1 November 2021

I hate to break it to you Canberra, but these aren't Australia's best chips

| Max O'Driscoll
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Kingsley’s chips: saturated with oil and salt, but it wasn’t all good news. Photo: Genevieve Jacobs.

The Wotif Uniquely Aussie Awards celebrate all the great things about travelling around Australia, from the best jaffles you might find to our best National Parks.

The ACT’s nominees in the six awards were Intra Café (Campbell) in the Best Jaffle category, Dobinsons Bakery (Belconnen) for Best Vanilla Slice, The Tradies (Dickson) in the Best Country Pub, Knightsbridge (Kingston) for Best Hotel Pool, Booderee National Park Best National Park and Kingsley’s Chicken for Best Hot Chips.

Kingsley’s Chicken was the one that stood out to me. Since moving to the Canberra region, I’ve been inundated with people telling me everything I need to try.

“You need to go get a kebab from Yarralumla!”

“You need to try Dobinson’s vanilla slice!”

“You need to have a few red cordials on the d-floor of Mooseheads!”

At every turn, these Canberra experiences have left me wanting more, and with it, the Territory feels more and more like the place I can call home.

So, upon hearing about Kingsley’s Chicken making it as a finalist in the ‘Best Hot Chips’ category at the Uniquely Aussie Awards, an opportunity emerged before me: I could go to Kingsley’s and try their famed chips on company time, and then pass it off as a food review.

It was the perfect plan. A way to tick another item off the Canberra bucket list and do a relatively straightforward review on these assumingly flawless chips. There was no way it could go wrong.

That was until I tried the chips …

Now that I’d travelled out to Kingsley’s Chicken at Woden, I couldn’t go back. I was trapped. A bed I made I now have to lie in. It was time to complete the review and it became a decision about whether to lie or desecrate a member of Canberra’s royal family. I’ve never been a great liar, so the truth it is …

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Kingsley’s chips, while edible and far from bad, were, um, not great. Saturated with salt and oil (no complaints about that on my end), adjectives that came to mind were soft, dull and soggy. You could put that much salt and oil on just about anything and I’d eat it, but what’s so special about them beyond that?

Again, reiterating that they aren’t bad, they’re just a long way off being the best chips in the country, and I’m bewildered as to how they became a finalist.

I think you could find 100 mum and dad fish and chips shops Australia-wide that could outdo those chips on any given day.

For the first time, Canberra, you’ve disappointed me.

Are Kingley’s really Canberra’s best chips, or is there a more obscure chip maker out there that can truly boast Canberra’s – or maybe Australia’s – best chips?

(For the record, Kingsley’s didn’t win.)

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Jonathan Mottley7:22 pm 03 Nov 21

I thought the best chips in Canberra were from Chicken Gourmet after you’ve fallen out of King O’Malleys after too many pints.

Reece Biddiscombe9:40 am 03 Nov 21

I suspect you got a bad batch.

The Belco store’s are nearly always awesome but they do have an occasional miss.

My step daughter did a review of chips a while ago. She rated Kingsleys as good but Oporto chips as the best.

“You need to go get a kebab from Yarralumla!”

I don’t know why people rave about this place. It’s okay but not great, and my experience is that they frequently get orders wrong. The kebabs and Turkish food at Lyneham shops are far better in my opinion.

Forget about the chips. The nomination of Dickson’s tradies as best country pub is an absolute farce. It’s not even a pub and is there really any true pubs in Canberra ?? I think wotiff need to do a bit more research

BruceSamazan5:04 am 31 Oct 21

Did everyone else miss the part about Tradies being nominated best “country pub”??? In what land of make believe is The Tradies (a place owned by a union, designed to take as much money as possible from the ‘working class” people they claim to represent – via pokies) a Pub? Let alone a Country one…

As for Kingsleys, I agree, their chips are at best above average (for a chain fast food joint) but they’re hardly exceptional.

I think the list isn’t really a “best in Australia” but is actually a list of who paid the most advertising money to get the highest placing…

I agree. I moved interstate years ago and on visiting Canberra earlier in the year I was looking forward to some awesome Kingsleys chip. But, oh, the disappointment. The reality didn’t live up to my memories. 15 years ago the chips were awesome, but now they are so so. Soft, soggy, super salty. Won’t be buying again.

Sorry, Dobinsons but passion fruit does not belong on a vanilla slice.
The best vanilla slice in the country is from the Bakehouse in Ainslie. I can say that having had vanilla slices up and down both coasts, as well as having driven from coast to coast and bought a vanilla slice in every cafe or place were I could get one (not to mention countless trips to cities and other places). Even better then any mille-feuille I had from countless patisserie in Paris!

Capital Retro6:03 pm 30 Oct 21

Kingsleys’ chips claim to be “awesome” and considering they are readily available 12 hours a day all over Canberra and the product is consistent and freshly cooked a lot of boxes are ticked.

However, they no longer sell them ordered without extra salt and as someone has already pointed out they are already impregnated with the stuff.

I cook my own now, in an oven.

Gail D Gillin4:23 pm 30 Oct 21

Totally agree. Really don’t know why so many say they are. Kitakafe in Narrabundah do great ones with chilli. Yum

Any chips -if kept closed up in their foil bag – just WILL be soggy.

I still way prefer Kingsley’s chicken and chips to anyone elses. KFC in particular.

Melburnian, not Melbournian ?

Best chips in Canberra? Easy! Caribou at Green Square Kingston. Their chips are always exceptional, as are their sweet potato chips.
Correct me if I’m wrong but I consider Flute at Fyshwick’s vanilla slice are out of this world.

Yeah, they are average at best.

But who actually says they are good though?

I thought it was an ironic Canberra joke because it’s uniquely ours.

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