Get Young & Frisky with Fried Chicken and Whisky
Why did the chicken cross the road? To get to the whisky bar on the other side! But seriously, fried chicken and whisky. Have you ever heard of a more beautiful combination? Nope, neither have we, which is why we’re delighted to announce the opening of Gungahlin’s hottest new sensation – Young & Frisky.
The brainchild of Hopscotch owners Nick Parkinson and Brian Smith, Young & Frisky is set to ruffle some feathers and heat things up in Canberra. Literally. The pair are set to serve up all sorts of delicious delights (mac and cheese anyone?), as well as whisky that’ll knock your socks off. But, in addition to their mouth-watering fried chicken, there will be hot chicken delights going from mild, all the way up to plucking hot!
You might decide to wing it and see how many plucking hot wings you can devour, but if you want to cool things down, the boys have got you covered too. Although their tap list is going to change regularly, they’ve already locked down the talented geniuses from Capital Brewing Company – Canberra’s newest home-grown brewing talent.
Actually, in case you hadn’t guessed by now, Young & Frisky are all about keeping it cool and keeping things local. They’ve got salvaged Canberra red bricks, recycled floorboards from the AIS basketball court, and (this part is seriously cool) timber from Thor’s actual hammer.
We spoke to Nick to get the lowdown.
Hi Nick, thanks for taking the time to chat to us. Can you tell us a bit about your and Brian’s backgrounds and how you both got started in the industry?
Before Hopscotch, Brian had been in the beer industry for 10 years working for Carlton United Breweries. This is where he honed his skills in sales and made strong bonds with suppliers and alcohol companies who have helped influenced and shape our company.
My background is in cooking; I have been a chef for 10 years. Completing my apprenticeship in Canberra in 2011, I then moved to London to develop my skills in fine dining.
Upon my return 2 years later, I worked in a number of restaurants until my sister Kate (who also has industry knowledge) and her now-husband Brian approached me to open a small bar. The small bar ended up being an extremely big bar with a location that just couldn’t be turned down. It was as if the stars had aligned – it was the right time, Lonsdale Street was just the right place, and we were all ready to go.
Speaking of Hopscotch, how does Young & Frisky differ?
Young & Frisky differs from Hopscotch in a couple of ways. Most noticeably is the food – Hopscotch specialises in wood-fired meats cooked on an Argentine grill, whereas fried chicken is the showcase at Frisky. I think we went for more of a local suburban feel as opposed to your big city pub; it’s very cosy.
You’ve got some amazing menu offerings like the All American Beef Burger, Chimichungas and Prawn Po Boy, but one of your most popular dishes is the fried chicken. What goes into creating perfectly fried chicken?
The perfect fried chicken depends on the person, but if you ask me it’s got to be cooked in a pressure fryer, a nifty piece of commercial machinery invented by a well-known colonel in Kentucky during the 1950s. It keeps the chicken extra crispy whilst retaining all the tasty chicken juices.
You also have a delicious selection of sides like Mac ‘n’ Cheese and Buttermilk Biscuits. What do you like about Southern-style American cuisine?
Southern food is a fascinating mishmash of African, European and American cuisine, all influencing each other to create these ballsy flavours that just work together!
We’re guessing that ‘Young & Frisky’ is rhyming slang for ‘whisky’. What’s your favourite whisky and food pairing?
Favourite whisky and food pairing – great question. Brian is a hands-down steak man and a sucker for a 450gram rib eye cooked on the wood-fire grill with brandy mushroom jus and a home-grown Sullivan’s cove single malt. I’m more of an after-dinner whisky drinker with a nice big wheel of blue cheese and a smoky Ardbeg.
Sounds like you’re both know a thing or two about food and whisky! Who designed the interior of Young & Frisky and where did you find inspiration for the space?
Robert Blazevski from RBD Projects has built both Hopscotch and Y&F. He is a very experienced builder who has an amazing eye for detail. The fit-out though is a combination of all our quirky ideas.
When you’re in the mood for something a bit different, where do you like to go for a great meal?
For a great meal, we always like to get together with friends and cook in the backyard on a coal Webber; simple easy food. You can only have so many pub meals in a year!
Photo credit: Young & Frisky