What would you predict to win in a people's choice between fried chicken and vegetables? Well, the dining folk of Manly are voting with their feet and stomachs, and vegies are the winner.
"The Korean eggplant 'parmigiana' is our bestseller, I don't know why. I thought it'd be the fried chicken," says Doug Fraser, owner of the just-opened Suburbia restaurant in Manly.
Fraser (who sold Barbuto in Narrabeen earlier this year) admits the Suburbia food pitch is a little odd. In the spirit of Belle's Hot Chicken and Thirsty Bird in Potts Point, he serves fried chicken, but inspired by a trip to California he wanted to tap its movement for innovative vegetable dishes.
"It really comes down to how I eat. It's either really healthily or down and dirty. What they were doing with fresh produce in LA was incredible," he says.
So Suburbia turns out its version of a caesar salad with kale, pairs poached beets with quinoa, goat's cheese and almonds, and marries asparagus with crushed peas and a chilli dressing.
"We use good birds from Havericks," Fraser says.
And vegetable lovers can still get a hit of the deep fryer, if they like, with a "vego fried chicken" made with tofu on the opening menu.
Wed-Mon 11.30am-3pm; 5pm-10pm
49 Sydney Road, Manly 02 8056 1100