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16° & CLOUDY ON MONDAY 18 NOVEMBER IN SYDNEY
By Erina Starkey
March 10, 2016
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Butter

The ridiculous palace of fried chicken, sneakers and Champagne Sydney deserves.
By Erina Starkey
March 10, 2016
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UPDATE: MAY 13, 2019 — Though there are many things to lament about the dissolution of summer, there are a few that our cold bods are welcoming with open arms. One of them is, undoubtedly, the return of Butter's special winter ramen. The warming bowl of broth was a hit last year among ramen fans — mainly because it tops the ramen with two of its crisp fried chicken tenders.

Chef Julian Cincotta will pop it back on the menu on Tuesday, May 14 for the entirety of winter.It will be available in Surry Hills Sunday through Thursday, and also at its Parramatta store seven days a week. Bowls will cost $20 a pop and will be limited, so we suggest heading in earlier rather than later in the evening.

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Hungry? Or need a new pair of sneakers? Solve one or both of these dilemmas at Butter, Sydney's utterly ridiculous palace of fried chicken, Champagne and sneakers.

Located on Hunt Street in Surry Hills, Butter gets its vibe from New York City's hip hop culture. Think fried chicken with punk names — I'll have a hot AF 3PAC, thx — and a fancy-ass Champagne menu, served in a totally packed club-like environment. Doubting its street cred? Don't. The super impressive behind-the-scenes team includes the 2015 Josephine Pignolet Best Young Chef of the Year winner Julian Cincotta (ex-Nomad and Rockpool) and Thievery men Mo Moubayed and Paul Flynn.

Chicken is the name of the game at Butter and the dish to order is the Size 13s ($60): a generous party pack of fried chicken thighs, chicken tenders, pickles, slaw and sauces, all served in a size 13 shoebox. The first thing you'll notice is the lack of bones — just buttery soft chicken flesh all the way through. This is achieved by brining the chicken in buttermilk then dipping it in a cayenne and cumin-spiced batter to seal in all those precious juices. Another pat with a paper towel wouldn't have gone astray, but instead those oils went towards nourishing my hands and cuticles. Thanks for that.

A worthy alternative to the fried chicken packs is the chicken sandwich ($12.50), a delightfully oversized portion of fried chicken served between a dashi butter-soaked milk bun. All chicken can be ordered naked (aka sans sauce) or, if you're not a big wimp, choose from the three grades of chilli: OG, fire or hot AF. Don't order the hot AF unless you are okay with crying in front of your friends. Get that one on the side just to be safe.

If you're craving something fresh to balance out all the butter, bypass the slaw, which is sadly drowning in its own creamy dressing. Get a serve of crunchy, lip-puckering cucumber pickles ($4) which are guaranteed to sober you up and keep you feeling fresh — like a good ol' slap to the face. A side of laces ($6) — that is, the super crispy French fries — is non-negotiable. Liberally sprinkled with homemade shiitake seasoning, you'll never look at chicken salt the same way again. 

When it comes down to the Champagne, maybe skip on the Krug Grande Cuvée for $450 a bottle. Your mouth can become quite overpowered with the hot and spicy flavours, and you won't be able to distinguish it from a bottle of Yellowglen. Instead, go for one of their boozy slushies topped with soft serve (yes, really) or a beer, such as the cheap and cheerful Pabst Blue Ribbon.

Oh, and don't forget that you can get your kicks here, too — quite literally. The front of the shop displays 70 handpicked collector's edition sneakers. We strongly suggest buying a pair after your meal and going for one hell of a run.

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