It started as a minimalist fried chicken shop that was open for less than three hours a day and offered just two menu items. Electric Chicken spent less than three months inside the food court affectionately known as 'Mercs'; now you'll find it in a more permanent location in the new Morningside precinct.
Electric Chicken is still very much a hole-in-the-wall chicken shop, though owner/operator Matthew Fitzgerald has spiced things up with a florescent pink and purple-hued space and a larger menu. The menu itself is positioned uncomfortably high in the pint-sized ordering area, prompting customers to bend their necks almost 90 degrees when standing directly at the counter. On this occasion one diner decided to place his order from outside the shop.
Feng sui aside, in the food department the menu keeps things simple with a handful of fried chicken sandwiches, fried chicken by the quarter, half and whole, and sides like fries with gravy and slaw. The namesake fried chicken sandwich can be ordered with a single fillet for $11 or two for $17. The single serving is perfectly portioned for the average lunch-goer — arriving piping hot from the fryer with an incredibly crispy on the outside, tender on the inside free-range fillet. Also joining the party is a pillowy (perhaps semi-brioche) bun from Pt Chev bakers Daily Bread, a handful of crisp lettuce, gherkins and the tangy 'Electric Sauce'.
The quarter, half and whole bird ($12, $24, $42), which are portioned off into manageable pieces, can be accompanied by the signature tarty mayonnaise or swapped out for an international smorgasbord of flavours: Korean ssam, smokey Mexican, Jamaican jerk or Louisiana hot. A generous side of pickles accompanies, so unless you're a massive gherkin fan, the option to add an extra helping for $1 can be ignored.
The fries ($5) arrive in a thin pottle doused with a comforting, light brown gravy — making them the perfectly salty and messy accompaniment to either your tray of chicken or sandwich. Just don't forget to grab napkins off the bench. While we'd like to say we tried the milkshakes —choccy fish and strawberry tart — the machine was on the fritz this time around, but let it be said that there's the option to add peanut butter for an extra dollar. Instead, Garage Project's Fugazi completed the well-rounded poultry experience.