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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

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).

Review: Korean Fried Chicken @ Kyochon 1 Utama Shopping Center

While I’ve never quite developed a taste for K-dramas or K-pop, KFC – Korean Fried Chicken –  is something I can get behind. Maybe it’s the twice-fry technique that ensures a crispy exterior and juicy insides; or maybe it’s the garlicky goodness or spicy kick from its sauces.

Chief among the franchises peddling Korean fried chicken is Kyochon – and they’re pretty popular in Malaysia (their largest outlet in the world is at Pavilion Kuala Lumpur). Their 1Utama outlet is always pretty full, but they had empty seats when I happened to pass by – so a Kyochon dinner it was!

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Kyochon prides itself in making their chicken fresh to order, so a 15-minute wait is expected. They even give you a nice crossword puzzle to occupy your time. My wait took well over 45 minutes though lol. So maybe the outlet is full /there’s a line because their service is slow? PS My drink also took 45 minutes and was served together with the food so my hunch is they forgot my order and only keyed it in after my first prompt.

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The specialty here is the soy garlic series. You can get the wings/drumettes, or larger pieces. Personally, I like the wings coz it’s nice to nibble on them and pick them clean 😀 A regular nets you eight pieces, while the medium has 12 and the large has 20. I went for the medium, with a side of rice, soup and salad.

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To be fair, it’s good fried chicken. Fresh, juicy, crisp with a nice sweet and savoury coat. It’s also very garlicky, so expect garlic-breath for some time afterwards.

The main issue with me has always been the size; for some reason, I think Kyochon’s chicken wings are extremely small – like they get them from kampung chickens or something. 12 pcs here equates to an 8 pc set from 4Fingers (my favourite KFC by the way). Pricewise, Kyochon is also higher than some other KFC franchises, and of course, 45 minutes is too long a wait for a resto that wasn’t full.

  • Food: 4/5
  • Service: 2.5/5 (long wait time and nobody bothered to follow up)
  • Price: Expect to pay RM20-30 for a full meal for one.

KYOCHON (1Utama) 

LG 311, Lower Ground Floor, No1, Persiaran Bandar Utama, 47800 Petaling Jaya,
Selangor Darul Ehsan.

Opening hours: 10AM – 10PM

Phone: +6017-2833 676

 

Food Review: NeNe Chicken @ Sky Avenue, Genting Highlands – Largest Fried Chicken Franchise in Korea Now In Malaysia!

I’m a sucker for fried chicken, so when I went up to Genting Highlands recently, I couldn’t resist trying out the latest Korean fried chicken franchise in town. NeNe is very popular in its native South Korea, with over 1,200 outlets, as well as a presence in Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia. The one at Sky Avenue is their first in Malaysia, with more to come soon. The term ‘NeNe’ translates to ‘Yes Yes’ in Korean.

Here’s a short video that I put together! Please ignore the overlapping watermarks – I used two different video editing apps coz one didn’t have the music I wanted. 😛

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The resto is located on a small outdoor strip connecting two malls. I like the colour scheme of mint green and yellow. Gives it a bright and cheerful feel.

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50 Shades of Fried Chickin’

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It was a Friday afternoon and the resto was quite empty.

I’d like to comment on the service – BAD. The cashier was chatting with someone at the kitchen as I stood at the counter pondering which item to get; was extremely curt when I asked what she would recommend, and just appeared disinterested and unhelpful. Is this a job after SPM that you’re working at to pass the time?

The good thing is, the order was served quickly. Collected it and moved upstairs where there were more seats. There were limited seats on the ground floor.

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Similar colour scheme and theme – unpolished concrete floors and walls, more chicken-y decor.

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If there aren’t too many customers, I suggest sitting on the outdoor patio (smoking area minus the smokers) where you can have a nice view of the buildings around Genting, and enjoy the cool air.

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Time to dig in.

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There are six flavours to choose from, namely Swicy, Original, Freaking Hot, Bulgogi, Snowing Cheese, and Snowing Vegetable. If you want to mix two different flavours, the outlet at Genting charges you RM3 extra.

I chose Swicy. The chicken was tossed well in a sweet and spicy sauce, sprinkled over with fragrant sesame. The meat itself was tender and juicy on the inside with crunchy outer skin, and was not overwhelmingly greasy. I think I should have opted for a different flavour though coz the sauce was a bit too sweet for my liking. Still tasty, just not the best KFC (by that I mean Korean fried chicken!) that I’ve had. I still prefer the one at Wagle Wagle.

NENE CHICKEN (SKY AVENUE BRANCH) 

T2C-09 of Level 4,SkyAvenue, Genting Highlands, Pahang, Malaysia

  • Food: 4/5 – tasty!
  • Ambience: 5/5 – Nice and cosy. Might be a different story if packed. Should have more seats on the ground floor.
  • Service: 2/5 – Resto should look at improving their staff training to be more courteous and helpful.
  • Value for Money: 3/5 – *Can’t remember the exact price, but should not cost more than RM20 for six pc drumettes/wings. Price does not include drinks.

nenechicken.com.my

 

 

Review: Wagle Wagle Korean Food, Setiawalk Puchong – Great Chicken Wings!

This blog is slowly but surely turning into a chicken wing review site… but anyway. 

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Setiawalk in Puchong seems to have morphed into K-town – I think there must be six or more Korean restaurants on the ground floor alone ! S and I were there for dinner and decided to try one of the newly opened ones, called Wagle Wagle. The place attracts quite a number of Korean clientele, so I guess the food must be pretty authentic.

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Nice and cosy interior with a white/wood dominant design. Pop culture posters hang on the walls while the TV plays K-pop and drama.

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Most of the food is made for sharing between two to three people, but there are a few individual dishes as well. S had the cheese ramen (RM10) which was basically just Shin Ramyun noodles in a savoury/sour soup base, topped with a slice of cheese.

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What I like about Korean ramyeon – the texture is so springy ! Even after it’s been soaking in the soup for some time.

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Was craving for octopus, so I got the octopus stir fry with rice. A little disappointed because veggies > way more than octopi, which was chopped so finely I had to sift through the mountain of vegetables to locate what few measly pieces there were mixed in to the dish. I get that octopus is expensive, but really… you can pick out how small the bits were from the picture above. It also lacked salt, so it was spicy but all I tasted was the gochujang sauce.

The soy-sauce chicken wings (RM19 – set of four wings/drummettes) fared much better and seemed to be a hit with most tables.  Not the meatiest, but they were juicy and tender with a crispy coat, covered in a delightful sweet and savoury sauce. The sauce was a tad sweeter than the average K-chicken wings I’ve had, but tasty nonetheless. Good stuff. Didn’t feel overly greasy too. #canhavelotsofrice

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WAGLE WAGLE 

Lot C-9-G, Block C, Setiawalk Puchong, Taman Wawasan, 47100 Puchong, Selangor 
Phone:  014-638 7992
Business hours: 11AM – 1130PM (daily)

Food Review: Crispy Korean Fried Chicken @ Choo Choo Chicken, Bandar Puteri Puchong

I’ve reiterated my love for fried chicken wings (be it Korean or American-style) in numerous posts. So far the best (consistent) bet seems to be 4Fingers, but I recently found a serious contender in Bandar Puteri Puchong called Choo Choo Chicken. 

Quirky name aside, the outlet is spacious and comfy, with clean, minimalist lines, wooden tabletops paired with steel black chairs. Orders are written on chits at each table.

They are, of course, famous for their chicken, but Korean food lovers will also find favourites like ddeobokki, ramyeon, rice with chicken tenders/wings, rice burgers, and more. A signature item here is the ‘Rose Chicken’ – a ‘rose cream sauce’ served in a bread bowl as dipping sauce, along with boneless fried chicken – but at RM41.90 for 12 pieces, it is obviously too much for two people.

We opted for this instead:

Bro had their Ramyeon, which was topped with lots of seaweed and came with a side of four chicken balls. All their ramen dishes come with ‘chicken balls’ – boneless pieces of fried chicken coated in a sauce of your choice.

I had the fried ramyeon (Spicy), adding on a sunny side up fried egg to go with my honey-soy flavoured chicken balls. The ramyeon had a wonderful al-dente texture which was springy to the bite, coated in spicy-sweet sauce that packed a punch. The chicken balls were somehow too fatty for my liking (under the chicken skin), although the flavour was good.

We got a basket of wings/drumettes to share. The minimum is 8 pieces (RM20.90) done in two flavours, so we tried garlic (left) and spicy (right). Both were better than the chicken balls in that they were less greasy, but still retained that crunchy goodness on the outside. Between the two, I liked the garlic sauce which had a great garlicky aroma. The spicy was good too, with the type of heat that comes gradually so that you’ll be sweating after awhile, rather than being hot right off the bat. Perfect with a cold glass of beer (which the outlet also serves.)

After all that food, we did get a little overwhelmed by the greasiness though. In that sense, 4Fingers still wins hands down in my book. What do you guys cook the chicken with that it doesn’t feel greasy even after like 8 pieces?

Still, this is a good place to get my KFC fix that’s not too much of a drive.

They also have branches in Setapak and USJ.

CHOO CHOO CHICKEN (Puchong Branch) – Non Halal 

13, Jalan Puteri 1/4, Bandar Puteri, 47100 Puchong, Selangor, Malaysia

Opening hours: 1130AM – 1030PM (daily)

Phone: +60 3-8051 6985

 

 

 

Extra Crispy Korean Fried Chicken! – 4Fingers, Sunway Pyramid

The name of the place may be 4Fingers, but I guarantee you’ll be licking all of yours after you’ve had a taste of their delicious, extra crispy Korean-style fried chicken! The popular franchise from Singapore, which made its way to Malaysian shores a couple of years back, has opened up a new outlet in Sunway Pyramid and its enjoying brisk business, judging from the long waiting lines on a weekend. The interior is cosy and modern, with lots of seating space (albeit a little tight).

Patrons order at the counter where they choose ala-carte or Combo meals which come with drinks and sides. C and I had the 12 piece signature drummetes/wingettes (mixed marinade – soy garlic and spicy kimchi) with two soft drinks and fries (Kimchi/Seaweed).

We collected our order from the kitchen. The chicken was served in a small metallic tray, and they gave us cups to put our bones in.

Korean-fried chicken is different from regular fried chicken in that it’s tossed in a sauce. Since they double-fry the chicken, the skin is extra crispy and doesn’t get soggy fast, even if you take it home to enjoy later! 🙂

The kimchi powder-seasoned fries were good!

What can I say? Finger lickin’ good. Despite being fried, the chicken wasn’t greasy and you can really hear the crunch as you bite into each piece. The soy garlic sauce was excellent – sweet and salty, garlicky goodness. Polished off six pieces with no trouble. Had the rest to take home. 😀 Definitely someplace I’d come back to if I’m ever in Sunway Pyramid! 🙂

4FINGERS SUNWAY PYRAMID 

LG.127. LG2 Floor (New Wing), Sunway Pyramid, Petaling Jaya, Selangor.

Opening hours: 10AM – 10PM (daily)

4fingers.com