The humble chook is in demand. Roasted, fried or encased in a pie, this comfort food is worth crossing the road for.
A golden crust that shatters with a single bite, revealing juicy, flavourful meat... Excellent fried chicken is easy to describe but difficult to find. That’s where Thirsty Bird, a hole in the wall in Sydney’s Potts Point, delivers. Have the chicken sandwiched in a soft bun or surrounded by a parade of perfect sides, including mac and cheese and waffle fries, plus gravy you’ll want to drink by the glass.
Image: Christopher Pearce
It’s a familiar, comforting tableau: a whole roast chicken, mountainous sides and a jug of thick gravy. The Paddington hotel in Sydney has taken our favourite family meal and transformed it into one you can share with friends at the pub.
“Irasshaimase!” yell the staff as you walk through the door at Harajuku Gyoza. It’s hard not to feel at home when the greeting is followed by steaming gyoza and frosty ale. But it’s the chicken karaage that steals the show. Marinated in ginger, garlic and saké, coated in a thin batter and fried until golden, it’s the perfect beer snack. There are four outlets in Brisbane, one in Queensland’s Broadbeach and another in Sydney’s Potts Point.
While the menu at Sydney’s Unicorn Hotel in Paddington pays tribute to old Aussie favourites (Jatz crackers with French onion dip, prawn cocktails), the pub’s legacy is its perfect chicken schnitzel. Brined overnight, coated in crunchy panko crumbs, fried and laid on a bed of buttery mash with gravy, it’s so good that you could eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
In the baguette
By taking a crusty baguette, filling it with a generous slab of panko-crumbed chicken katsu and cabbage, slathered in mayonnaise and tonkatsu sauce, Lucky Pickle in Sydney’s Surry Hills has given the schnitzel roll the (delicious) Japanese treatment.
Sweet as pies
Few foods are as comforting as chicken pie. Rolling Pin Pies & Cakes, a favourite among locals and visitors to Victoria’s picturesque Bellarine Peninsula, has perfected four types: chicken and vegetable, chicken and mushroom, chicken carbonara and the award-winning, pilgrimage-worthy Chinese garlic and pepper chicken pie.
Top image: Christopher Pearce/Thirsty Bird