Drasko's Hot Chicken

Features

Drasko Jankovic is a journalist-turned-chef with some serious credentials. He's a former graduate of Noma in Copenhagen as well as a one-time junior sous chef at Noma’s sister restaurant, 108. But despite all of his experience with fine-dining, he's always had a soft spot for Nashville-style fried chicken.

So Jankovic partnered up with Ken Craigie (RoyAl's Chicken) for Drasko's Hot Chicken, an eponymous diner dedicated to the stuff.

The chook here, while staying faithful to Nashville tradition (brined, floured, fried then finished with a seasoned oil) is jazzed up using techniques Jankovic learnt in Copenhagen. The brine, for instance, is based on dashi rather than buttermilk, while the finishing oil has been flavoured with, among other things, a savoury garum. The result is a bird that’s juicy and crunchy in all the right places and all too easy to eat.

Despite the forensic detail involved with frying the chicken, the side dishes speak just as loudly to Jankovic’s fine-dining background and commitment to local produce. (The menu name-checks all the restaurant’s suppliers).

Fries are made in-house using white potatoes, cooked in a cold-pressed canola oil from Healthfarm in Kojonup and seasoned with a house-made chicken salt. Beans are a vegan riff on pasulj, a slow-braised bean dish that features prominently in both Serbia as well as the Jankovic family’s memories. Pickles are fermented rather than vinegar-pickled and contain seasonal vegetables, salt, bay leaves, time and nothing else.

Chicken is available as Japanese-inspired sandos with pickles, slaw and comeback sauce. Sourdough bread is from The Woodfired Baker in Maylands while Ryan Bookless of Monsterella Pizza has agreed to bake gluten-free rolls in the pizzeria’s wood-fired oven – or by the piece.

The chicken is available as tenders, wings and a whole Maryland, and comes in five different heat levels. On weekends, fried chicken waffles with Canadian maple syrup are also available. It’s not a big menu, certainly, but to Jankovic, quality will always trump quantity.

The former Dome site in Mount Hawthorn has been transformed using a colourful mural from local artist Hans Bruechle of Handbrake Art and a variety of indoor, outdoor and counter seating. To drink, there’s coffee from Filament, kombucha from Kommunity Brew and a house lemon myrtle and rosella iced tea.

Updated: March 4th, 2022

We do not seek or accept payment from the cafes, restaurants, bars and shops listed in the Directory – inclusion is at our discretion. Venue profiles are written by independent freelancers paid by Broadsheet.