Rockwell and Sons – Collingwood – Saturday 11 July 2015 – Lunch

Fried Chicken Sandwich, Buttermilk Dressing, Iceberg, Hot Sauce

Fried Chicken Sandwich, Buttermilk Dressing, Iceberg, Hot Sauce

A hankering for fried chicken comes around more times than is probably healthy. With nothing but a freezing weekend to look forward to, today this hankering simply must be met.

Having heard yet another Smith Street eatery is serving up great food, Catherine and I headed to Rockwell and Sons. It is in a familiar spot on the same block that includes the impeccable St Crispin.

It feels like there are plenty of this genre of restaurant but it is because many of them have popped up in the last couple of years. When you think about it a bit more you realise that there are many more Italian, French, Spanish, and modern Australian restaurants than Southern US places.

The success of these restaurants is all about affordability and comfort. When you think of slow cooked meats, fried chicken, fried potatoes, coleslaw and sweet pies, not much can beat these offerings. At Rockwell and Sons that script is followed, in a space that is restrained and modern.

We came for the chicken and it is offered in a brioche bun with coleslaw and hot sauce. For $13 I wasn’t expecting a full sized burger but that is what you get! The chicken is soft and juicy, just cooked through having most likely been soaked in buttermilk, and the crust is perfectly golden and crispy. The brioche bun adds to the richness, in a good way. Only the lettuce and buttermilk mayo helps soften the flavour punch. The hot sauce is my type of hot – just enough to know it is there in every bite, without absolutely numbing your palate for the next bite.

Tater Tots, Togarashi, Kombu Mayo

Tater Tots, Togarashi, Kombu Mayo

We grabbed the tater tots with the burgers in a difficult decision over the fries. It pays dividends as the tater tots with the kombu mayo are addictive. Like mini hashbrowns you get a good combination between the potato and outside crunch.

Unfortunately our waitperson advised that we couldn’t takeaway the lemon curd pie which was a pity because the burger and tater tots were so filling we couldn’t eat another thing immediately. We didn’t love the way she told us it was not allowed, but it was in line with her demeanour when we ordered initially which was abrupt at best, and unfriendly at worst.

The food and venue were excellent at Rockwell and I definitely recommend it in itself. However, there are a lot of Southern US places popping up, all generally good value too. The next time we are driving to Collingwood for this cuisine we’ll think twice before heading to Rockwell when Le Bon Ton and Belle’s are close by.

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