Julian customises his order; further back in the line, beanie-clad Josh is thinking: “Mmmmm – fried chicken!!!”
Phat Chicks, 549A Barkly Street, West Footscray. Phone: 9689 3030
The arrival a specialist fried chicken eatery in West Footscray has generated spectacular interest.
Partly this has been because it’s a novelty in an area that largely – though far from exclusively – is Indian when it comes to food.
As well, there’s been a preview story in CTS and coverage in other media outlets.
Unsurprisingly, the word we heard was that Phat Chicks was extremely busy right from the moment the doors opened.
So the members of Team CTS cooled their heels for a week – and even then, six of us hit the place a couple of hours later on a Friday night than would normally be the case in hopes the rush hour would be over.
That ploy works, but only just, with boss lady Jenny squeezing us all on to a four-seater table.
Our crew places three separate orders – for Bennie and I, ours looks like this:
Minus drinks and the like, and ignoring for this inaugural visit the only greenery/salad available, we all end up paying about $20 each.
I’m delighted to find the thighs ($4 each) are of the bone-in variety.
These are beaut, though I suspect better is to come than the sesame soy coating we get with these.
I’m really impressed by our sole breast ($6.50).
Not just because of the chicken and its admirable non-dryness, but also because the ordered spicy coating is itself dry – unlike our other selections – and delivers a nice spice wallop.
Like all our chicken, these ribs ($6) are skillfully cooked, though we find there is little by way of the zing and tingle we are expecting from the vinegar part of the “salt and vinegar” coating.
These buffalo wings ($5) are tremendous – gloriously sopping wet with a zesty Sriracha-based sauce.
So good are they that we completely ignore the blue cheese sauce with which they are served.
(Just BTW, of the other sauces ordered by our table, we all like the pickle-infused Bear sauce very much …)
For sides, cajun fries ($6.50) and onion rings ($6.5) do us just great.
The serves are generous and the quality high.
Bennie opines that the onion rings are lacking onion flavour.
I disagree, but in any case retort: “Mate, onion rings are just an excuse to eat deep-fried batter!”
In our collective book, Phat Chicks is a great, big, phat winner.
It’s not just that it’s all about fried chicken – there’s a heap of places doing that around Melbourne.
It’s more that the range of coatings is innovative and delicious, with details such as sauces and sides also excelling.
We reckon it’ll take a few visits for us to be able to zero in on what works best for us.
The vibe during our visit has been happy and the staff members are dealing with such profound instant popularity very well.
And the wait times were briefer than I had been expecting.
As well, Phat Chicks is doing good for beer drinkers – my pint of 2 Brothers Kung Foo rice lager goes down a treat.