Drinks Digest taste tested the new Butter Chatswood restaurant this week and we’ll be back very soon for more fried chicken goodness.
The original Butter opened in Surry Hills in 2016 and served up the unique combination of hip, hard-to-get sneakers with fried chicken and Champagne. It opened a second restaurant in Parramatta before adding a Lower North Shore pitstop in December.
The chain has some serious talent behind it: Julian Cincotta (ex Rockpool Bar & Grill and Nomad), Mo Moubayed and Paul Flynn (Thievery in Glebe ) and very funky decor, all neon blue lights and industrial chic.
While the Chatswood Chase location is a little unexpected – it looks like a nightclub has been deposited in the food court – but once you’re inside, the clinical shopping centre vibe quickly recedes.
We tried the fried chicken sandwich with dashi and pickles, and a regular burger, with “laces” on the side (the Butter version of fries – which are sprinkled with homemade shiitake seasoning – as Concrete Playground notes “you’ll never look at chicken salt the same way again”) and some buttermilk ranch for dipping. As we’re currently on a beer budget, we sipped Italian prosecco rather than French bubbles (there’s also Verve on offer for $25 a glass and $450 bottles of Krug if you’re feeling extra fancy).
The signature fried chicken is brined in buttermilk then dipped in a cayenne and cumin-spiced batter. It’s moist and surprisingly non-oily, with the pickles providing a tang that cuts nicely through the richness.
Among the other enticing offerings we didn’t get to try were marinated charcoal chicken, fried chicken XO noodles and the donuts, which the friendly waiter said we must sample next time we visit (although perhaps not in the Fried Chicken & Donut dish – two crispy fried chicken tenders, salted butter, pure maple syrup and a hot donut).
The whole menu is a long stretch from KFC, with sides including mashed potato with ramen gravy, crispy fried aphrodite haloumi with spicy mayo and corn with miso butter. You can also get your “laces” drizzled with nutella (count us out on that one).
Prices are reasonable too, if you’re not sipping Krug. Burgers range from $11 to $18, while half a chargrilled chicken is $18.
Butter, Shop B/39 345 Victoria Ave, Chatswood NSW