Chef Shane Delia is one very busy man. From fronting his fantastic food and cooking show on SBS, Spice Journey, to managing one of Melbourne’s favourite restaurants, Maha, Shane has had the time to open up his latest venture, Biggie Smalls, a kebab joint like no other on Smith Street in Collingwood. We managed to pin him down for a few minutes to chat to him about Biggie Smalls and find out what are some of his favourite foods and places to be.
We’re so excited for the opening of Biggie Smalls! We love the name! Can you tell us a bit about what inspired the name?
The Notorious B.I.G has been, and forever will be, my favourite rapper. To me he sums up hip-hop culture and that’s what Biggie Smalls Kbabs is all about. It’s not about the man but about the scene. Food, rhymes and good times.
Biggie Smalls is no ordinary kebab shop! Tell us what’s different about it?
There is nothing authentic about our Kbabs. There is no meat spinning on a stick. It’s not just chicken or beef and our venue isn’t a slapped together back yarder. Biggie takes inspiration from the golden age of NY hip-hop. Think diner, barber shop and subway cart all rolled into one. Turkish D-lite ice cream sandwiches, peanut butter and salted caramel injected giant pretzels, Kbabs with fried chicken and pumpkin pie hummus, and frozen “gin and juice” cocktails with watermelon and mint. All while listening to some of the best hip hop of today and yesterday. Kinda get the drift?
Where have you gotten your inspiration for the menu?
I haven’t taken it from anywhere. I’m just cooking food that I want to eat, that my mates want to eat. I’m being selfish with this concept. I’m creating it for me and hopefully the rest of Melbourne will fall in love with Biggie also.
When you get a day off or time to spare, where do you head to for a meal?
Ha! Spare time and day off! Ha! …… I’m so easy when I grab a bite. It’s usually lunch at I Love Pho on Victoria street 4 out of 7 days. Yum Cha with the kids and Maha on Saturdays and a late night bite with the boys at Belles or Northern Light.
Do you have a favourite food or dish?
Pho. Hands down.
You’ve travelled to many cities in the world! Do you have a favourite and why?
That’s always going to be Melbourne. I live in the best city in the best country in the world! But if we’re talking outside of Australia, you would have to be fooling yourself if you didn’t think NYC is at the top of the list!
What’s next for Shane Delia after Biggie Smalls?
That’s something that you’re just going to have to wait and see. I have a concept for a killer joint. Small, not Maha, not Biggie Smalls but complements both. Fun, easy, sexy and I can’t wait to get my teeth into it. If you liked the name of Biggie wait until you hear this one!
But what I’m focusing on now is Maha. Yes Biggie is shiny and new but don’t forget I have one of Melbourne’s best teams working with me at Maha. We have a recently undergone a 1 million dollar refresh with a couple of finishing touches still to come in early 2016. Maha is and will always be the jewel in my crown. Biggie is my heart but Maha is my soul.
Biggie Smalls, 86 Smith Street, Collingwood
Open 11am to 11pm