17 March 2011

6 Homer Street (Rooster Delight), Moonee Ponds, VIC, Australia

Disclaimer: I have a mild form of plague at the moment, so please forgive me if my posting isn't quite up to its usual standard. In this case, I think my subject matter might make me feel even sicker and it might even kill me. I hope it's worth it.

The concept of "charcoal chicken" takeaway places was not at all unknown to me when I came to Melbourne, but they seem to be really fucking popular here, inexplicably so. You might be thinking that's not strange at all. It might bring to mind barbecues, sunny days at the beach, and overall some delicious tasty chicken. That's kind of what I thought too ... until the day when I first walked past one of these places. More specifically, Rooster Delight in Moonee Ponds.
Not so inviting frontage.
Now, "Rooster Delight" is a bad enough name in the first place. I have frequently been put off what might otherwise be perfectly good restaurants just based on the name, and this is no exception. Anything with "Rooster" in the title is inherently damning, simply because of the potential that removing the "S" holds. Teehee, rooter. However, that seems like a perfectly decent and attractive name when you think about what this place was originally called. I believe I did see the place under the old name on my very first trip to Melbourne, but I don't remember too well. Fortunately, they've had the kindness to leave the old sign up out the back of the store!
I can smell the factory farms from here.
The Chicken Machine? Seriously? What kind of mad drugs was the owner on when he thought that would be a fun and appetising name for a takeaway place? All I think of is the "chicken" you see in the deli sometimes, you know, the kind that comes in perfectly round slices. The kind that close reading of the label reveals to be "manufactured meat, minimum 40% chicken". The other 60%? Don't even ask. Are you hungry yet? I'm not, and I was so hungry 10 minutes ago that I was about to eat Axver. I don't know about you, but the last thing I was to be thinking about when I'm eating chicken is factory farms and meat processing plants.

Still, those things will probably be the last thing on your mind as soon as the smell of this place invades your nostrils. It is inescapable. Just be glad that the Internet doesn't enable you to smell things from the other side of the world, because I would totally inflict that on you. I can hardly describe it. It smells like death and burning and plague. If I smelt it out of context, I would assume that there was a crematorium nearby. NOTHING about that smell makes me think "oh, I'd love a chicken burger!"

See large version for a better view of the dingy awning.
Going back to the core purpose of the blog, I've got to say that the building itself isn't doing anything to redeem itself either. Dingy old "Chicken Machine" sign aside, the flaws are many. At the front, you can see a sign lurking behind the fancy new "Rooster Delight" billboard which possibly even predates The Chicken Machine. The awning is falling apart - I'm quite worried about its structural integrity after looking at the right-hand corner - and is in serious need of a good clean/lick o' paint. Being situated next to a fairly dingy and unattractive alley leading to the Coles loading zone doesn't help much, either. They could at least paint the brick wall - I've seen nice murals done over ugly brick walls just like this, and it can make such a difference.

In an area with such a high standard of dining, this is simply inexcusable. I don't know who they're trying to cater for with this charcoal chicken thing. People with no sense of smell, perhaps. I don't know. Just knock it down and let people go to one of the many other fine eating establishments in Moonee Ponds. I wouldn't even be tempted to eat here out of sheer morbid curiosity, and that is really saying something.

Rating: Condemnable


  1. You are an idiot with no tastebuds. Rooster Delight is the best Charcoal Chicken place ever, and I shall not be told otherwise! Their chips with chicken salt are some wonderful form of tasty crack. And The Chicken Machine is a mad name.

  2. Good thing I hadn't drunk any liquids recently when I read this blog post. I would have been in need of a new keyboard! Excellent piss-take, mate. I tripped over this when I was Oogling around for info about the joint before making an Urbanspoon page for Rooster Delight. It would have given me so much more happy-happy joy-joy to have created a page for "The Chicken Machine" though... FWIW, I was by there in April 2014 and it didn't reek. OTOH, it was like 10 in the morning, so they might not have been blow-torching the feathers off the roosters that early.

  3. this blogger, must be bored & has no idea about what he's talking about, chicken machine (originally started in glenroy) was great, & rooster delight is absolutely the ducks nuts!!!! go complain to talk back radio stooges.. oh no wait! you already did & they did not even care for your rant. if i ever see u walking past my home in melville rd opposite jacobs reserve. expect a couple eggs launched your way.

  4. Sorry, you're a judgemental fool. Food is delicious. Sure, it looks a little run down, but you won't find a better charcoal chicken shop in Melbourne, and the staff work their asses off. Show some respect for those of us who aren't served everything on a silver platter.