Back from the US and time for some good ol’ Melbourne Fried Chicken. Next on the list: Belle’s Diner on Gertrude Street in Fitzroy. What better way to celebrate a return to Melbourne than greasing up with some delicious Melbourne Fried Chicken.
Belle’s is a diner style joint with a discrete sign. We settled in at the bar since the tables were all reserved and the Chick wasted no time ordering deep fried pickles. After perusing the menu the full order went in: side green salad, mac n’ cheese (feta, gouda and cheddar), Jalapa Burger (with Jalapeños) and the Southern Fried Chicken with Slaw accompanied with Sparkling white wine and a Hawthorn Pilsner.
The fried pickles came out quickly and The Chick fell in love with them. A little hot sauce and the creamy dip mixed well with the salty/sour nuggets. Order these!
Shortly afterwards the rest of the food came out. The Jalapa burger was ok, our main beef: it was a bit too bready and on the under cooked side. The mac-n-cheese was perfect: cheesy and creamy in all the right places and came in a generous portion with a crispy/salty breadcrumb topping.
The fried chicken was more tenders-style, no bones. It was about 6-8 pieces, single coated, lightly spiced, fresh and steamy. It was a bit over salted but that didn’t stop up from smashing the whole plate. The nice twist to it were the sides of tasty BBQ sauce (smokey and a touch sweet) and the slaw (a healthy portion). The chicken was good but didn’t compete at the top of the class with other Melbourne Fried Chicken contenders.
Conclusion: Belle’s diner is a cool place with a retro style vibe, quick service and good food. It has some good menu options to offer and is well worth a visit. The fried chicken is above average and will fill you up so give it a try!
Hollywood’ Rating: 7/10 Clucks