Buying a barbeque chicken is still reminiscent of the old takeaway shops from back in the day. With walls slick from rotisserie-induced condensation, and heaped mounds of radiating chips, these places were after-school heaven. Newtown’s newly opened Chicken Shop emulates those bygone temples to barbeque, but offers a Greek touch and a slicker interior.
Kon Midas conceived Chicken Shop three years ago. He’s a lightning-fast joker with a serious attention to detail. Midas explains that Chicken Shop’s menu doesn’t only include traditional Greek flavours, but rather the tastes loved by his family.
“[Our menu] is what we grew up with in the old milk bars. The barbeque chickens are all stuffed. Then there’s the flat grill where you’ve got your choice of basting … Peri peri; smoky barbeque sauce; honey soy; or garlic, rosemary, lemon – which is traditionally Greek.
“The stuffing in the chicken is the best part about it,” Midas says. Stuffing flavours rotate regularly and include fragrant combinations of rice, raisins and nuts. Chicken Shop’s industrial kitchen is capable of cooking 70 chickens an hour. It also roasts stuffed spatchcock and grills souvlaki-style skewers over an open flame. If you’re on the run, then you can’t look past the burgers.
“The Old Style Wog Burger – oh my gosh – it’s unbelievable,” Midas says. Beef, egg, bacon, beetroot, pineapple, onion, cheese, lettuce and tomato. Dense and dripping, it’s Midas’ favourite thing on the menu. He dismisses online debate over the name, insisting it’s a harmless nod to his own Greek heritage.
The building used to be the station master’s quarters at Newtown Station, and Chicken Shop was refurbished to reflect days gone by. The arching roof and strips of green tile are traces of the original. The enormous space means Chicken Shop is light, spacious and charming. Steely industrial kitchen equipment is balanced by the sheen of white walls.
324 King Street, Newtown
Sun to Thu 12pm–10pm
Fri & Sat 12pm–12am