LEEDERVILLE was pumping on Tuesday night with people jumping out of taxis and diving into eateries on the corner of Newcastle and Oxford Streets.
It felt vibrant and happening with the tight streets, lush trees and glossy pubs reminding me of London.
My reverie was abruptly ended when my young son stabbed my hand with his plastic fork.
We were in Thuggs Fried Chicken and Waffles, a brash little joint specialising in chicken burgers, waffle stacks and you guessed it – fried chicken wings.
Sitting in the alfresco, the loud R’n’B from Thuggs mixed with the bangra music from Curry Munchers next door, creating a strange but pleasant din.
For a brief moment, I had visions of Mary J Blige eating a lamb bhuna.
The test of any good chicken joint is its fried chicken wings (six for $9).
Thuggs’ came in a little cardboard tray and had a darkish batter.
The chicken meat was juicy and tender with a crisp batter that had a satisfying crunch.
But what separates good chicken wings from the litany of others flapping in the wind is the spice mix.
Thuggs’ was slightly dark and exotic with a hint of the middle east, but it didn’t have the wow factor or a unique taste that made me reminisce on the way home.
It was enjoyable without being memorable.
My wife’s busta waffle stack ($11.90) was definitely more interesting.
Garnished with thin slices of dill pickle and a slightly spicy slaw, it was going down a treat.
“It’s a bit of a monster with a giant slab of chicken in the middle,” she said.
“The waffle is well cooked and the chicken is lovely and moist.
“It’s great value and very filling with the pickles freshening things up.”
Across the table, my kids were getting tore into their thuggets (four for $5) and large cheesy fries ($8.90)
None of the deep-fried chicken nuggets were that spicy so the kids were wolfing them down with no complaints.
I had a taste of the fries, which were nice and crisp, but I didn’t like the cheese sauce, which reminded me of the stuff you get on nachos at the movies.
My wife enjoyed them though, and said it brought back memories of living in Glasgow.
To break the chicken-fest up, we ordered a side of dirty slaw ($4.50), which was dusted with cajun-style spices.
The fresh, crunchy ingredients were pleasant enough, but the creamy dressing was a bit bland and could have done with more of a kick.
Thuggs also do beef burgers, milk shakes and donuts, and some daily offers like all you can eat chicken wings for $15 from 3pm-5pm.
Thuggs was okay but I was expecting a bit more from the deep-fried chicken and some bolder flavours along the way.
It’s a fun, good value spot that will probably appeal to teens and 20-somethings who fancy a quick bite to eat.
Thuggs Fried Chicken & Waffles
747 Newcastle Street, Leederville
Dine-in and takeaway
by STEPHEN POLLOCK