Sonny’s Fried Chicken – Carlton, Vic, AU

Sonny’s Fried Chicken
Carlton, Victoria, AU
http://johncurtinhotel.com/

(Curtin is Super dimly lit – apologies on the picture quality) 

I have been craving some good fried chicken since my departure from Canada about a month ago; I’ve been missing that Bar Fancy feeling. After some googling I found a place that did pressure fried chicken that was brined 24 hours and considered “southern” style.
Housed in the ever so hipster John Curtin Hotel; it was advertised by a red neon sign reading fried chicken; essentially the only illumination in the dining room.

I enlisted the help of a few friends to ensure I got to do my usual “basically order the menu” routine and after a bit of deliberation they looked at me and simply said just order and we’ll transfer you the money later.

Blind foolish trust; the downfall of many men.

Walking up to the bar I got the attention of a server and said to him “I’m going to order a shit ton of food”, he looked at me and said “it better be or I’m going to be disappointed”; to which I proceeded to order; in an extremely nonchalant fashion:

– 12 pieces of chicken
– Deep fried pickles
– Loaded Fries
– Baked beans
– Mash and gravy
– Mac and cheese
– Lentil and radish salad
– Coleslaw
– Potato Salad
– Ranch sauce,
– Comeback sauce
– Gravy, and finally, a double cheeseburger.

The chicken and sides all came out together in glorious fashion.

I took my pictures quickly and got ready for a bite of that extremely crunchy and enticing chicken. First bite in and I got no chicken, the next bite got chicken but no breading. I was starting to worry.

The chicken was juicy, the 24hr brine really shining through while the breading was super crisp and had great flavour. That’s where the positives stop for the chicken; the breading fell away from the chicken and the skin was like a boiled mess. It was a disappointment after it showed so much promise.

The sides, bar the mac and cheese were all freaking amazing. The slaw was fresh and crunchy, beans sweet, savoury and altogether great. The lentils gave an air of relief from the onslaught of rich food and was great to break up the first round of sides from the second round of loaded fries (fries covered in cheese, bacon and gravy) and their deep fried pickles; which with the ranch sauce were probably the best things I ate.

Lastly the burger, two patties, cheese, pickles, lettuce, tomato and the comeback sauce all on a toasted bun. I saw a few come out of the kitchen looking overcooked and dry however this one came out and was great. Juicy patties with crisp toppings, gooey cheese and a perfectly toasted bun, cheap, worthwhile and tasty.

Overall, the reason I went to Sonny’s was the chicken and in that regard, it was not worth it; however, if you’re grabbing a drink and are feeling peckish I would definitely say the burger or some deep fried pickles are definitely worth snacking on.

Sonny's Fried Chicken & Burgers Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Shearwater Restaurant – Heron Island, AU

Shearwater Restaurant
Heron Island
http://www.heronisland.com/Eat-and-Drink.aspx

Heron Island: think Great Barrier Reef, turtles, sharks, birds – paradise. Didn’t think I could find a steak on this island? Wrong. After capitalising on one of those weekend newspaper “bargain” deals, my better half and I ventured out to Heron Island for a 7-night getaway. Overall, the food wasn’t great (think camp food) but seeing as we were on a nature island during the peak of turtle egg-laying season we knew we actually came to enliven the little part of David Attenborough that (I think) exists in each and every one of us.

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Despite this, one couldn’t help but be distracted by the constant wafts of bird poo that circulated throughout the restaurant. Nor could one refrain from critiquing the tacky blue walls and décor which made the restaurant seem like a staff kitchen in a dated aquarium.

On a more positive point, a noteworthy dish I had on the island was the mouth-watering Cape Byron Rib Eye.

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Set at the price of $37AUD, the steak was a long-awaited palette cleanser and star of the show for the Shearwater Restaurant (think Chris Martin to Coldplay). Cooked at medium rare, the meat was lean but buttery and juicy – you could tell the big fella had been well looked after.

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And if the meat has got you Wikipedia’ing the location from which it originated (Cape Byron is the easternmost point of Australia FYI) then you know it’s a quality cut. Served with baby carrots, red wine jus and Paris mash the combination was rich and made you fill all warm inside – almost like a good feed at a pub. The kitchen could have done a better job with the presentation but all in all it was a very satisfying dish.

 

Cape Byron Rib Eye

How well it was cooked – 8.5

Flavour – 8.5

Tenderness – 8.5

Overall – 8.5