The first things you notice when you walk into this fried chicken hole-in-the-wall are the screens flashing K-pop music videos. A derriere shaking to a deep groove. A perfectly synchronised herd of multi-coloured hairdos popping and locking. But the second thing that grabs you is the smell – gorgeous bready, chicken-y scents wafting aggressively across the tables.
Riding the crest of Sai Ying Pun’s wave of new openings, it’s unclear whether Uncle Padak is actually Korean or just a clever marketing wizard (there’s already a litter of branches on the Mainland) – but who cares? The chicken is damn good. The popular half-and-half combo ($188) allows you to select two out of the range on offer. We go for soy boneless and the ‘padak’ ($178), a zingy option that comes loaded with sweet and spicy ‘padak sauce’, rice cakes and dumplings (which are sadly a bit dry). Served with spaghetti-like lashings of spring onion, the piping hot fried chicken plate is overwhelming in size and taste. The skin (extremely crispy) to chicken ratio is a knockout 1:3 and the meat is fresh, plump and bursting with its own vaguely sweet flavour. To balance our palates we side our meal with some rice balls ($58) – generously sized scoops of marinated grains rolled with flying fish roe and topped with delicate strips of Korean-style seaweed. Superb. So, expertly done fried chicken, great K-pop and some good soju on the menu too. A winning formula. Padak is indeed your uncle. Ysabelle Cheung