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Korean Soy Garlic Chicken Wings @ K-Fry, 1 Utama

As a self-professed fried chicken connoisseur, I’m always on the lookout for the ultimate golden bird – whether it’s tangy and slathered in buffalo sauce, hand breaded with 11 herbs and spices, brined in buttermilk for maximum flavour… the possibilities are endless.

I do, however, have a soft spot for Korean fried chicken. Maybe it’s the double-frying that makes it ultra crispy. Maybe it’s the light batter, and the succulent, moist meat. In my search for the best “KFC”, I’ve tried numerous joints – Singapore-based Four Fingers, the ever popular KyoChon 1991 and NeNe Chicken – but I think I’ve recently found a serious contender for top spot… in the form of K-Fry.

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K Fry touts itself as a “homegrown Korean brand that specialises in authentic Korean Fried Chicken and hearty Korean food with an urban twist”. True to its theme, the outlet in 1 Utama Shopping Centre looks cool and trendy, and wouldn’t look out of place if it was a resto in Gangnam or Hongdae. The warm overhead lights, coupled with neon signs, plant decorations and a matching wood + dark colour scheme make this a perfectly Instagrammable spot.

Prior to this visit, I’ve walked past the place a couple of times and it was always packed pre pandemic. Now it’s much quieter, but that means you won’t have to queue up to dine in.

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If you’re dining at K Fry, it’s best to come in a big group as most of their dishes are designed for sharing, such as their signature Fried Chicken Bumbuk (RM58.90) – juicy boneless fried chicken dipped in Korean sweet and spicy sauce and savoury mozzarella cheese. Staff members prepare the dish at your table, so you can watch as they wrap melty, oozy cheese around each piece of chicken before serving. Other recommended items include the K-Fry Nude Chicks (RM28.90), which comprises 12 pieces of their signature fried chicken – as well as flavours like Snow Cheese (RM35.90 – chicken topped with cheddar cheese powder) and honey butter (RM32.90). Although chicken may be the star, K Fry is a full service resto, so you can also order ramyeon, rice balls, soups, dosirak (lunchboxes), banchan (side dishes), bingsoo (shaved ice) for dessert and mocktails.

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I think the benchmark whenever one goes to a K-fried chicken joint is to have the most basic flavour – soy garlic. K Fry’s version comes with 4 wings and 4 drummettes for RM21.90. Of course, the best feeling is to eat something deep fried with lots of rice, so I got a bowl of white rice to wolf down with my protein.

Usually, the soy garlic chicken at most places have a glossy, sticky sheen – the result of the chicken being tossed in the sauce after frying – so I was surprised I didn’t see any of this when the food was served. The chicken looked like regular fried chicken, with a crunchy batter. The wings/drummettes were decently sized though (KyoChon has tiny tiny wings), so that was one point right off the bat.

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Biting into the chicken, I had my next pleasant surprise. Despite the lack of sauce on the surface, the chicken was delicious and packed with flavour. It seemed like the sauce had been condensed somehow, its flavour seeping into the skin, which was extremely crispy. The meat inside was also moist and juicy, which according to K Fry’s website is because they never use frozen chicken, only chilled ones, to maintain freshness and quality. The chicken was perfectly fried and did not taste greasy at all. I’d give it a 9/10!

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Service at K Fry is impeccable. Staff members are friendly, accommodating, attentive and approachable. When I declined to order a drink, my server asked if I’d like water instead – free of charge.

K Fry gets a lot of Muslim customers, and they employ Muslim staff. They are not yet halal-certified however, as the local JAKIM certification process takes a super long time, but they source ingredients from halal-certified sources. The establishment is pork and alcohol-free.

K FRY (1 UTAMA)

LG 221A 1 Utama Shopping Center, Bandar Utama, 47800 Petaling Jaya, Selangor

Opening hours: 11AM – 10PM

Phone: 03-7624 0027

kfry.my

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Burgers, Wings and American Fare @ Mean Mince, Mutiara Damansara

Mention Mutiara Damansara and most will think of IKEA and The Curve – but venture further in to the housing area and you’ll find a hidden gem, tucked within a quiet suburban spot just next to the Mutiara Damansara police station. Opened two years ago, Mean Mince dishes out American fare the likes of juicy burgers, wings, onion rings and deep dish pizzas, and has made a name for itself among burger fans for its unique deep fried burger.

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The shop is appropriately Americana-themed, with American license plates and black and white photos of New York and the San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge, while the speakers blast diner music. Plenty of natural sunlight makes for a cheerful, well-lit interior, and the ‘bar’ (setup looks like one but they don’t serve alcohol) is lined with rows of soda bottles. 

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The restaurant’s specialties are its burgers, in particular the deep fried burger – but I didn’t feel like having one so I ordered some snacks instead. I have read rave reviews about the burgers though, so might be back again to try them!

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They give you a small bucket of light popcorn to munch on while you wait for your order.

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The Very Vanilla Shake (RM10) was done right – thick, sweet and cold, they don’t skimp on the ingredients. Perfect with fried finger food, or to wash down your burgers and onion rings.

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Their Buffalo Wings comes highly recommended. For just RM13.90, you get six pieces of succulent, deep fried to perfection wings, coated in a sour and spicy buffalo sauce and served with blue cheese aioli. The wings are literal perfection: crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. The sauce is what really makes the dish pop, though – I’ve had buffalo wings at many places in Malaysia, and they somehow can’t live up to the ones I’ve had at BWW in LA. The ones at Mean Mince taste authentic.

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Also, the main reason I came to check the place out: Mozzarella sticks (RM13.90). I’ve been craving mozzarella sticks for several weeks now and Mean Mince turned up in my search while I was googling for places that sold them in PJ. Again, portions are very generous – the cheese is almost bursting out of its batter, and the tangy tomato salsa that comes with it helps to cut through the heaviness.

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Gotta do that cheese pull

Overall, Mean Mince is a great place for American food, and the service is fast and friendly. Will be making a return visit for the burgers!

MEAN MINCE

31-1, Jalan PJU 7/16A, Mutiara Damansara, Petaling Jaya, Selangor

Opening hours: 12pm – 9pm (Thurs – Tuesdays). Closed Wednesdays.

Telephone: 03-7733-2512

facebook.com/meanmince

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Taiwanese Fried Chicken and Street Snacks @ Monga, Damansara Uptown

Before the boba tea craze, there was the Taiwanese fried chicken craze.

I remember a time when Taiwanese fried chicken shops were popping up everywhere around Malaysia – Hot Star, Shihlin, Fried Chicken Master, J & G… but like many ‘trendy’ foods, of these, only a handful remain. Among them is Monga, a late entrant into the market which seems to be holding its own. There’s an outlet in Damansara Uptown which is pretty close to my workplace, so I’ve been dropping by for snacks every now and then during lunch break.

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The name Monga is apparently based on a place name in Taiwan. They also have another branch in SS15, Subang Jaya.

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One thing I like about the shop is that it’s impeccably clean. They are open for dine-in, but since these are snack foods, it isn’t much of a hassle to get your food to go.

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What does Monga offer? 

Well, their signature is the Taiwanese-style fried chicken fillet, featuring a boneless chicken thigh (Rm14.90). The price is on the steeper side, but the fillet seems huge. Aside from the Original, you also have the Seaweed and Chilli, and juicy Popcorn Chicken.

I actually have yet to try their signature because on both of my previous visits, I wasn’t looking for something heavy – but perhaps I’ll drop by for lunch proper one day!

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The first time around I got Fried King Oyster Mushrooms (RM9.90). The portion was generous, and the mushrooms were lightly seasoned with salt and pepper, with a crispy batter enveloping thick yet soft mushrooms on the inside. I liked the texture as it had a meatiness and bite to it, and it still retained a lot of moisture even after deep frying. Highly recommended if you like mushrooms!

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On my second visit, I got Fried Chicken skin (RM7.90) – an order I regretted lol. It’s not that it wasn’t good – I just felt really greasy and icky afterwards. If you’ve read my previous post about losing weight, I’ve been on a streak lately – I guess old habits die hard, and I’ve been stressed with work. I will try not to fall into these unhealthy eating traps again… or at least try not to do it so often.

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With every purchase of a snack, you get to top up the meal with a drink for RM3.90. And ofc when you have Taiwanese snacks, you gotta have that Taiwanese boba !  The tea itself was quite tasteless and there was too much ice, so the sweetness only came from the pearls, which tasted decent.

MONGA (DAMANSARA UPTOWN) 

66, Jalan SS 21/39, Damansara Utama, 47400 Petaling Jaya, Selangor

Open daily : 11AM – 9PM

Available on GrabFood. 

 

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!

Review: Marrybrown’s Fortune Burger (Why Didn’t I Try This Sooner?!)

Americans have their KFCs and McDonalds; Filipinos, their Jollibees. But here in Malaysia, Marrybrown stands proud as a homegrown contender. Founded in 1981 as the local answer to a burgeoning fast food industry, the brand has made a name for itself serving fried chicken and tasty burgers with a Malaysian twist.

I’ve always enjoyed Marrybrown’s fried chicken, which is juicy and has great flavour – but I haven’t had the chance to try out any of their burgers (because I always end up getting the chicken, haha!). The chain recently brought back their limited time only Fortune Burger for the Lunar New Year celebrations, so what better time to check it out?

Marrybrown’s Fortune Burger comes in two flavours: cheese ,and black pepper. The set includes crispy Golden Fortune Fries and a glass of Minute Maid orange juice.

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I visited the branch in Puchong Prima. Service was slow as it took almost 25 minutes to get my burger. (when fast food isn’t fast.) The fries came first. They were thin cut and very crispy. In terms of flavour, they were more akin to A&W’s curly fries, down to that salty, peppery taste. Good stuff. 

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The burger finally arrived, and it did not disappoint.

Deceptive advertising is a pet peeve of mine, especially when it comes to food. I understand that it’s part and parcel of marketing, because there’s no way real food can look as attractive as they do in ads – but I also think there’s a limit to how big of a difference there should be between what’s advertised and the actual product.

Thankfully, Marrybrown’s Fortune Burger was a pleasant surprise: featuring a humongous battered and deep fried chicken thigh, drenched in black pepper sauce and a generous heaping of button mushrooms and onions, sandwiched between two fluffy sesame buns.

The Malaysian black pepper sauce has a very strong and distinctive taste, thanks to the region’s cultural influences and the liberal use of local spices: so you get stuff like oyster sauce, soy sauce, garlic, galangal,  chillies etc. used as the sauce’s ingredients. The black pepper sauce on the Fortune Burger reminded me very much of the cheap but tasty chicken chops that they used to sell in high school – it had almost the exact same flavour. The chicken thigh was also fried to juicy perfection, and despite the copious amount of sauce, still retained a crispy exterior and juicy insides. In my personal opinion, it is way, WAY better than McDonald’s Prosperity Burger. 

The Fortune Burger started its run on January 13 so they’re probably going to take it off the menu very soon. Go try it out before it happens! Else, you’ll have to wait for the next year.

  • Price: RM15++
  • Satisfaction: worth way more

Review: Wing Wing @ Pavilion KL – Korean Fried Chicken From The UK

Update: This restaurant is permanently closed. 

There’s a new Korean fried chicken joint in town – and it’s now my new favourite place for fried chicken! Hailing from the UK, Wing Wing enters the arena with an outlet in Pavilion Kuala Lumpur, dishing out fresh, juicy fried chicken with some pretty interesting flavours.

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Already a cult favourite in its homeland, Wing Wing is a fusion of edgy London street culture, the pop of Asian spice and the European passion for pure quality ingredients. The outlet on Pavilion KL’s sixth floor is bright and cheerful, with funky colours, patterns and decor geared towards youth.

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There are currently three flavours available on the menu – the conventional soy garlic, spicy and something rather unusual – liquorice. Licquorice is an ancient Mediterranean herb used in food and medicine for thousands of years. You might have seen it in the form of candy in the UK, where it is quite popular. You can opt to order the standard wings and drummettes (set of six, 12 or 18), or drumsticks (3, 6 or 9 pieces). Each set can be upgraded to include fries and bottomless drink.

WW Chicken Wings & Drumettes Combo

Now I’ve had my fair share of Korean fried chicken, and different places do it differently. Wing Wing’s appeal lies in the chicken’s freshness, as the meat is delivered to the outlet each morning, then marinated, battered and hand-brushed with premium ingredients ie French flour and natural spices, before they are deep fried to order. The hand brushing technique creates a thin layer of coating over the basic marination, so you get a thin, crackly and almost transparent crust that envelops the juicy meat within. While all the flavours are great, I personally like the licquorice because it has this great, herbal-like flavour with a sweet aftertaste. The spicy will satisfy spice lovers as it packs quite a punch.

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If you prefer something healthier (ahem), opt for the salad which comes with generous chunks of boneless chicken meat on a bed of lettuce and dressing.

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For a hearty bite to-go, Wing Wing also offers chicken wraps – a tortilla stuffed full with fried chicken strips and vegetables.

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Another one of their signature items is the Chicken Katsu Bao – an interesting fusion of Asian flavours. There’s the lightly fried Chinese mantao bun, paired with tender crispy chicken within and a hefty dollop of kimchi slaw. The flavours are well balanced, with the slight sweetness/savoury flavour of the chicken + the tangy, sourness/creaminess of the kimchi slaw.

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Got a sweet tooth? Fret not – Wing Wing offers a couple of dessert items as well, such as the Hot Bao Nuts (stuffed with ingredients such as Banana Caramel; Pineapple, etc.) and ice cream sundaes.

Prices for the chicken items start from RM15.90 onwards.

WING WING MALAYSIA

Lot 6.01.01, Level 6, Pavilion Kuala Lumpur, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Phone: 03-21103525

Business hours: 10AM – 10PM (daily)

*Photos not watermarked courtesy of Wing Wing Malaysia/Suppagood PR

Juicy Korean-Style Fried Chicken @ Dokebi Chicken, Tamarind Square Cyberjaya

Those who know me know that I’m absolutely. obsessed. with fried chicken. And whether it’s Korean or American-style, I’m always on the lookout for good places!

My three-point system for determining good fried chicken:

  • a) Is it crispy (even after it’s been sitting for a bit)? 
  • b) Does it have tender, juicy meat?  
  • c) Is it flavourful? 

Dokebi Chicken at Tamarind Square, Cyberjaya ticks all the boxes. Newly opened last month, the resto which serves Korean-style fried chicken went viral on the Internet, thanks to a video of their Boneless Chicken with Cheese (their signature dish ie fried chicken wrapped in melty, gooey cheese). That aside, they have eight other sauces to choose from, and an Instagrammable cotton candy drink.

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It’s always heartening when you go to a Korean restaurant and you see actual Koreans dining there.

The interior is cosy and hip, with K-pop playing on the TV overhead, a long communal table for large groups and swing seats.

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Since I was dining alone, I couldn’t order the cheese option (it’s RM50+ and best for sharing between 2-3 people) – but I did get the Garlic Soy (RM19.80) which came in a set of 4 drummettes and wings, and topped it off with a bowl of steamed rice.

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Food came pretty quickly, fried fresh to order.

What can I say? Its just really good fried chicken. The exterior was extremely crispy and crunchy, and stayed that way down to the last piece. The sauce was garlicky, savoury and slightly sweet – to borrow from another fried chicken chain’s tagline, “finger licking good”. One thing I abhor about some fried chicken chains is when you know the meat has been frozen for a long time (the meat has a weird bloody, iron-like aftertaste) but the meat here tasted fresh and juicy. Was honestly impressed by how tender it was on the inside, so you get this really nice contrast of crispy chicken skin + tender insides.

Verdict: One of the better K-fried chickens out there, and I’d love to try other items once I’ve rounded up a few friends (I have those?)

DOKEBI CHICKEN 

D3-03-08 Tamarind Square, Persiaran Multimedia, Cyber 11, 63000 Cyberjaya, Selangor

Opening hours: 11AM – 11PM (Daily)