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

Chefs Club by F&W – Nolita, NYC

Chefs Club by F&W
Nolita, NYC
http://www.chefsclub.com/new-york/

The restaurant designed by Rockwell Group with exclusive art installations from Murray Moss, makes for a relaxed fine dining atmosphere in the Nolita area of New York; it was what I expected from the F&W group, a sleek and refined space with a charming feel.

I went with some old friends I met in Spain a while back who had just moved to NYC and we ordered a plethora of dishes; for entrée we ordered the seared Hudson Valley foie gras, potato gnocchi, Maine diver scallops and the Steelhead salmon crudo while for the mains we ordered the crispy sasso chicken and the 44 Farms prime beef (a bone in sirloin).

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The entrees came out first, the foie was a nice sized slab with seemingly unusual fixing, lentils, hot sauce, chicken skin and a pear chutney, nevertheless an amazing dish, the lentils and chicken skin with the hot sauce and sweet pickled pear was a dynamite combination. Completely unusual but a wunderkind type of experimental dish, just enough of the usual fixings to work with the “out there” lentils and hot sauce.

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The salmon crudo was fresh, light and flavourful and everything you could want from it. The radish crunch complemented the soft fish with the brown butter and egg yolk creating a creamy, tasty texture.

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The gnocchi was a great mix of creamy potato and plump chanterelle as well as a charred corn all topped with fennel and chili, a wholesome and thoroughly satisfying dish with a vibrant array of flavours.

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Lastly the scallops were picturesque, a lovely brown crust and a white centre cooked perfectly atop a base of quinoa, lemon and a touch of chili oil; the dish was my favourite of the entrees, and knowing how much I love foie gras that should tell you something!

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The mains came out and I started with the chicken, a large deboned leg that was extremely slow cooked on one side and super crisp on the skin side, served with spoon bread and a chicken jus that was divine, the dish was incredibly well-balanced and the cooking was exceptional, a juicy chicken while still leaving a crisp skin.

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Finally,the steak; it was cooked a tad too much and it gave the cut a slightly grainy texture but other than that it was a great piece of meat with a fantastic onion glaze that married perfectly with the bone marrow. Served with autumn vegetables that were roasted to perfection it was my favourite of the mains.

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Chefs Club was a great dining experience; the atmosphere, was fantastic and the food was sublime, somewhere I would definitely head to again.

Flavour – 8.9

Tenderness – 7.6

How well it’s cooked – 5.8

Overall – 7.4

 

Chef's Club By Food and Wine Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato