16 Meyers Pl Melbourne, VIC

Hollywood and some work mates were out for a lunch catch up and it was suggested to try out Mr Big Stuff. After checking out the menu Hollywood was pleased to know that they serve their own version of Melbourne Fried Chicken and it didnt take long before he was all over it.

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We were surprised to find out that the lunch menu was different than the online menu! It was even more disappointing that they had set lunch deals and didnt allow any changes which really sucked. Hollywood ended up ording the fried chicken and waffles which comes with pigs ears in a lettuce wrap and with grilled corn. A Mac-n-cheese order was made on the side as well.

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The biggest disappointment was that the chicken serving wasn’t big at all!! It was just two pieces of fried chicken, one being a small tender piece and the other was a thigh piece.

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To give credit where it is due, the chicken was of good quality and cooked fresh. It was steaming hot and there was a spicy taste towards the end however the breading did fall apart easily and it was single coated and did separate from the skin. The side hot sauce wasn’t hot at all which was another fail! The mac-n-cheese was ok but was a bit runny which isnt to Hollywood’s liking.

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While this joint claims to have “Big Stuff” the biggest thing found was disappointment. There’s really nothing special here and if you are in the city do yourself a favor and skip this place as there are many other places worthwhile to visit.

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Hollywood’s Rating: 5/10 Clucks

Mr Big Stuff on Urbanspoon

 

North Carlton Canteen

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1008 Lygon St North Carlton Carlton North VIC 3054

Our friends mentioned to us that they have a Melbourne Fried Chicken burger that is worth reviewing at North Carlton Canteen (NCC) so Hollywood, the Chick and Co decided to head up there for a good Sunday brunch

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NCC’s menu has a wide variety of cafe style dishes and boasts quite a range of burgers however Hollywood had his focus set on the Southern Fried Chicken burger in a brioche that is made of NCC’s special blend of herbs and spices rubbed chicken, house slaw, melting cheese, spicy tomato aioli and hand cut chips

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The fried chicken burger was huge and boasted many spices. It was definitely a generous portioned burger and it was a bit too hot to handle for The Chick however that didnt stop Hollywood from devouring it.

The chicken patty was crispy and heavly spiced with all kinds of flavors which did make the chicken seem overpowering to the rest of the mix. Although the burger was juicy the cheese and aioli flavors were shadowed by the steaming hot chicken. The chicken did seem freshly cooked and was of a good quality and the slaw added a good contrasting flavor.

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North Carlton Canteen is a great cafe to visit with all kinds of menu favorite and specials that keep things fresh. Its definitely worth checking out

North Carlton Canteen on Urbanspoon

KassKass

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490 Flinders St Melbourne VIC 3000

KassKass has been on the chicken scene’s list ever since day one right up there with Gami. Hollywood and The Chick were out for drinks in the city and after a few beers here and there they decided it was time for some yummy Korean style Melbourne Fried Chicken.

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We ended up getting the Okonomiyaki (a favorite of The Chick’s) and the half and half boneless chicken of the original and hot and spicy chicken with two tap beers to drink. We were warned that the spicy chicken is very hot, but we thought they just didnt know us that well so we let it pass.

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The chicken was authentic Korean style chicken. it was small size pieces cooked fresh. The spicy pieces werent that spicy. We enjoyed the chicken and the okonomiyaki was different than the authentic type we had in Japan but was pleasurable nonetheless.

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KassKass is a cool Korean place if you are craving some Korean style fried chicken and you are in that side of town

 

Hollywood’s Rating: 7/10 Clucks

The Chick’s Rating: 7/10 Clucks

KassKass Restaurant on Urbanspoon