What started as a habitual scroll through Instagram one day turned into a web-wide deep dive into Nashville hot chicken for Kieren and Emily Mykyta, the couple behind new Flinders Park chicken joint Buk Buk. “Places like Belles Hot Chicken in Melbourne inspired us,” says Kieren. “It didn’t really feel like anyone was doing it here [in Adelaide].”

The new concept came after the Mykytas had taken a year off from work (after selling their old burger shop, 127 Days, to new owners), travelled Europe and had their second child. It was originally conceived as a food truck for events (Buk Buk first emerged at this year’s Beer & BBQ Festival), with then-business partner Angus Fisher-Marks, but when the space at Flinders Park became available, the couple decided to return to their roots and open a brick-and-mortar.

The Mykytas haven’t been to Nashville, but it’s on their to-do list. They were interested in the rise of Southern fried chicken – and its mouth-burning subgenre, hot chicken – across the US, and the sharp increase of food trucks in places such as California.

The menu is compact and straight to the point: there are boneless pieces, wings and tenders, served as spicy as you want (“It gets hot,” Emily says of the spice levels, which range from the mild Mom & Pop to the sweat-inducing All Money In), and sides such as waffle fries, macaroni and cheese, and slaw.

The super crunchy chicken is marinated in a buttermilk hot sauce and put through a seasoned flour dredge before going into the fryers. Then it’s brushed with cayenne pepper or another spice mix, and served on a slice of white bread (“Texas Toast”, Kieran calls it) with pickle slices on top. “That’s the quintessential Nashville hot chicken – versus other styles, like New Orleans,” says Kieren. “But there are similarities throughout the South. We called ours ‘Southern hot chicken’ so we could have a bit more versatility, but Nashville is the style we’re going for.”

The fit-out has a DIY feel, with recycled furniture (an old church pew has been repurposed as a bench) and branding designed by Kieren. Almost all of the framed photographs on the walls were either taken by the couple themselves or pulled from their family photo albums.

Gelato is supplied by the Mykyta’s friends at Ecco Gelato. As for drinks, there’s Pirate Life and Balter on tap plus Little Bang tinnies and boutique wines and spirits.

Buk Buk
1/254 Grange Road, Flinders Park
Hours:
Wed & Thurs 11am–8pm
Fri & Sat 11am–9pm
Sun 11am–4pm