By Noble Savage
Summer is literally the worst! If you don’t have a pool or decent air conditioning, you literally sit the whole day stewing in your own sweaty filth. And then there’s dealing with “summer people”. You know the type; love the sun, want to go out in the sun, says things like “I just looooove being outside in summer”, etc. So when an overcast and cool day surprised us in December 2019, we immediately overcommitted ourselves socially!
In-between seeing our summer people friends, we realised some sustenance is needed. We’ve heard of a new shop specialising in chicken that opened in Melville, and since we were in the neighbourhood, we decided to check it out.
Winner Winner opened in Melville in September of 2019 and focuses on SA’s favourite meat. While it looks like an American diner from outside, the inside is quirky while still being welcoming. I really liked how rubber chickens were incorporated in the decor, and the lack of reclaimed wood and rose gold accents would probably horrify the Joburg Hipster Committee™. It’s just an unpretentious, welcoming environment. With rubber chickens. And a Lego one.
Obviously you’re not going to find anything but chicken on the menu (but note there are some vegan options). From southern-style fried chicken to chicken burgers, and some flame-grilled chicken for balance, this is a chicken lover’s dream!
The wine list is fairly limited, but there’s something for everyone there. Then there are the cocktails… Wow! Really creative stuff, including a cocktail with cereal milk, bourbon, and dark rum (a.k.a. The Cereal Killer). And while I’m not a cocktail fan, this one blew my mind!
For a first outing, I decided to try their basic chicken burger, the Cluck Norris.
Southern fried chicken patty, with lettuce, cheese, pickles, and a lemon aioli. And that lemon aioli elevates this burger to incredible levels! It’s by far the best fried chicken burger I can think of and puts all the ones we know (you know the ones) to shame. Hand-cut chips and some mac ‘n cheese rounded off what, in hindsight, might have been my favourite meal of 2019.
My current wife tried out one of the vegan burger options; the Yolko Ono. It’s BBQ oyster mushrooms, Asian coleslaw, pickled ginger, and wasabi kewpie mayonnaise. I’m not too keen on mushrooms – mainly a texture thing – but this one was really well-thought-out. It’s not just a massive mushroom on a bun, so even I could manage to take a bite. And it was really tasty!
Pricing is very reasonable, but do note that sides have to be ordered separately (and the bill is stuffed into a rubber chicken).
But still, pull in with a few people, and share the sides. There’s a lot more on the menu I want to try, particularly the buttermilk chicken poutine (I don’t know how I missed that on the menu) with chicken crackling! I foresee a few trips to Melville in 2020…
This is not a sponsored post, and all meals were paid for by the authors.