It had been a while since I visited Rude Boy so I jumped at the chance to get a sneak peak at their new menu and say hello to the relaunched Rude Boy Fried Chicken and Cocktails.
The space and the vibe remain the same, funky music pumps in the background, it’s casual and fun. As are the wait staff who are knowledgeable when needed but most of all a joy to be around and welcomely honest. It’s the preview night of a new menu but they’re already well versed.
My Malbec has legs to die for, it’s a lovely drop. They’ve an extensive range of beers and cocktails on tap and, refreshingly, the in-house sodas and mocktails have had a lot of love put into them. The wall of rum is breathtakingly beautiful, and they’ve flights on offer in the spirit of education.
But I’m here for the chicken.
Alexia is on hand representing owners The Kalis Group. She explains how they wanted to put food back into the forefront of the business to fit into the changing nature of Midtown. She’s also a lover of fried chicken. But aren’t we all.
The menu is indeed extensive. They’ve chicken burgers, fried chicken in every shape and style, large plates of chicken celebrated in a variety of ways and a long list of sides. Don’t like chicken? Beef brisket also features as does a good range of vegetarian and vegan options. Much of it is gluten free as well.
The signature chicken comes with many choices. Choose your style (boneless or bone in), choose your coating, choose your cooking (fried or grilled), choose your dipping sauce, choose life. After some discussion I went with boneless fried chicken breast with hot coating and rum BBQ sauce. The coating had a nice amount of heat, enough to give a little bit of sweat, but the flavours were at the forefront. They’ve also a super-hot that I’m informed is recommended only for the devoted. The BBQ sauce is delicious, complex, thick, and rich.
Most of the same options are given to their vegan friends. Tender strips of soy protein receive a crisp crumb and are then fried, giving a remarkably good approximation in terms of texture and flavour. I tried some dipped in a Korean BBQ sauce with harmonious elements of sticky, sweet, hot, and salty. If there was food this good during my meat free younger years I may have never strayed back.
Sides are plentiful and run the gauntlet of different carbs and vegetables. I picked the greens in XO sauce that was most pleasant, but I found myself wishing I’d built up an appetite for the baked mac’n’cheese bacon crumble or loaded fries. They’ve specials aplenty for the budget conscious with $1 chicken ribs during the week, meal deals including a side and drink, and a frequent diner card with rewards. But what I’ll be returning for is ‘Some like it hot’ : Fried chicken in super hot coating with dynamite sauce, reaper hot drops and chilli sweet potato fries for $22. Finish the meal and you’ll get your name on the wall of fame. Who would like to join me?
The lighting isn’t friendly for us food photographers but there’s no bells nor whistles with the presentation, it’s the flavours you’re here for and they have it in abundance.
Rude Boy : 130 Elizabeth St Hobart
Our previous review