Nashville-inspired spice heats up Perth’s inner north pulling in a casual crowd with a thirst for hot chicken. Just don’t wear your favourite whites.

In Drasko’s, Drasko Jankovic has brought his fine-dining skills to bear on a signature of the American South, citing a nascent love of Nashville-style hot chicken and time spent in the Noma kitchen as influences for his energetic new shopfront in Mount Hawthorn.

In doing so, he follows the footsteps of the likes of Melbourne’s Belles Hot Chicken in reinterpreting a cultural icon for a local audience. And while Jankovic may be slipping dashi into the brine, fermenting his hot sauce in-house and sourcing organic sourdough rolls from The Woodfired Baker, the spirit seems to be one of celebration with a touch of the personal, rather than some all-out attempt at elevation. Take, for example, his slow-braised Mama’s beans, which steer away from the South and towards his own Serbian roots by riffing on the pasulj that he remembers from his childhood.

Iced tea infused with lemon myrtle and rosella is the best way to deal with afterburn, and comes with sympathetic free refills.

They make a fine match for the signature sando, built around a colossal juicy boneless chicken breast encased in a crisp coating that’s stuffed into a roll with vinegar ’slaw, cucumber pickles and comeback sauce. A seasoned oil brings extra flavour, while a dusting of spice brings the heat, which can range from the mild “Southern” through to “Hot” – with scorpion, cayenne and habanero chillies – to the extra fiery “Blame Drasko”. (Or, go one better with the off-menu “Bastard Chilli”; just sign the waiver first.) Iced tea infused with lemon myrtle and rosella is the best way to deal with afterburn, and comes with sympathetic free refills.

Beyond the sandwich, the clipped menu offers straight-up fried tenders, Marylands or wings with an option of pickles, “umami” fries, beans or ’slaw. Come weekends, waffles layered with fried chicken, whipped butter and Canadian maple syrup are an added option for lunch.

Queues can snake, and stools and benches inside and out are made for eating and running rather than lingering, but with spice this memorable, the experience is sure to be one that stays long in the memory.