Fried chicken is the name of the game at Hamilton’s hottest new eatery, The Bearded Weasel. Think: golden and crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside, and paired with out-of-this-world dipping sauce. Yep, this new chicken joint knows a thing or two about finger-lickin’ deliciousness.
Brought to us by the same legends behind Mr. Pickles, The Bearded Weasel is destined to become a Hamilton favourite. Their mission is to serve “fricken good chicken” alongside beer, wine and champagne. Now that’s an epic combo.
You’ll find the eatery nestled at the back of trendy Riverbank Lane in what was once a loading dock for Mr. Pickles. A passionate vision by the restaurants’ co-owners Mat Pedley and Maurice Montero saw the space transform into the quirky new chicken joint.
Tiny but mighty, The Bearded Weasel primarily offers al fresco dining with bench space to seat 20 hungry diners. Good vibes are aplenty with the eatery overlooking Victoria On The River’s open-air terrace and the iconic Waikato River—best seat in town, right?
Mat says the eatery prides itself on “not taking things too seriously”. They like to have fun with their food and drink offerings, serving dishes people are sure to love.
While their fried chicken is here to stay, the rest of the evolving menu stars a handful of specials claimed to be “available till it’s not”. And, in our humble opinion, the good-time-not-a-long-time menu philosophy gives you an excuse to visit on the regular.
When we visited, The Bearded Weasel was serving fried cauliflower paired with tamarind, sesame and coriander, moreish shoestring fries, and a sando chicken burger stacked high with cheese, pickles, slaw and mayo. As for the unmissable fried chicken, the dipping sauces included your pick of chilli garlic caramel, Korean BBQ or a spicy—and aptly named—sauce known as “butt hurt”.
The drinks were equally impressive with a fridge stacked with Waikato Draught (it’d be rude not to), VBs and Fentimans’ botanically brewed rose lemonade. We sipped on a pineapple-flavoured Kirin vodka—served with a sparkly umbrella and Pineapple Lump—and a refreshing sweet and sour plum slushy. Spoiler alert: Mat tells us there are plans of an espresso martini slushy in the pipeline…
One thing’s for certain: we’re beyond pumped to welcome The Bearded Weasel to Hamilton. If you like your fried chicken with a decent dose of sweet, sweet vibes, this fun eatery is your new go-to. Get to it!
What: The Bearded Weasel
Where: Riverbank Lane, 298 Victoria Street, Hamilton CBD
Opening hours: Wednesday to Saturday, 12pm to 9pm
Click here for more details.
Image credit: Warren Nicholson