11th February 2016
360 Lygon Street
Brunswick, VIC 3057
If I were to be entirely honest, I would say that I’m not the most honest person around (no, really!). As awful as that may sound, I just don’t think that it’s almost ever that black and white. And if you ask me, F.A.T Fried and Tasty could really afford to be a little less honest.
The business at F.A.T is all pretty self-explanatory, really. Chicken is the protein of choice, and after a good dunk in the deep-fryer, it’s served up in burgers, on waffles, or au naturale. There’s not a whole lot of ambience, as the restaurant is set up more like a fast food take-away than anything else, but it’s real food they’re making here, down to the house-made pickles and sauces. Oh and, they have beer on tap, if that’s your sort of thing.
So what makes F.A.T different from all the other fried chicken places in town? Aside from what I’ve just mentioned, the real drawcard is not what, but how. Their fried chicken is made in a pressure fryer, which means that instead of picking up grease, the flavours are pushed into the chicken during the cooking process. Sounds delicious, doesn’t it.
For just $14.5, you get your choice of chicken and side. I got the classic and relatively balanced Original Chicken with Salad ($14.5). Now this pressure frying business is really something. The batter had been fried to golden-brown perfection, whilst the pressure infused the crispy nubbins with a mouth-watering combination of pepper and spices. The chicken was just as good; not only was it hot, tender, and moist, the smaller bones had been caramelised until the richness of the marrow seeped into the meat. And although nothing could compete with fried chicken, the side salad was pretty good too. The combination of sweet sugar snap peas and bitter rocket was a refreshing interlude, if you happen to get sick of the house-made pickle.
Chris on the other hand prefers not to have to fiddle with his food, and got the Fried Tenders with Chips ($14.5). I can very easily say these tenders were the best I’ve ever had. We were treated to five pieces of juicy, succulent chicken, and the higher batter to chicken ratio meant that each mouthful was packed full of that addictive southern flavour and crispy texture. The chips were dusted with the same spice mix and were delicious on their own, but they became downright unreal when dipped into a pot of chicken Gravy ($3.5). I happily ate way more than I should.
Being southern-styled fried chicken, the comparison between this and KFC is unavoidable. But the only similarities between the two are on paper. The chicken at F.A.T is meticulously crafted and almost elegant, and the sides are pretty on-point too. I wanted to save room for the waffles, but the portions were big enough that neither of us had any room to spare. Still, that didn’t stop my knees for feeling a bit weak as I watched the bloke at the next table cut into his plate of his crispy, eggy waffles. Needless to say, F.A.T is doing everything right.
Rating: 15/20 – 11 secret herbs and spices.
This rating reflects my personal experience at the time of visit.