Music, fried chicken, spice and community. These are the four themes that owner of The Bird and Ezra Pound, Kabir Ramasary is vowing to get tattooed on his body. They’re also the four essential ingredients that will make up his newest hospitality venture South Bird.

As a mainstay of the local hospitality scene, Ramasary’s South Bird will be much more than just another Southern-style fried chicken joint. The cultivation of community is paramount, starting with a tight-knit team and an atmosphere that invites new patrons to linger and become regulars.

“What makes hospitality venues work,” Ramasary tells Broadsheet, “[is] your ability to relate to people. We don’t [just] sell drinks, that’s not what a bar does, it creates an experience.”

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Ramasary’s long-time business partner Braeden La Marr (The Bird, Ezra Pound, North Bird), Perth chef Frankie Dawson (North Bird, Besk, Bivouac, La Madonna Nera), and esteemed sommelier Daisy Case (Fleur, The Standard, The Royal), have come together to establish some strong foundations for the venue. But what really makes the concept of South Bird so distinctive is Ramasary’s vision to make music a key part of the concept, via a community radio program.

“The project that I really want to work on with South Bird is actually to create a community radio. It sounds strange but that’s the vision. If we can get that to work, where it’s a community radio station where people once a week come and air their mixes and vibes, then yeah, I think it’d be really, really special.”

Good vibes, music and community are clear priorities for the team but make no mistake, the fried chicken will be a majorly tasty drawcard too. Ramasary developed a deep love for the simple delicacy when visiting the USA in 2017, and has been perfecting his recipe with La Marr ever since.

The Nashville-style chicken is coated with a breading that’s thick but ultra-crispy, with lots of crunch and plenty of heat, backed by cayenne pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, chillies and paprika. True to form for Tennessee, mild is not an option, so the spice level starts at medium and works its way up.

At the moment diners can choose between three cuts of chicken – thighs, tenders or wings – but there’s chat about incorporating drumsticks and a vegan tofu option down the track. Chicken is served in picture-perfect red plastic baskets. Sides of crack salt fries, slaw, hush puppies, mac’n’cheese, potato and gravy, and buffalo cauliflower make for a soul-warming, Southern classic selection.

The drinks list has also been carefully considered. With an Americana focus, non-alcoholics include sarsaparilla and peach and lemon iced teas, with the option to spike them with a bit of booze. The cocktail list will be small but punchy; local beers will be served on-tap; and the earthiness and funkiness of Australian natty wines proves an apt pairing with the hot fried chicken.

The store replaces the recently closed North Bird Wine Store – and the interiors retain the former site’s elegance and integrity, with added wood and earthy tones. Six wooden booths give the impression of a classic diner, a series of tables accommodates groups of three to six, and intimate window seating is the perfect spot to sit and watch the world go by.

South Bird
175 William Street, Northbridge

Hours:
Mon to Thu midday–9pm
Fri to Sat midday–10.30pm
Sun closed

southbird.com.au
@southbird_hc