Chiquito & Co
- Mexican Fries
- Cheesy Fries and Bacon
- Haloumi Fries
- Cheesy Popcorn Chicken
- Madmen Burger
- Magic Mushroom Burger
- Southern Fried Chicken Wings
- Chiq Shakes:
- Time to Pop
- Ferrero Rocher
It was an impressive start with the Southern Fried Chicken Wings. Fresh out of the fryer and fried to a perfect golden brown, the lightly crumbed outer was well-seasoned and provided a satisfying crunch. Marinated for over 24 hours in a buttermilk and spices blend, the chicken was full of flavour without being overly oily nor salty, while the crispy outer gives way to some of the juiciest and most tender chicken meat we’ve come across. Coupled with the spicy jalapeno aioli that was hot and creamy, as well as a rich buttermilk ranch, these were hands down some of the best wings in Melbourne.
The Cheesy Popcorn Chicken was equally enjoyable. The same great fried chicken just with a generous load of melted cheese topping it, which gradually dripped down the sides and coated the chunks nicely. Providing a creamy and cheesy sensation, this was definitely one of the best Popcorn Chicken out there.
We also enjoyed a variety of loaded fries, with our favourite being the Mexican Fries. The cheesesauce was applied in abundance, topping the refreshing and tangy tomato & lime salsa. The chips themselves were fried nicely, with a golden brown crispy outer skin that gave way to a fluffy and soft inner. Already well-seasoned, the chips were further enhanced with a rich sour cream and spicy jalapenos, creating a sudden burst of flavour overload with each bite.
We concluded the evening with a range of Chiq Shakes and Concretes. It must be noted that there’s a fine distinction that separates concretes and ice cream, which is more the composition of more than 1% egg yolk. Despite the seemingly trivial criteria, you can definitely taste, and feel the difference.
The shakes were incredibly thick, with a creamy texture that had an amazingly dense consistency. This was well complemented by a variety of sweet toppings, with our favourite being the Ferrero Rocher. Ferrero Rocher crumbs surrounded the top of the glass, which were clung to a rich and aptly sweet Belgium chocolate fudge. Topping the shake was an indulgent chocolate hazelnut rock and hazelnut praline that provided a sweet yet nutty sensation. Slurping up the shake that’s hiding underneath the mountain of sweets, you are rewarded with a well-flavoured and exceptionally thick mixture that exhibited a pleasant chocolate sensation throughout.
Unfortunately, the burgers tonight failed to impress. Despite looking mighty spectacular, our modified Madmen Burger looked didn’t quite satisfy the tastebuds.
Arguably the most important component of the burger, the beef patty was very dense and undeniably dry. It could’ve definitely benefited from having more fat mixed in to provide more juices as well as flavour. The melted cheese on top wasn’t nearly bold, nor cheesy enough either, which didn’t aid the dryness throughout.
The Southern Fried Chicken was unfortunately equally disappointing. The batter was once again delectably faultless, though the chicken within was a cut from the breast protein, which made for a much tougher and drier experience than expected. A thigh piece would’ve yielded much more spectacular results, as did the wings.
The much-anticipated bacon was also tragically missing from our burger. All in all, an unexcitable burger that’s fell short on both flavours and execution.
The Magic Mushroom Burger was rather enjoyable, though we made the same mistake of adding a beef patty. Served within a bright red Beetroot bun, the panko crumbed, whole portobello mushroom was fried to perfection. The crumbly outer simply fell apart to give way to an incredibly succulent and juicy inner. However, all other components of the burger felt rather lacklustre in comparison, with the jalapeño aioli lacking in spice and the beef once again disappointingly dry and chewy.
While we can’t go on enough about how good the fried chicken and shakes were, the burgers disappointingly missed the mark on this occasion.
A few tweaks here or there could really bring the overall experience to a whole new level, and we excitedly anticipate a return visit where the burgers are more refined.
Would Penguin Eat Again?
Definitely. Come for the Fried Chicken, stay for the Shakes and Concretes, but maybe give the burgers a miss for now as they still require much refinement.
Penguineats would like to thank YourSocialChef for inviting us and the generous hospitality of Chiquito & Co owners Robbie and Jennifer.