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Jollibee@ Pavilion Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur

After a slight delay (it was originally slated for opening in March), Jollibee finally opened its second outlet in Peninsular Malaysia at Pavilion Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur. This comes after the success of its first store at Sunway Pyramid, which saw excited diners (mostly Filipinos working in KL missing a taste of home) queueing up as early as 8AM in order to be first in line when the store opened.

The second store also opened to much fanfare, with early diners receiving exclusive Jollibee plushies. But I guess because people now have an option, the hype was not as crazy.

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N and I were at the mall early for brunch. The lunch crowd was not in yet, so we had the whole place to ourselves! Decor wise, it’s virtually identical to the Sunway Pyramid outlet, featuring lots red, brown, and yellow tones. You can order at the counter, or via self-service kiosks that accept cashless payment.

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Nothing like a Jollibee brunch to start the day! I had the fried chicken set (2 pcs of fried chicken, plus rice, coleslaw, a tub of gravy, and a drink), while the Hubs had the chicken and burger steak combo.

I usually get one piece of original chicken and one spicy one. IMHO, the ‘spicy’ Chickenjoy here has a higher level of spiciness than the one in the Philippines. Tastewise, this outlet did not disappoint, as the flavour was consistent: chicken was juicy (albeit a little small in size), well marinated, and crunchy on the outside. Bonus because we came early, so the chicken was freshly fried and piping hot.

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We’ve been having a national chicken shortage these days – perhaps that’s why the chicken served here seems to be really tiny. That, or they’re regular sized and I’m just too used to the monstrous antibiotic-pumped chickens that they serve out there c:

One thing I really like about their rice – they pack it in a convenient burger shape, so you can eat it with one hand from the wrapping, without having to whip out the spoon or fork.

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N was still hungry, so he got a Cheesy Yumburger as a snack. It was disappointing, though, as there was barely any sauce. I also feel that the Yumburger here is not as tasty as the ones served in the Philippines. So yeah – if coming to Jollibee, I recommend ordering the chicken! Prices are average for a fast food establishment.

JOLLIBEE (PAVILION BUKIT JALIL)

Lot 1.99.00, Level 1 (Pink Zone), Pavilion Bukit Jalil 2, Persiaran Jalil 8 Bandar Bukit Jalil, Bukit Jalil, 57000 Kuala Lumpur

Open daily: 10AM – 10PM

I hope you liked this post! Please consider supporting my blog via Patreon, so I can make more. Or buy me a cup of coffee on Paypal @erisgoesto.

Five Guys Malaysia @ SkyAvenue, Genting Highlands

American fast food chain Five Guys – known for their Cajun-style fries, hamburgers, and milkshakes – debuted in Malaysia back in October 2021. Malaysians, of course, dutifully fell into hour-long queues at their outlet in Genting Highlands, despite the menu’s hefty price tags. Since then, they’ve opened another branch in Pavilion Kuala Lumpur, so fans of the franchise need not drive all the way up Genting.

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As usual, I am late aboard the hype train. So late, in fact, that the train has come and gone – because when the Hubs and I dropped by for lunch recently, there was no queue and there were plenty of seats available for dine-in.

PS: Dining here was not part of the plan. I wanted pizza at Motorino’s, but they weren’t open yet. (Restaurants in Genting open really late on Saturday for some reason -__-)

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Five Guys boasts a spacious interior, with an open-air kitchen where you can watch the cooks in action. The interior design features white and red chequered tiles, wooden tables, and counter seating. You’ll also see a bunch of potato sacks near the entrance, a homage to the brand’s history. Apparently back in the day when stores didn’t have enough storage space, they’d stack bags of potatoes in the dining area. These days, this configuration is used for aesthetics.

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There aren’t many items on the menu, but I prefer it this way. I’d rather dine at a place that excels in making one or two good mains, over better variety but mediocre dishes.

At Five Guys, they basically serve just hamburgers (basically the Cheeseburger and the Hamburger, and ‘little’ versions which are smaller in size), hotdogs, fries, sandwiches (with vegan options), and milkshakes.

I see many reviews touting the burgers as “pricey”. While I agree that they are more expensive than your regular burgers, I don’t think it’s fair to bash them for it because we all know food in Genting is pricey af. And to be honest, I’d rather spend RM35 on a filling burger than I would for nasi lemak or chicken rice (which is what some of the restos at Genting price them at. Very ordinary kopitiam food at an exorbitant price).

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The Hubs got a Hamburger, which came wrapped in foil for easy eating. The portion was huge, with double patties stuffed between toasted sesame seed buns.

You can customize the toppings, with options such as mayo, mustard, ketchup, barbecue sauce and hot sauce, as well as relish, grilled mushrooms, onions, pickles, tomatoes, lettuce, jalapenos, and green peppers. As we were keen to try the ‘original’ taste, we simply had all of the toppings included.

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The Hubs gave it his seal of approval, declaring it the ‘best gourmet burger’ he had so far in Malaysia. I’m not a big fan of beef burgers, but this was pretty good in my opinion. The patties were moist but not to the point of being greasy (which I think some people prefer), and the meat was well seasoned but not too salty. All of the toppings came together really well too.

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My Cheese Dog (RM30), while tasty, was not worth RM30 imo. The toppings are the same; I requested no pickles, but it got into the hotdog somehow lol. I recommend getting the burger rather than the hotdog if you want more value for your money.

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Last but not least, we splurged on a Milkshake (RM25). Yes, yes, RM25 is a lot for a drink – but we figured since we aren’t going to come this way for a long time, might as well just go the whole hog.

Like the burgers, you can customize “mix-ins” for your milkshake, including vanilla, chocolate, strawberries, peanut butter, Oreo cookies, salted caramel, bananas, and malted milk. We had ours with vanilla and Oreo cookies. My verdict? I liked it; it was rich and sweet – probably not something you’d have on the daily. The mix was so thick and creamy that we actually had trouble drinking it through the straw lol.

My thoughts on Five Guys? Despite reviews calling it overpriced and overrated, I think the burger is something worth trying. Of course, this is purely my personal opinion/taste: I know there are many who say that brands such as KGB or even local joint MyBurgerLab offer better gourmet burgers. But for me, Five Guys is a pretty decent food option in Genting Highlands.

FIVE GUYS MALAYSIA (GENTING HIGHLANDS)

Lot SA – T2A – 25, SkyAvenue, 69000 Genting Highlands, Pahang

Opening hours: 11AM – 10PM (daily)

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Jollibee Opens First Outlet in Peninsular Malaysia @ Sunway Pyramid

A household name in the Philippines, Jollibee is a Filipino fast food chain serving American-style fare alongside Filipino favourites like sweet-style spaghetti and pancit canton (noodles). The brand is a national icon, beloved by Filipinos all across the world.

I first tried Jollibee while on a trip to LA, at a stand-alone outlet just next to the subway station on Beverly Boulevard. It was my second week in the US, and I was already experiencing “rice withdrawal” symptoms lol. Burgers and fries are good and fine, but an Asian girl’s gotta have her rice. Jollibee served that, as well as my other favourite: fried chicken.

Jollibee @ Beverly Boulevard, LA

I was hooked from the first bite. Looking back, perhaps it wasn’t so much the taste as the memories of tucking into comfort food in a far away place, in good company. Since then, I’ve been a big fan of Jollibee, and would have it without fail whenever I visited the bf (now husband) in the Philippines.

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Jollibee dinner at the then-bf’s house with his fam. He laughed at how excited I was coz getting Jollibee was the first thing on my mind after he picked me up from the airport, lol

Fast forward six years since my first bite of Chickenjoy, and my wish has come true. Jollibee has finally opened a branch in the Klang Valley, the first of many that the company is planning across Peninsular Malaysia.

Of course, I dragged the Hubs to Sunway Pyramid on opening day – but I underestimated the power of Filipinos craving a taste of home. Arriving at 10AM, there was already a queue of 100 people, some of whom apparently started lining up at 8am. And while I absolutely adore Jollibee, I wasn’t willing to queue hours for it (based on some posts, some people queued for 7 hours). We ended up getting A&W instead, which wasn’t bad, but I couldn’t help feeling disappointed lol.

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A week later, the Hubs and I went to process some immigration papers. The officers were down with COVID, so we couldn’t proceed with our application. It was early, so we tried our luck once again at Sunway. We arrived around 9am and this time, we were fourth in line. And good thing too: by the time the store opened at 10, the queue was once again at least 50 strong. There were some locals, but again, the line comprised mostly of Filipino patrons.

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Good thing is that they have SOPs in place, so there’s a proper space to queue, and Jollibee’s security (yes, they have these) made the rounds and gave reminders for people to observe social distancing.

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Jollibee’s mascot is Jolly Bee, a smiling bee in a chef’s hat.
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On the menu are Jollibee signatures: aside from Chickenjoy, they also have Yumburger, Jolli Spaghetti, Burger Steak, and chicken tenders. Since we were only two, we couldn’t get as much food as we wanted, so we ordered a 5-pc bucket mix (ala carte – about RM25/310 pesos) and two Cheesy Yumburgers. These are usually my go-to items at Jollibee, as the spaghetti is not to my taste.

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Service during our visit was friendly; staff greeted customers with “Welcome to Jollibee!“, which I think will remind many Filipinos of the warm service back home (I guess it’s like when I fly with Malaysia Airlines and the announcements always say “to all visitors, welcome to Malaysia, to all Malaysians, welcome home!” Always makes me feel fuzzy and warm on the inside).

The shop has a modern and chic design, with lots of red and wood. The space is small though, so keep that in mind if you’re planning to dine in.

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A wall detailing the history of Jollibee.

Trivia: Jollibee started off as an ice cream parlour, founded by Tony Tan Caktiong, a Filipino-Chinese businessman. When business grew and they started offering hot meals such as burgers, fries, and fried chicken, they quickly realised that the hot meals were more popular. The business became Jollibee in 1978. The rest, as they say, is history. Today, Jollibee has over 1,400 outlets worldwide, and Tan has an estimated net worth of over USD2 billion.

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It took awhile to get our takeaway (about 40 minutes), but here’s a picture of me looking like a kid who just got ice cream. Or an Eris who just got fried chicken.

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What I really like about Jollibee is that they have gravy. For some reason, Malaysians aren’t big on gravy – no other fast food chain (other than KFC, and even then it’s the gravy for their mashed potato, which you have to request separately) offers gravy with their fried chicken.

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The chicken was still nice and crispy after our 30-minute drive home. We got a mix of the spicy and original.

Verdict? I’m thrilled to say that it did not disappoint! The flavour is almost exactly the same as Jollibee in the Philippines. Skin was deep fried to golden, crunchy perfection, meat was tender, juicy, and flavourful, and the chicken pieces were large but cooked thoroughly. There is a slight difference in spiciness level: I believe the spicy chicken here is much spicier than the Filipino version, which I think caters more to Malaysian taste buds. Gravy also tasted more peppery compared to Philippine Jollibee. But it’s not a downside (to me at least).

The Cheesy Yumburger was tasty too, although Hubs said the bun had a different texture/quality, so he still prefers the one from back home.

I’m very happy that Jollibee now has a Malaysian presence, and that I don’t have to wait for a trip to Manila every time I want to enjoy their fried chicken. I used to tell the Hubs back when we were still doing LDR that I wished Jollibee would open a branch here. Now the Hubs is here, and so is Jollibee.

Life is good.

JOLLIBEE

Lot LG2.126A, Lower Ground 2, Blue Atrium, Sunway Pyramid Mall, Jalan PJS 11/15, Bandar Sunway, 46150 Petaling Jaya, Selangor

Open daily: 10AM – 10PM

PS: I hope you liked this post! Please consider supporting my blog via my Patreon, so I can make more. Or buy me a cup of coffee on Paypal @erisgoesto.

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Review: I Tried Burger King Malaysia’s new Japanese Curry Burger

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It’s been awhile since I last had anything from Burger King, but they recently launched new menu items – ie the Japanese Curry Whopper and the Japanese Curry Chick’N Crisp – which looked pretty promising. Since there’s a Burger King at the place where I shop for groceries, I got the chicken version to go (ala carte: RM12). You can also get the sets, which come with the standard fries and a drink.

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First impressions: Sizeable. With fast food joints, sometimes you get really sad-looking, deflated burgers that looked as if an elephant had sat on them lol. This burger came with not one but two crispy chicken patties and a slice of cheese in between, and these were topped with a generous amount of vegetables and onions, sandwiched between two fluffy sesame buns.

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They were also very generous with the Japanese curry sauce, mixed with mayo. The sauce is the winner here; mildly sweet with a hint of spice, and it binds all of the elements in the burger really well – you get a flavourful mix of sweet and savoury, paired with the crispness of the patty, the juicy moistness of the chicken meat, the soft and pillowy buns, plus the crunch from the onions and veggies. A solid burger: I’d give it an 8.5/10.

Aside from the chicken, there’s also BK’s signature Beef Whopper, but with Japanese curry sauce. The sets go for RM15.90 (chicken) and RM16.90 (beef), and are available for a limited time only.

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KFC Malaysia Released A “Zero Chicken Burger” – But It’s Not Vegan / Vegetarian-Friendly

You know what KFC is without the chicken?

Just KF.

…. Okay lame.

In all seriousness, woke up today and KFC’s icon on Facebook had turned green. Malaysians being Malaysians, there were many ‘mak kau hijau’ and ‘bila masa KFC dah join PAS ni?’ jokes. But it’s actually in conjunction with the launch of KFC’s new Zero Chicken Burger, a ‘chicken’ burger that – you guessed it – has no chicken. Singapore released theirs in January, so we’re a little late, but better late than never, right?

A collaboration between KFC and the meat substitute brand Quorn, the burger’s meat-free patty is ‘made with the original recipe of the 11 herbs and spices we know and love, topped with a slice of cheese and a splash of tangy BBQ sauce.’

Here’s the catch though: it’s neither vegan nor vegetarian. According to Singapore’s Today Online, the reason is because although the patties are plant-based (they’re made from mycoprotein from fungi) they’re fried in the same oil as some of KFC’s chicken products, and the mayonnaise is not vegan, since it’s made from eggs. It also has cheese.

Which begs the question: who is KFC targeting? They’ve made a meat-free burger, but people who don’t eat meat can’t enjoy it. The only answer I’m left with is people who think of it as a novelty. Because the only reason I go to KFC is, well, for the chicken. And if I wanted to eat vegan food, I’d go to a vegan resto.

Still, I think it’s a good attempt to introduce mock meat to the masses. When Beyond Burgers made headlines a couple of years ago, I was genuinely confused as to why it was such a big deal – Chinese restaurants have been making mock meat for ages; some of which taste almost like the real thing. But then I realised that there aren’t many people beyond the Chinese community who are actually aware of its existence. Especially in Malaysia, where there aren’t many people who adopt a vegan/vegetarian lifestyle (those who do usually do so for religious reasons > health reasons).

So for curious diners, you might want to give the KFC Zero Chicken Burger a try: the burger costs RM12.99 ala carte, and is available for a limited time only, while stocks last. The set goes for RM15.99.

As for me, I think I’ll stick with my chicks.

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Review: McDonalds Malaysia’s New Spicy Chicken With Apple Slices Burger

Apples belong in pies.

They certainly don’t sound like something you’d put in a burger – but that’s exactly what McDonalds did with their new Spicy Chicken with Apple Slices Burger. Available for a limited time only, it’s described as a sweet and spicy blend with ‘real apple slices paired with crunchy spicy chicken patty, topped with black pepper mayo sauce, all tucked between a warm bun’.

So I went to the drive-through and got a set for brunch.

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I thought the set would come with Prosperity fries, but they turned out to be regular fries. Not sure if you’d need to request for it specifically or top up a certain amount to get the curly ones. Also included in the set was orange juice.

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I was feeling pretty hungry since I skipped breakfast, so I got the double patty (RM24+ per set).

One thing I like about McDonalds, which I’ve mentioned before, is that their products always look true to size, or at least close to the appearance of what is advertised – and this burger was no exception. Even if I hadn’t ordered the double patty, it was still sizable.

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There was a good amount of apple slices on top, slathered with sauce.

Verdict?

The patties that they use are the same as the ones used in the Spicy Chicken McDeluxe, but the addition of apple slices was a nice touch, as there was a sweet, fruity burst to balance out the saltiness, and the apples were also fresh and crunchy. The ‘black pepper mayo’ didn’t really have a black pepper taste (maybe it all went to the Prosperity burger? lol); and was a tad on the sweet side. Like dessert kinda sweet, which tasted weird when combined with the chicken. But other than that, the buns were nice and fluffy, and the chicken patties were good; fried to golden perfection, crispy on the outside, tender and juicy on the inside.

Overall, I think the Spicy Chicken with Apple Slices isn’t bad, but it feels like a #rehash of the Spicy Chicken McDeluxe and doesn’t offer anything special, unlike some of their other creations like the Nasi Lemak Burger, which I really liked. So, if you’d like to try this, it isn’t bad, but it’s nothing phenomenal.

But definitely better than the Prosperity Burger lol.

Review: KFC Malaysia’s Soy Garlic Glazed Drummets – Inspired by Korean Fried Chicken

Hey guys! Just wanted to wish all Malaysian Muslims Selamat Hari Raya, and to everyone else celebrating around the world, Happy Eid! This year, there is no balik kampung exodus (people tried, though) as interstate travel is banned to prevent the spread of coronavirus – but visiting relatives and friends within the state is still allowed (provided they follow guidelines such as no more than 20 people in a gathering. Although personally, I feel this is difficult to enforce).

I’ve been meaning to use the free time to finish up a couple of pending blog posts but got sucked into playing games (yes, I know, not a very ‘productive’ way of spending the holidays :P). The office reopened two weeks ago with some changes (we moved into a new workspace + we have an alternate schedule so not everyone is going in at the same time) so I’ve been out and about, which means fodder for this blog space lol.

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Before moving out of my old office at PJ8, I went to the nearby KFC Jalan Barat for the last time. They are not yet open for dine-in, so all the tables have been cleared to accommodate takeaway and delivery.

They’re pretty stringent with social distancing measures, so a big kudos to them. As you enter, you are required to write down your details (for contact tracing purposes). If you’re not comfortable with holding the pen, you can always ask them to write it down for you or use the QR code scanner to key in your details via the government’s Selangkah app. After checking your temperature and sanitising your hands, you can then proceed to the counter to make your order.

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Tables are placed in front of the counter for added distance. There are also strips marked out on the floor so you know where to queue up. Orders are made on one side and pick up at the other.

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KFC has jumped on the Korean Fried Chicken (also KFC. lol) trend, with a new offering called Soy Garlic Glazed Drummets, available in three(RM6.30), five (RM10.50) and nine pieces (RM18.50). It had a ‘trial-run’ in 10 outlets back in November but is now available in stores nationwide.

K-style fried chicken is known for being extremely crispy (thanks to a double-fry method), whilst being moist and juicy on the inside – a feat that KFC’s version was able to achieve. The glaze was a tad too sweet for me, but it has a nice, garlicky flavour that Korean fried chicken fans will surely love. The smaller portion means that it is easy to polish off several pieces in one go – the perfect finger food. You can add on fries and a Pepsi for a complete meal.

In conjunction with the festive season, they’re also offering a limited time only dish called Nasi Kari Atuk (to my international readers, that’s Grandfather’s Curry Rice. Has a nostalgic ring to it, no?). You get rice with the chain’s signature fried chicken, served together with Kari Atuk, a rich and savoury curry made from blending traditional curry spices and coconut milk, as well as Sambal Atuk, a spicy anchovy-chilli paste + coleslaw and a drink.

I’m not a big fan of KFC and it is unlikely that I will go out of my way to look for one – but the Soy Garlic Glazed Drummets are worth a try if you’re craving for K-style fried chicken and can’t travel to establishments like 4Fingers, or KyoChon (on account that they usually don’t have that many branches).

The Best Fried Chicken From Fast Food Chains in Malaysia: Ranked

After over a month in isolation… I FINALLY. got. to. eat. Fried chicken. 

Ever since the start of the movement control order here in Malaysia due to the COVID pandemic, my diet has been nothing but healthy, homecooked meals that are either a) steamed, b) boiled or c) stir-fried. And bland, because less salt, less sugar, less oil, less everything. Of course, I’m not complaining – but a girl just misses her fried food sometimes. If this MCO continues, it’ll be good for my waistline; not so much my sanity.

After weeks of trying to convince my mother to let me order GrabFood (she has been insisting on cooking every meal because apparently e-hailing riders may carry the virus), she finally relented  – and I was able to place a sweet, sweet order for some Marrybrown fried chicken. My brother was laughing at the exaggerated way I opened my box, as if unveiling some treasure – but I told him it IS treasure. Golden, crispy fried treasure. 30 minutes later, I sat contentedly in the dining room chair, my eyes glazed over in a high of bliss; like a druggie who just got her fix, lmao.

If it isn’t’ already obvious… I love fried chicken. I love how simple it is to make, yet utterly delicious. I love how different cultures around the world all agree that fried chicken is a universal comfort food. Most of all, I love how good fried chicken tastes – the juiciness of the insides, the crisp flavourful exterior. Which is why I’m sharing with you my ranking of THE best fried chicken from fast food outlets in Malaysia. Note that this is my personal ranking – so you might disagree with me, which is totally fine: everyone has their own preferences.

1 ) A&W’s Golden Aroma Chicken / Spicy Golden Aroma Chicken 

One of my fondest childhood memories is of my 8th birthday party at the A&W in Taman Jaya. Back then (for an eight-year-old, at least) having a birthday party at a fast food joint was like throwing a grand banquet at the St Regis – and I gorged myself on coney dogs, curly fries, rootbeer float and waffles. Funnily enough, I can’t seem to recall eating fried chicken at A&W : I think it’s a relatively new item since I only have memories of trying it for the first time after joining the workforce.

I usually have A&W at the original outlet in Taman Jaya, or at IOI Mall in Puchong. The chicken is always super fresh; sometimes it takes time for your order to be served because they don’t fry a big batch in advance – but it’s worth the wait. The skin is perfectly breaded and fried to golden brown perfection, the insides are juicy, and the complex flavour of herbs permeates throughout the entire piece of chicken, not just on the skin. I think their spicy chicken is actually one of the hottest ones, in comparison to other fast-food chains.

2) Marrybrown 

Marrybrown is a homegrown fast-food chain that specialises in fried chicken, burgers and Asian fusion dishes, such as fried chicken with nasi lemak, rice, porridge and the like. While it may not be as popular as, say KFC and McDonalds, it is pretty well known throughout Malaysia especially in smaller towns, and has a strong presence in the Middle East.

For some reason, Malaysians are not big on gravy and sauces with their fried chicken, which is a big shame because gravy + fried chicken = killer combo (the reason why I love Jollibee). While Marrybrown chicken is good on its own, I like that they offer sauces to go with your meal. My favourite was the mushroom sauce, although this was later discontinued. They still have the black pepper sauce option though, which is very spicy and peppery – perfect for soaking up with the savoury, well-marinated chicken meat.

3) McDonalds Ayam Goreng McD 

I consider McDonalds to be an all-rounder when it comes to fast food – their burgers are good, but so are their other offerings, including the fried chicken. McD’s spicy fried chicken has a distinctive fiery orange colour and somewhat loose (?) breading. The meat has good flavour and is usually fresh. The popularity of the fried chicken soared after McDonalds Malaysia made this simple yet super effective ad which had no music, no narration – just the sound of people indulging in crunchy fried chicken.

4) KFC

You can’t mention fried chicken and not include KFC on the list. It’s a hit and miss in my books though – their quality control between outlets isn’t great. Case in point: the KFC near my house tastes pretty shitty (greasy, chicken isn’t fresh and has that been-in-the-freezer-too-long taste), but the one near my workplace makes excellent fried chicken. I prefer the original over the spicy.

5) Burger King

While they’re more popular for their burgers and whoppers, Burger King serves surprisingly good fried chicken, especially at their outlet at Sunway Pyramid. The chicken is crispy, breaded well and has moist, succulent meat.

6) Texas Chicken

Sorry, Texas fans. While the chicken is decent, it’s my least favourite as compared to the rest on this list because I’m not a big fan of the thick flour coating that Texas has, which also tastes pretty bland to me. Would eat it if I’m really craving fried chicken and there’s no other fast-food option around. I love their honey biscuit and sweet tea, though!

What are your favourite fast-food places to get fried chicken? Let me know if you agree with my ranking, or if you have a personal favourite!