Why you should give a cluck about the 'Belle' of the fried chicken ball
I am probably a bit late on ringing the "Belle" on one of Sydney's best-fried chicken joints, but as they say, all good things come to those who wait. And wait I did, about 40minutes to be exact, and was it worth it? Every spice skinned drumstick bit of it.
You might ask ( and yes I did overhear people saying " I would never line up for chicken) why? Why when you can just walk into KFC and order a bucket of it in half the time and half the price? Point-set-match. It's half the price and cooking time because you get what you pay for.
This is a whole new level of fried chicken. It is bold in its flavours and brings back memories of the traditional soul food style cooking of the USA, an art which owner and head chef Morgan McGlone has mastered the art of through his years of travelling and experience working in kitchens across the world.
It is McGlone's down to earth soul food cooking style that has created a cult following of Belles Hot Chicken and has well and truly put fried chicken on the trending food must try map. Starting off in Fitzroy in Melbourne, Belles can now be found in five locations across Victoria and New South Wales.
In this food adventure, I head to the shores of Sydney's latest dining precinct Barangaroo, where Belles has a prime piece of real estate looking out over the harbour and is every bit a quintessential sunny Sydney dining experience.
So what to order? Start with the cut of chicken selecting from:
Tenders $19, Drumsticks $17, Wings $17 and for the folks who prefer feather free choice there is the Fish (GF) $18 and Mushrooms (GF) $16.
Nest step is to choose your level of heat, starting with Southern
Medium to Hot to Really Hot and for the extremist go with Really F**kin Hot. I tried the really hot and as a bit of a fan of mouth burning, spicy heat I would probably go level up and order the Really F**kin Hot next time.
Every selection of meat comes with a side. These sides do vary slightly across the different restaurant locations but will generally include: Old Bay fries, pickled vegetables, coleslaw, mac and cheese and almost Arnold beans.
Top it all off with a side of sauces which are $2 each or 3 for $5. These include Mississippi Comeback, Belles Ranch Dressing, Belles Blue Cheese, House Made Ketchup and Peach BBQ Sauce.
The chicken comes out hot from the kitchen in plastic serving baskets reminiscent of the ones used in American diners. The slice of white bread that is strategically placed under the chicken to soak up all the sauces gives the meal another added layer.
Soft drinks, beers and wines are also available to order.
Hands will get dirty, stomachs will be filled, but that is the fun of a Belles Hot Chicken dining expedition. Dine at the new canteen style eatery area surrounded by suit-clad workers in a rush or order take away to be enjoyed in the comforts of your home/workspace/train carriage, anywhere.
Belles Hot Chicken can be found here
Shop 5, 33 Barangaroo Avenue,
(02) 8355 7879
Closed 3:30-4:30 everyday