r. Juicy Jay has taken up residency at North Melbourne’s Public Bar. He talks with a real Cajun-drawl, takes it easy and knows more about the flavours of the Deep South than anyone else in town.
This is Dr. Juicy’s kitchen and the only thing he prescribes is soft shell crab and fried chicken.
Encapsulating this archetype of Southern mythology, Dr. Juicy Jay’s Fried Chicken and Crab Shack is the latest street food offering from Chingón brothers, Will and Mick Balleau.
While the name is derived from a long-standing alter ego of Mick’s, it’s clear that the food stems from the flavours of the brothers’ childhood in Albuquerque, New Mexico. As they discovered different styles of music, cuisine and culture, they were drawn to the vibes of New Orleans and the Deep South, says Will.
“Juicy's is just a small celebration of one very specific style of food found in the incredibly diverse Southern-Creole kitchen,” he says.
An authentic reincarnation of the Southern crab shack, Dr. Juicy’s is built around the traditional crab boil, which is found in all corners of the States, but is at its most fiery in the South.
Juicy’s traditional Frogmore-style Crab Boil starts with good, fresh seafood and is set alight with an original house spice blend with some corn, sausage, potato, lemon and garlic. Forget knives and forks – this is eaten straight out of the takeaway container with your hands. The messier the better, says Will.
The menu is small, but neatly packs a punch. There is the Creole-style shrimp and crispy fried soft shell crab, but what really takes the cake is the superbly juicy Southern fried chicken. The buttermilk fried chicken recipe of 21 herbs and spices comes courtesy of head chef Katie Marron’s family in Maryland and is best served up with warm waffles.
With the authenticity of the Deep South, you can bypass Louisiana and head straight to Public Bar for your fix of traditional, no nonsense seafood, spices and fried chicken. Dr. Juicy will be waiting, beer in hand.
Dr. Juicy Jay’s Fried Chicken and Crab Shack
Front room of Public Bar
238 Victoria Street, North Melbourne
Wed to Sun 5pm–9pm