Just as Perth fried chicken fans despair over the imminent demise of William Street’s Meat Candy, local R’n’B DJ Karl Blue comes to the rescue with Leederville’s Thuggs Fried Chicken & Waffles. His concept is simple: fried chicken, waffles and rap music. Despite the negative connotations of the restaurant’s name and theme, Blue says Thuggs is about proving a point.

“In high school me and my friends were stereotyped as thugs,” says Blue. “We didn’t pay any attention to it because thugs were the guys in rap videos and movies, and we thought it was cool. But we had a teacher who would tell us that we were going to do nothing with our lives, and that stuck with me. Throughout my whole life I’ve tried to show that guy and turn the label into a positive.”

Blue’s business partner in Thuggs is Giovanni Pezzano, owner of MOP Donuts, The Meatball Bar and Gourmet Republik. Thuggs has taken over MOP Donuts’ Leederville premises, and inherited the fried chicken recipe created by Pezzano’s mother.

“I was lucky to find such a good business partner,” says Blue. “He’s been doing the doughnuts for two-and-a-half years and wanted something new and fresh.”

The extensive menu is low on surprises but big on more-is-more excess. Fried chicken is available on its own as well as in a cone, waffle sandwich or burger. Adornments include mac‘n’cheese, onion rings and deep-fried sticks of cheddar. Ever craved corn wrapped in maple bacon? Probably not. But if you have, you can get it here.

Each menu item is named after one of Blue’s favourite rappers, and the walls of the restaurant are decorated accordingly. The $35 “Deebo Challenge” starts with five layers of chicken and goes from there. Finish it on your own and receive four free doughnuts.

Beverages are currently limited to coffee and bottled sodas, but a liquor licence has been applied for. Future choices will include beers and pre-mixed spirits. Sweet waffles are available for those still hungry after mains.

Blue hopes Thuggs will expand beyond Leederville.

“There’s a lot of chicken places in Perth now, but many areas are missing out,” he says. “Northbridge is loaded with chicken spots, but kids don’t get to go to these kinds of places often.”

Thuggs Fried Chicken
747 Newcastle Street, Leederville
0423 365 920

Mon to Thu 5pm–12am
Fri to Sun 12pm–12am


This article was updated on December 12, 2018. It first appeared on Broadsheet on October 24, 2018. Menu items may have changed since publication.