Manok, 351 Somerville Road, Yarraville. Phone: 9315 1440
As previously reported right here on CTS, Manok replaces the long-standing chook shop on Somerville Road on the small shopping strip at that road’s intersection with the Princes Highway.
Team CTS has visited twice now and had enjoyable meals on both occasions.
But we recommend keeping expectations in check.
Even with the new Manok crew on deck, this remains a chicken shop – albeit with a few twists – and fast food is the go.
The service is fine and we love and applaud that our in-house meals are served on enamelled plates with metal cutlery attending, though takeaway customers get styrofoam.
Our biggest hit by far is the chicken burger ($10, top photograph).
Bennie orders this and I’m envious.
He loves every mouthful.
It’s a simple thing – pulled roast chicken mixed with house-made peanut sauce and placed between the bun bookends with coleslaw.
How good does it look?
This is the sort of creation that could see Manok develop a bit of cult and end up on lists.
The chips ($3.50) that come with Bennie’s sandwich are fine, fresh and hot.
That makes them a step above those that accompanied my burger on an earlier visit – these were just OK.
The beef burger ($10, $1 extra for bacon) was pretty handy, too.
Much better than you’d routinely get in chicken shops across the city, though I did wish for a bit more charred beef flavour.
And the chicken?
There’s a choice of two – regular and lemon grass.
Both CTS pal Marnie and I go for the latter, with the above-pictured half chook and salad costing $12.90.
I find it enjoyable but a bit average.
I’d like a bit more flavour oomph from the chook – I end up wishing I’d ordered the regular and got the crusty, salty taste explosion that goes with old-school chicken shop poultry.
The Greek salad is acceptable.
But with this sort of chicken in this sort of setting, I’d much prefer to have a good coleslaw on hand.
Marnie is a long-time reader of CTS and we’ve been working towards actually meeting up for some time – sometimes these things can take a while!
She has filed the following:
“Hey Kenny, thanks for inviting me to help check out the place. It was lovely to meet you both. The chook was good but I think I needed some sort of dipping sauce to go with it. Something traditionally Filipino would be ace. Paying for nearly $3 (!) for gravy is a bit insulting IMO … I still think I prefer Pier Street charcoal chicken shop in Altona in terms of juiciness, tastiness and value for money though.“
Nice to meet you, too!