Belle’s Hot Chicken
150-156 Gertrude Street
+61 3 9077 0788
After a tiring week, there’s nothing like a tucking into some good calorie-exploding artery-clogging apply-tongue-to-digits Southern fried chicken. The Angmoh and I got seated at the bar at Belle’s on a Friday evening after rocking up without having made a reservation. The restaurant does a modern take on the classic American diner, keeping the neon signage and booths with the latter decked in a handsome tan of treated wood. A turntable spins out some sleek vinyl tunes which is mostly drowned out by the buzz and chatter from patrons.
Belle’s specialises in fried chicken that comes in varying degrees of spice and heat. Never one to back down from a challenge, I ordered the hottest, the five out of five, the “really f***ing hot!”. Having had a spicy Sichuan meal the very night before, The Angmoh had to allow his stomach walls to reline and wussed onto a choice of medium heat. I did get a dipping sauce of ranch, just in case the habanero with ghost peppers were simply too much.
(Left) House made sweet tea $6
(Right) Tenders, old bay fries $16
As we waited for our food, I sipped on some house-made tea. It was refreshingly icy, sweet and minty, another perfect cooler for the potential mouth-burning experience. Our meals came in little red plastic baskets, with a slice of white bread at the very bottom, possibly to absorb the oil and juices. Fat pickles adorned the meat with our choice of sides placed, well, at the side.
Dark meat (drumstick and thigh), coleslaw $16
Belles ranch dressing $2
The Angmoh liked his chicken tenders but mentioned that, in future, will get a bone-in cut instead. There was much more going on in my drum and thigh cuts: more flavour, more juices, more crispy skin. As for my seasoning, it was indeed hot enough to induce some nose-sniffling and lip-tingling but I am proud to admit that not once did I reach for my tea and the ranch sauce barely had a dent in it when we left.
Belle’s fried chicken is pretty damn awesome. Grab a few mates who like a heat challenge and split a tub. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.