UPDATE: I still love Gami, but since this post was published in 2011, the fried chicken market in Melbourne has really upped it’s game. My fave? The epic spread from Rockwell and Sons. Amongst the best I’ve tasted, ever, anywhere in the world.
100 Little Lonsdale St
Melbourne VIC 300
You really shouldn’t need any more encouragement to visit a restaurant who’s name contains the words “chicken” and “beer”. But here goes.
Both here and on my twitter account, I can often be found ranting about how the latest Australian attempt at American food is pathetic and substandard. For example: “Value for money?! If you served anyone in Texas this 3 inch taco and charged them $9, you’d be shot”. Or, “cold shrimp and egg?!?! Do you even KNOW what is SUPPOSED to be in a Po Boy, trendy Melbourne restaurant?!”.
I can hear y’all saying “ok then, Burgerlady, quit your negative yapping and tell us what we SHOULD eat in Melbourne”. And I’m thrilled to tell you I’ve figured out at least one piece of the puzzle. See, instead of going to a place that purports to serve “American style” fried chicken and does a mediocre job at it, one must think outside the square. Korean fried chicken. The original KFC.
Gami Chicken & Beer to the rescue. First, mad props to any establishment who brings out snackables with their beer. Because doesn’t everyone need some prawn cracker action to whet their appetite before a huge plate of fried chicken?
Although there are a few Korean side dishes on offer here, such as kimchi pancake and fish cake soup, the real hero is the chicken. Available in three flavours – original, garlic soy and sweet chili, my advice is to go for the original. I guarantee you will tire of thick, heavy sauces in the other flavours which becoming cloyingly sweeter with each bite.
They offer an entire plate of chicken for $27, or you can order wings in smaller increments. Although the seasoning spices used in the Korean chicken are different to those of Southern fried chicken, the crisp flaky outer batter layer and incredibly moist chicken within will be incredibly satisfying for US fried chicken fans. Basically, it’s familiar enough to qualify as bona fide comfort food.
I ate at Gami with The Ho, who also pointed out that the menu featured standard “Engrish” spelling hiccups, in this case ’sweet chilli source’. She’s eaten here previously, and did me the favour of steering me away from the “corn and cheese” dish on the menu. Apparently, it’s exactly what it sounds like, tinned corn with processed cheese melted on top. “Trust me”, she said, “when this stuff congeals, it’s bad news”. When The Ho gives you food advice in an Asian eatery, you better damn well listen. You can see her own pics of the cheese corn experience here.
The menu also features item called “Oh Ddang” which is described as “broiled dried squid served with peanuts and mayonnaise”. See now in Texas, “Oh Dang” is what you say when you see a a cop’s lights in your rearview mirror… (boom boom tish!) Enough with the terrible humour, allow me to leave you with more insanely drool worthy pictures of the chicken…