Formerly located at another spot in Bandar Puteri Puchong, Choo Choo Chicken dishes out casual Korean fusion fare, centered around fried chicken, plus offerings such as rice bowls, rice burgers, army stew, and even pasta. The Hubs and I came here for dinner on a weekend some time ago, and spent a nice, quiet evening chatting and watching K-pop videos while burning our tongues over bowls of spicy ramyeon.
The restaurant’s signature is their Korean fried chicken, with 7 different flavours to choose from including soy, creamy garlic, spicy, sweet, and crispy. They’re also known for their Rose Chicken, which is essentially boneless fried chicken paired with cheesy, creamy soup in a bread bowl. Good for sharing, but since it was just the two of us, we opted for individual dishes instead.
Pro tip when eating greasy food: order something like lemonade or a fizzy drink to help cut through the greasiness! I liked the glass mugs they were served in.
If you like sweet and spicy flavours, then their Spicy Ramyeon is a good call. The Hubs and I both ordered this, and were soon breathing fire from our mouths. The chicken had a nice texture: very crispy on the outside, thanks to the double-fry technique, and moist and juicy on the inside. The noodles were also cooked al dente, with plenty of springiness. The dish was topped with a smattering of Korean seaweed. It’s one of those unhealthy things that you crave whenever you want something spicy and carb loaded lol.
Prices are range from RM15++ and are standard for an establishment of its kind. But because the resto is pretty quiet most of the time, I think it’s a good choice for when you want to hang out over drinks and food, without having to worry about vacating your seat.
CHOO CHOO CHICKEN (PUCHONG BRANCH)
G12, Jalan Puteri 2/6, Bandar Puteri, 47100 Puchong, Selangor
Known for their signature waffles and hearty Western-style brunches, The Owls Cafe already has several successful branches under their belt. Their latest venture, The Owls Cafe at Sunway Pyramid, is no exception, drawing long queues of hungry diners on weekends. Weekdays are a quieter affair, so if you’re able to, drop by for a relaxing brunch, minus the crowd.
Like their outlet in Bukit Jalil, The Owls Cafe at Sunway Pyramid is bright and cheerful, with floor to ceiling windows that allow plenty of natural sunlight to filter in. They also provide panoramic views of the Sunway Pyramid theme park below. The central island counter is where staff members busy themselves preparing coffee and tea, the aroma of which wafts across the air to where you’re seated.
The Hubs wanted something lighter, and opted for the Junior Meal of Mac n Cheese. The portion was still pretty generous, with al dente pieces of macaroni tossed in a sweet and savoury tomato base topped with gooey melted cheese.
Fragrant oolong tea was served in an adorable owl-shaped cup.
My favourite dish here when I’m craving for something savoury is the Salted Egg Yolk Pasta. The pasta’s texture is just perfect, and the sauce is rich and creamy without being cloying, coating each strand of pasta with delicious umami. Another highlight is the deep fried chicken karaage, which are juicy, and moist, perfectly battered, and very crispy.
While we did not get to order any of their signature waffles, would gladly make a return visit (on a weekday, because the weekend crowds are crazy!) for their awesome food and great service.
Prices are typical for a cafe, ranging around RM15 to RM20++ for mains.
THE OWLS CAFE
Unit G1.PT.08, Ground Floor, Sunway Pyramid Shopping Centre, Jalan PJS 11/15, Bandar Sunway, 46150 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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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.
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.
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 likeSnow 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.
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.
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!
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
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.
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.
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!
They give you a small bucket of light popcorn to munch on while you wait for your order.
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.
Their Buffalo Wingscomes 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.
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.
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!
31-1, Jalan PJU 7/16A, Mutiara Damansara, Petaling Jaya, Selangor
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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.
The name Monga is apparently based on a place name in Taiwan. They also have another branch in SS15, Subang Jaya.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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
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.
Before moving out of my old office at PJ8, I went to the nearby KFCJalan 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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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!