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

Vlado’s – Richmond, VIC

Vlado’s
Richmond, VIC
http://www.vlados.com.au/

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For what would be my last steak in Melbourne, Vlado’s seemed fitting; it’s an iconic venue, housed in a brick building on Bridge St in Richmond with a menu that hasn’t changed since the beginning, which now comes to over 50 years.

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We started the night with the appetizer, their house made sausage, char grilled, the sausage was full of flavour with just the right amount of fat, my favourite thing about it being the course grind they’d used, setting it apart from your average sausage.

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Next out was the entrée, a meat platter to share, grilled and seasoned pieces of calf liver, hamburger patties and pork neck as well as unseasoned pieces of eye fillet.

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Everything grilled to perfection, and charred just enough to enhance the flavour but not too much to be overpowering.
My personal favourite on the plate was the pork neck, seasoned and grilled to heavenly perfection.

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Finally the main event, we had the choice between an eye fillet, rump or porterhouse with the option to upgrade to a wagyu 8+ porterhouse.

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Naturally I upgraded and ordered the wagyu, I decided to let the man pick what he would cook it to, he said it would come out between medium rare and rare.

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The steaks arrived and they were heavily charred and smelled amazing.

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The cooking was great; I found it to be just enough to have melted the fat into the meat but not enough to make the steak grainy or tough.
The char, salt, fat and Vlado’s house mustard all went perfectly together and married for a great eating experience.
There weren’t too many downsides to the steak but it was not as euphoric as I had heard it to be.

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After the steak we came to the last course, a strawberry and cream crepe, no nonsense, sweet ending to the night.

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How well it’s cooked – 9.4

Flavour – 9.5

Tenderness – 8.3

Overall – 9.1

 

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