Chicken Episode, 522 Macaulay Road, Kensington. Phone: 9593 9929
Chicken Episode lives in premises that previously housed a long-standing Indian eatery in Kensington, right next door to Kensington Food Hall.
A younger sibling for an identically named restaurant in St Kilda, Chicken Episode is a tributary temple to pop culture, Korean style.
There’s what seems like thousands of rubber chicken in here.
And meme-like humour abounds.
I’m tempted to suggest this would be a cool place to bring bored or easily entertained teens – but some of humour on the table place mats is a little on the raunchy side.
Along with fried chicken and myriad burgers, the menu (see below) features some Korean comfort food such as bibimbap.
We can live with the kooky surroundings, but it’s the food that interests us.
We are a little wary.
That’s because we’re dropping in early in the week, early at lunch hour – not, in our experience, the best of times to interact with deep-fried food.
So how do we go?
Well, part truly excellent and part just so-so.
Bennie’s supreme chicken burger ($14.87) looks a little on the sad sack side.
He likes it well enough and tells me most of the ingredients – including sweet chilli sauce, melted cheese, tomato, ham, caramelised onions – are of a perfectly acceptable standard.
But he finds the chicken coating to be more of the soft kind found on battered fish, his final verdict being that his burger the kind of thing he’d expect to get at his now former high school.
The chips are excellent.
Unsurprisingly, he is frankly envious of my lunch.
And so he should be – it’s very, very good.
The solo deal, costing an amazing $14.50, consists of the same excellent chips, four pieces of fried chicken, a side serve of coleslaw AND a can of soft drink.
The chicken pieces are ungreasy and wonderful, the coating crisp and powdered with white pepper.
The coleslaw is fine and just the right size for such a meal deal.
Unfortunately, the coleslaw includes a tine from a plastic fork.
After this too-crunchy ingredient is pointed out to the staff, we receive an apology.
And that’s good enough for us – we never make too much of an issue out of such things or make a play for having the bill waived and/or a freebie future meal.
It will be interesting to watch how Chicken Episode goes on Macaulay Road.
We’ll happily return for more of that fried chicken.