Food and Drink


Gami Chicken & Beer

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A hangover equals a free pass to eating as much as you want of whatever you want, right? Right. So for the past few weeks, I’ve been waiting for the stars to line up so I can head to Gami Chicken & Beer in the best possible mind frame for some serious fried chicken.

On entry, the white walls and harsh lighting signals an unforgiving environment for a group of pasty-skinned, post-gin smashing diners, but we looked past that to the abundance of deep fried, crispy chickeny goodness on the menu.

Getting a bit ‘risky’ with the ordering in a situation like ours was perhaps not the best choice, especially when our politely smiling waiter describes our first choice, Oh Ddang ($10) as ‘um, kinda like squid jerky’. Hmm. On the plate, this equates to an entire dried squid served on a paper napkin alongside a handful of salted peanuts. The squid is chewy, intensely fishy and to be honest, it kind of freaked me out.

There are safer and less squid-focused options on the menu, but to be honest we’re here for the main event – the chicken – and so sensibly we move on.

There are four options; original, sweet chili, sweet soy garlic or half-half. We go for two half-half ($30 each) so we can try the lot. All arrive at our table piping hot, fresh from the fryer, served with a small bowl of salt to apply as you wish. Salt on the side is an interesting approach, it’s probably best to salt any fried food ASAP, but it makes sense if you’re watching your waist… although in that case, you probably shouldn’t be here.

Each dish contains about sixteen pieces of chicken on the bone (presumably making up one ill-fated chicken), all veiled by a thin, yet satisfyingly crunchy batter encasing the tender, moist meat inside.  The team at Gami also seem to have that magic touch of coating the chicken in sauce but never losing too much of the ever important crunch – quite possibly a product of their speedy, efficient service.

We’re also provided with a couple of condiments, including crisp, fresh coleslaw drizzled with a sweet mayo and BBQ sauce, and wonderfully vinegary pickled daikon to cut through the fattiness of the chicken and help gear our palettes up for more.

The concept at Gami is fantastic if you want loath the essay-like menus that adorn the windows in many Asian eateries in this part of Melbourne. By the looks of things most diners were only after the chicken anyway, and if you’re okay with a choice of only two beers (no wine, but who needs it here) served ice cold alongside fresh and tasty food you’ll be laughing.

That is… until the hangover creeps back.

Gami Chicken & Beer
Two locations:
100 Lt Lonsdale Street and
Shop G, 535 Lt. Lonsdale Street
Open seven days, 6pm – 2am

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