Hungry? Or need a new pair of sneakers? Solve one or both of these dilemmas at Butter, Sydney's utterly ridiculous and totally amazing 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 environment. Doubting the street cred of these dawgs? 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 13's ($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 ($16), 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 ($5) — 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, hipster-fave Pabst Blue Ribbon.
Oh and don't forget — 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.
As on Thursday, June 7, 2018, Sydney's purveyor of fried chicken and rare sneakers has launched a weekday happy hour, that runs for a whole three hours. From 3–6pm, Monday to Friday, both the Surry Hills and Parramatta stores are offering a $5 menu. It includes Young Henrys beers and ciders, bellinis and 2Pac wings, which you can order naked, O.G., fire or — if you're really brave — hot AF.
Ramen image: Raff De Leon