Hitting up 13 Charcoal Chicken Joints
I don’t know what my fascination has been with charcoal chicken lately. Its actually come to the point where I’m slightly obsessed but of course, I blame the Melbourne weather forcing me into hibernation and take away food options.
To cure my OCCCD (Obsessive Charcoal Chicken Disorder) condition, I decided to trek the Melbourne suburban landscape, from the Wisteria lanes of the east to the ruff neck streets (kidding!) of my hood, the west, hitting up 13 charcoal chicken joints. Now, if you’re thinking “Er, Adrian, wouldn’t that make it worse?” Yes, you would be right. I’m busted. I don’t want a damn cure! For this mission, suggestions poured in from friends, family, cool readers and of course, the twitterverse. I did find however, that many of the suggested places had recently shutdown which was sad to see – especially the ones I used to visit when I was kid. I have such fond memories of eating the chips doused with magical chicken salt and the extra dim Sims during the trip back home in the car.
It’s All About The Chook
Something’s been cooking up in Melbourne’s west and in an unlikely place too. Smack bam in the middle of the food court at Sunshine Megaplex, I was lured by the aromatic whiffs of straight up meat on charcoal hitting the atmosphere. Shining like beacon with its ultra yellow décor lies Sunshine Chicken. Yes, yes, yes, you’re probably thinking – food court food? Seriously? But hear me out and give a brotha a chance to explain. When it comes to finding the best charcoal chicken in town, I don’t mess around and made a promise to thy self not to write about it until I did.
As promised in my last post, I’ll give you the 411 as to why I go ape over Sunshine Chicken. Since my first visit, I’ve been back ten times to ensure consistency. One time just ain’t enough folks. The chickens are extremely moreish and plump in size too, though, I would usually eat one to myself. The crispy skin is marked with beautifully charred tattoos and is sticky sweet and not overly salty. The marinade seeps all the way in ensuring a juicy and flavoured flesh. It’s perfectly cooked the whole way through with subtle hints of smokiness throughout. I say this as a few of the birds I tested on this mission were still showing signs of blood. Eew!
I make sure I glance over at the rotating spit on each visit salivating as the juices hit the bed of charcoal - it’s like poetry in motion. Art even…. It’s best eaten at home so you can shamefully get YO hands on and get dirty with the chook plus it’s better for photos too. Priorities! You probably know this about me by now, but I save the skin till last of course. I can still taste the chicken skin yakitori skewers I devoured over and over again in Japan. On that, do you know of anywhere in Melbourne I can find such charms?
So after eating 13 chickens and a hell of a lotta salt, my hunt for Melbourne’s best charcoal chicken has now ended. Consider this to be part one of this ongoing challenge. I was flipping as to whether I should include the 13 places I visited but came to the conclusion that considering most were actually pretty average, I thought I’d save you reading time (my Breakfast Indigestion posts are long enough!) and only showcase what pulverised the competition out the window so to speak. Don’t get me started on as to which one had the best chips with chicken salt!
If you’re after some very decent takeaway fare, then head to Sunshine Chicken- as the name suggests, your day will become that much better because of it.
Details: 30 City Place, Sunshine VIC 3020 Phone: (03) 9312 2559 Facebook page To find the place, head down to the main food court and spot a brightly coloured shop front to your left.
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