Belle's Hot Chicken: Nashville-style fried chicken comes to Melbourne

Author: Pat Nourse
Photography: Marcel Aucar

Just when you thought Gertrude Street couldn't get any hotter, along comes news that it'll soon be home to Australia's first Nashville-style spicy fried chicken outlet. More intriguing still, it's the comeback project for fĂȘted chef Aaron Turner, of the dearly missed Loam restaurant, and his pal Morgan McGlone, the chef and Taste of Young Sydney impresario.

While southern-inspired eats are cropping up faster than you can say "eleven secret herbs and spices" the pair's credentials in this instance are hard to beat. They've both been living in Nashville for the past year - McGlone there to open the local branch of Husk restaurant for acclaimed Charleston chef Sean Brock, and Turner joining him in the kitchen.

For their Melbourne caper, they're taking over the food at Belle's Diner, on the corner of Napier and Gertrude streets, which they'll reopen in early August as Belle's Hot Chicken. The pair's vision for the restaurant, conceived over many nights working the fryer and doing research at the likes of Prince's, Hattie B's and Bolton's, is to offer the very spicy deep-fried chicken and hot fish they know and love, complemented by a rotating range of sides such as braised beans with ham hocks, potato salad, crinkle-cut fries and greens ("though collards aren't easy to get in Australia," says McGlone).

To put out the fire (or possibly stoke the flame), there'll be a very personal selection of the wines they like to drink (expect plenty from natural-leaning importers such as Addley Clark, Living Wines, Brooks & Amos and Andrew Guard), plus "working man's beers" and good whiskey.

"It's our ode to Nashville," says McGlone. You've been warned.

Looking for more Melbourne dining options? Check out our list of the best restaurants in Melbourne.







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