JUICY LUCY is a chicken shop located on Elizabeth Street in Surry Hills, Sydney. It is your standard chicken shop with a twist, it is South East Asian inspired. JUICY LUCY opened about six months ago and when it first opened it was a sensation. It stormed social media and was the must visit new place on the town. Once it died down a tiny bit I got in there for a lunch burger, the LIL KIM, and I fell in love with the place. A bit over a month ago I got to attend again. Thanks to an invite from another food blogstragrammer, @thehungrygentleman, I feasted with my Insane Loud Blogstagramming Mafia. All this did was increase my love for the place.
JUICY LUCY VENUE:
As you can see JUICY LUCY is a small venue, it has four tables and front window benches. It has an old rock pop style interior with checkerboard tiles and the menu section wallpapered in old newspapers. The counter has a rooster motif and the wall to the left as you walk in is hysterical, lots of Asian inspired imagery with chicken pictures thrown in for good measure. The wall to the right houses their famed neon JUICY LUCY neon sign, a sign the owner has come to regret, it appears every human and their dogs likes to take a social media pic in front of that neon.
The place is welcoming and warm but it also isn’t a place that is suitable for long lunches or dinner, it is more ideal for takeaway. We picked the perfect time by eating there at 4pm in the afternoon, it was between meals and fairly quiet.
The menu appears to be pretty standard fare for a chicken shop with whole chickens, tenders, burgers, salads, wraps and chips. But those individual items that sound standard are mostly all mind blowing. The South East Asian influence really does make a difference. Personally I loved it all so much, if I lived in Surry Hills I would be getting takeaway from this place all the time. I just need to drop a hint to the JUICY LUCY peeps that they need a second place in the Manly area that I can manage for them so I can eat there all the time.
The one negative that came from the group was there needed to be hot sauces on all the tables. It never crossed my mind, but most of my food inhaling brethren are Asian, they NEED their hot sauce, especially the guy who is addicted to sriracha. Perhaps it was behind the counter and we just needed to inquire?
We pretty much got one of everything and shared it all after photographing on the sidewalk and in the middle of Elizabeth Street. Sadly, we nearly lost one blogstagrammer to a taxi bonnet but he made it through and we soldiered on. We started with the BIG BANG wrap: fried chicken, rice, slaw and sriracha. It was tasty and juicy but couldn’t match the might of the burger. They also have a JACKIE CHAN wrap: rice, curry chicken, pickles and herbs. And another, the BRUCE LEE wrap: seasoned chicken, chips, cheese and gravy – HELL YES – I need that one, it sounds like a hangover wrap from heaven :).
If I am correct all the burgers and wraps are only $12- and you can get a combo for $16- or $17-. Great pricing for what you get .
JUICY LUCY BBQ CHICKEN:
JUICY LUCY’s whole BBQ chook is a bloody sensation. I want to buy these on the way home but the place is really difficult for parking, I will work it out because when the parents stay we love our BBQ chicken. And at only $18 for this bloody monster bird – serve it up at home with some roast vegetables – for three or four people that is an incredibly cheap and sublime meal. The chicken above is their AUNT LUCY’S SEASONED BBQ CHICKEN – it has a garlic rice stuffing. We dressed it with some coriander and chilli for the shoot however if you want a chook more in line with coriander and chilli then their THAI GAI YANG chook is hard to resist. It’s a grilled chook with coriander and pepper in close to the traditional Thai recipe.
SALADS AND TENDERS:
I can’t even hear the word “salad” anymore without The Simpsons song starting up in my head. But all good protein needs a healthy side with it for balance and while I didn’t eat any while I was there for the shoot the salads looked amazing. I would be all over that Thai salad above or the broccoli one #diekale. I can’t recall if they serve roast veggies but the menu does state “Daily Salads and Vegetables” so regardless there is plenty of sides you can purchase to accompany whatever meal combos you need.
And a new found favourite of mine was the tenders. They were mind blowing. I never ever order tenders because I have some childhood memory of them being cheap cuts of chicken in the freezer section commercially pumped out that you could buy and oven cook at home. I don’t know why – I buy the tenders cuts in the supermarket now because they are more thigh than breast and are literally more tender – probably the point of the name. My Google research discovered they in fact come from the pectoralis minor muscles of the animal. These strips of white meat are located on either side of the breastbone, under the breast meat (pectoralis major). Sadly they are also made from big corporations cutting any chicken meat into the shape of a tender.
You can either order tenders or drumettes, you can have them Sticky or with Korean BBQ. Below the Sticky is on the left, Korean BBQ in the right. Both are fracking amazing but I would have no issue stuffing my face in that Korean BBQ box to lick it clean. Our group of four was even split on which was the better of the two.
Then there is the burgers. They have two. 1) Their signature burger, the JUICY LUCY Burger: chicken, salad, sriracha mayo and cheese. I have to be honest about this one – it is tasty but it is really standard, nothing about it grabbed me by the throat and stuck its tongue down my throat. I would probably not order the JUICY LUCY Burger again because I have indulged in LIL KIM.
2) Pictured below I have eaten this twice and both times my knees wobbled, my eyes rolled back in my head and I foodgasmed. LIK KIM has chicken (duh), slaw, kimchi and Korean BBQ sauce, the same as the tenders. It is taste bud tantalising mind blowing. Up until last week the picture below was my most popular instagram photo of all time. I will return solely for this burger again and it will make my Top 10 Burgs of 2016.
JUICY LUCY is one of my fave venues in Sydney, it is one of the venues I have returned to and this says a lot. There is really nothing I can fault about the place. For getting home dinners for the family the BBQ chickens are up there with the best I have ever eaten. That LIL KIM burger is a burger highlight for me and the tenders are fracking sensational. I highly recommend this place, but like I said, better for takeaway than dine in, do what I have done in the past, grabbed my goods and walked to Harmony Park not far away on Campbell St, or cross Elizabeth St and you will find Belmore Park on the other side of the train tracks. Sit in the sun, on the grass and pig out with friends, or your loser self like me :).
Do yourself a favour and get some Lucy in ya!!
Juicy Lucy Deets:
232A Elizabeth Street, Surry Hills, NSW
Phone: (02) 8540 8726
Monday to Thursday: 1130am to 9pm
Friday and Saturday: 1130am to 11pm
Sunday: 4pm to 9pm
*** JK (and any guests of Spooning Australia) were invited guests of the establishment. However, ss always, if it was shite I would happily tell you as such.