When Juicy Lucy first opened in Elizabeth Street in Surry Hills, Griff Pamment had grand plans. He was going to reinvent all the Australian chicken-shop classics with South East Asian flavours. It never happened, though. “We were too busy, it was crazy,” says Pamment.
Now he and his team have their chance. Pamment has just opened Juicy Lucy part two; a bigger, better, licensed version of the original Elizabeth Street takeout, also in Surry Hills. “There wasn't much of an eat-in culture at the first store,” says Pamment. When the old Sugarcane site became available he saw an opportunity to do dishes cooked to order served with good beer and a couple of cocktails.
The new venue is less old-school chicken shop and more representative of Sydney’s cultural diversity. The rotisserie and wraps are out and in their place are dishes such as masterstock-marinated Chinese-style fried chicken; South East Asian noodles and salads; and a range of new burgers and snacks.
With Pamment in the kitchen, nothing is done without a playful twist. There’s a double-cheese-stuffed piece of fried chicken with Indonesian-style sambal, lettuce and pickles in a buttery, soft bun. One of the wildest creations is a take on the original Juicy Lucy, a Minneapolis burger with two patties wrapped around a hunk of melted cheese.
The Ong Bak burger has green papaya, mayo and a palm-sugar-heavy spicy peanut sauce. The dandan-noodle-like dish (dandan is a spicy sauce with preserved vegetables, chilli oil, Sichuan pepper and green onion) has udon noodles, miso-chicken bolognese, fresh cucumber and pickled ginger. “It's moving into something that's a real mishmash of cultures and flavours,” says Pamment.
The fit-out is similar in colour and vibe (Mike Watt returned to do the Asian-pop-art graffiti) to the original, but darker, bigger and more bar-focused. The drinks list is casual; there are three wines, two cocktail slushies and a short list of mostly local brews, Cass (Korean) being the outlier.
This menu is just an early version; there are a lot of ideas yet to be unravelled. One involves a self-service ice-cream fridge so folks can eat out of their own tubs at the table. Another is the Chiko Roll Pamment has promised before.
40 Reservoir Street, Surry Hills
(02) 9281 6833
Mon to Thu 5pm–9pm
Fri & Sat 5pm–10pm