The recently launched Country Chicken, an Australian fast food chain, offers combo meals, subs, burgers and salads

Over the years the Valluvar Kottam High Road has got accustomed to the whiff of freshly ground coffee, ghee-rich halwa, paper roast dosas and flavourful sambar. But lately, amidst all this one distinct aroma stands out — that of fried chicken. With its bright and posh façade, the new Country Chicken outlet looks a little out of place on this road that’s dotted with dosa bhavans, hardware and grocery stores and vegetable market. But people inside the outlet look rather comfortable as they sink into the red couches biting into giant chicken burgers.

Country Chicken is an Australian fast food chain that’s marked its entry into the country with its first outlet in Chennai. Waiters walk around with cowboy hats. The ones at the counter are forced to constantly move their heads as we try to look beyond their hats and read what’s on the menu board behind them. There are combo meals, subs, burgers, salads...

Since its self service we order a whole lot of things to avoid getting up again. Hot and spicy wings, chicken tenderloin, a combo meal that includes a chicken wrap, French fries and coke and a pizza tropicana.

Service is quick. But our hearts wilt at the size of the spicy wings. Three fiery finger-sized winglets isn’t the chartbuster of the menu but it isn’t the least popular either. Its taste has been customised to suit the Indian palate. For chicken lovers, the chicken tenderloin may seem like a good idea because it includes three generous pieces of fresh chicken coated with their “secret herb”. Mildly crispy but once you get past the top layer all that you find inside is an insipid tasting chicken...dipping it in the salsa and mayonnaise helps though. The wrap plays the role of a saviour. A chunk of fried chicken comes encased within a tortilla wrap with slices of tomato, lettuce, onion and mayo. The accompanying French fries look like they have been beaten up by bullies.

Everything here is high on salt. I am told that’s because the Aussies love their food that way. The staff very proudly also keep pointing out that Country Chicken uses cotton seed oil which is supposed to have zero cholesterol. Next the pizza arrives. It’s fluffy and cheesy with chunks of sweet and juicy pineapple with olives, jalapenos and onions thrown in.

Not entirely satisfied with the meal we decide to try an ice cream. As of now they only have softy ice creams but are planning on an elaborate dessert menu. We opt for choco dip which is thickly coated in crunchy chocolate sauce and is worth the fifty buck.

Country Chicken is located at old No: 81/82, New No: 61, Valluvar Kottam High Road, Nugambakkam, ph: 42010102.