Testing our limits at the Hot Chicken Project, Geelong

A few weeks ago I spent a weekend in Torquay with a good friend who wanted to show me some of Geelong’s upcoming ‘foodie’ scene. She kept raving about this new chicken place called ‘The Hot Chicken Project’ so we headed there for lunch to see what all the fuss is about.

The Hot Chicken Project is the latest baby of chef Aaron Turner, of Loam fame. After spending some time in Nashville learning how to make ‘real’ American fried chicken, and helping to open Belle’s Hot Chicken in Melbourne, he is now at the Hot Chicken Project churning out some seriously good chicken. The bar and eatery follows the principle I love of doing one thing, and doing it really well. These guys specialize in… you guessed it… chicken! And compliment their chicken with a range of simple and delicious sides and sauces, and boutique beers and wines. American food is so on trend right now, so it is good to see that Geelong knows where its at.

The bar itself is small and cosy, with a beautiful wooden bar and smaller areas to sit along the back wall. The whole bar has a good view of the kitchen up the back, and the bar staff are knowledgeable in their drink choices.

We worked our way through 3 types of chicken, the 3 on the bottom of the ‘heat’ scale; the Southern, the Medium and the Hot. We didn’t even consider touching the ‘So Damn Hot’ or the ‘Evil Chicken’, but from the instagram page, I see there are several crazy people who do! For me, the Medium was the perfect. It was hot enough to excite the senses and make my nose run a little bit, but not hot enough to take my breath away, which the Hot did. It hurts me to even imagine how hot the other flavours must be… my hat goes off to you if you can eat them! The chicken reminded me of gourmet KFC- less greasy, much more tasty and the quality of the chicken itself much better.

The sides complimented the chicken well. We tried the American staple fries, some coleslaw and the sauteed greens. Of the sauces, the Alabama white was my favourite. I also really liked the choice of being able to choose a cut of chicken- the tenders were my cut of choice.

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This would be a great local watering hole, the perfect place to meet friends on a Friday night or a Sunday afternoon to eat finger licking good food and drink some craft beer. A must try for Geelong, although I highly doubt there are many foodies out that way that have not yet ventured there for a feed or two!

Have a deliciously, finger licking good day,

Foodie Melbourne
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