JUMP FOR JOY

First ADAM LIS­TON lit up Ade­laide with Sho­bosho, now comes JoyBird, an ode to the Aussie chicken shop, with a menu that brings in­spi­ra­tion from abroad to bear on old favourites.

Gourmet Traveller (Australia) - - Contents - Recipes ADAM LIS­TON Words LEE TRAN LAM Pho­tog­ra­phy MARK ROPER Styling LISA FEATHERBY

First Adam Lis­ton lit up Ade­laide with Sho­bosho, now comes JoyBird, an ode to the Aussie chicken shop.

You could mea­sure Adam Lis­ton’s child­hood by the num­ber of vis­its he made to his lo­cal chicken shop in Good­wood, Ade­laide. His fam­ily would make weekly pil­grim­ages for the grilled chicken and chips (which they’d eat at home, with the manda­tory salad or steamed ve­g­ies, to main­tain the idea they were ac­tu­ally be­ing healthy). Decades later, the Sho­bosho chef still reg­u­larly vis­its the same take­away joint – and while the com­pany has changed, the char­coal chicken hasn’t. “I take my daugh­ter re­li­giously ev­ery week,” he says, “and we have the same thing.” Chips and gravy for her, yiros and chicken for him.

It’s an ex­pe­ri­ence he wants to recre­ate – al­beit on a more am­bi­tious scale – at JoyBird in Hyde Park, his new 110-seat restau­rant with Simon Kar­dachi

(his busi­ness part­ner in Sho­bosho). “We wanted to stick with the con­cept of work­ing with fire, which Sho­bosho is known for,” Lis­ton says. Un­like his yak­i­tori restau­rant, which din­ers might save for spe­cial oc­ca­sions, JoyBird is in­tended to be ac­ces­si­ble and bud­get-friendly. Even if the char­coal chicken comes off a cus­tom rôtis­serie grill that costs a cool $50,000.

Such a high-stakes commitment shouldn’t be a sur­prise – JoyBird isn’t your typ­i­cal chicken shop.

It’s in­spired by trips from Kaza­khstan to In­done­sia, and the birds (eth­i­cally sourced from Hazeldene’s Chicken Farm) are brined overnight in three dif­fer­ent styles: there’s a tra­di­tional salt brine, a teriyaki

ver­sion us­ing soy and sea­weed, and a Ba­li­nese ver­sion that uses yel­low curry paste and coconut cream.

At JoyBird, the elab­o­rate grill al­lows the chef to but­ter­fly the chick­ens and cook them over coal and wood-smoke, three dozen at a time, while char siu chicken spins on a nearby ver­ti­cal spit. As that ro­tates, he sprays the chicken in sake to hold the flavour in. Shav­ings of char siu chicken end up in Lis­ton’s take on banh mi, while his ver­sion of a Chiko Roll is en­crusted in Ja­panese panko crumbs and served, Viet­namese-style, in lay­ers of fresh let­tuce and herbs. Egg­plant is cooked whole over fire, flavoured with tahini and plenty of lime zest, and served with roti from Chi­na­town. And the chicken katsu melt, in­spired by Lis­ton’s trips to Ja­pan, is set to be­come a JoyBird clas­sic.

To get the menu right, has Lis­ton en­listed his daugh­ter Nina for her thoughts, given her cre­den­tials as a chicken-shop vet­eran?

“Yeah!” he says. “But she’s not even two, so she’s not the best judge.”

With plans to ex­pand JoyBird across Ade­laide and then Aus­tralia (“the vi­sion would be to get it into Asia,” he adds), there’ll be plenty of ageap­pro­pri­ate din­ers who can give Lis­ton their ver­dict. The ul­ti­mate trib­ute, of course, would be JoyBird ex­cur­sions that – like Lis­ton’s weekly chick­en­shop vis­its – last for gen­er­a­tions to come.

JoyBird, 164 King Wil­liam Road, Hyde Park,

Ade­laide, SA.

Be­low: JoyBird man­ager Linh-Chi Nguyen (from left), di­rec­tor Simon Kar­dachi, de­vel­op­ment chef Yumi Na­gaya, ex­ec­u­tive chef Adam Lis­ton, drinks cu­ra­tor Ol­lie Mar­gan, Chris Wood­cock and head chef Dex­ter Kim.

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