Many carnivorous cravings have been caused by the television show Man v. Food and one of the episodes which sticks out in my mind is watching Adam Richman using a wooden mallet to smash up crabs and well, it just looks like a lot of fun and mighty good eating! As of Thursday last week, welcome to Melbourne's dining scene Dr Juicy Jay's Fried Chicken and Crab Shack, serving up Southern fried chicken with waffles, crab boil, home made corn dogs and much more. Dr Juicy Jay's is the brainchild of Chingón duo and brothers, Will and Mick Balleau, who are taking over the kitchen at The Public Bar in North Melbourne.
It must have been happy hour because both our drinks came to a total of $11 which was dirt cheap.
We started off sharing a serve of the Southern fried chicken, coated in 21 secret herbs and spices, with a single waffle hidden underneath. The delicate balance between savoury and sweet within a dish can sometimes be overstepped however here it proved to be a winning combination. The boneless fried chicken was succulent, packed with flavour and balanced nicely by the sweet waffles and tangy ranch sauce. These waffles were something else - light and fluffy yet still retained crispiness with a slight caramelisation, so much deliciousness in a mouthful. Is there anywhere else in Melbourne that does a good fried chicken and waffles? If so, please let me know (I don't rate The Merrywell).
Next up was a Southern style dish consisting of blue swimmer crabs with sausages and cobs of corn thrown in. A combination of spices, lemon, garlic and a lot of butter dressed the dish and complemented the sweetness of the crab. We were advised that the hot sauce went especially well with the crab boil and it did indeed add another dimension to the dish.
Will was kind enough to offer a half serve of the shrimp as I was looking for something small to finish off our meal. The shrimp had the same dressing as the crab boil which was lovely although Mr A thought that the shrimp were slightly overcooked. I also appreciated the addition of potatoes with the shrimp to provide a carb element as I tend to get hungry quicker without them.
The menu is small and succinct allowing the kitchen to focus on quality.
Being only the second day of operation when we visited, we enjoyed our meal and I was in awe of the fried chicken with waffles. Service was efficient and came with a smile while food didn't take too long to arrive. Although more appropriately deemed as bar food rather than a full meal, be prepared to get your hands dirty digging into these crabs. So hurry, "the Juice wants to sell you crabs!"
Will I return? Yes, absolutely loved the Southern fried chicken with waffles in particular.
Dr Juicy Jay's Fried Chicken and Crab Shack
238 Victoria Street
North Melbourne VIC 3051
(03) 9329 9888
Wed to Sun 5pm - 9pm