The Time Out KL team munched and crunched their way through the city’s best fried chicken. Whether you prefer the no-frills hawker-style fried thighs or the sticky glaze of crunchy Korean style chicken, here are some of the city’s best birds. Eat with your hands, and get your wet wipes ready.
This Korean restaurant is known for their fried chicken, and there are five flavours available – spicy, crispy, ganjang (soy sauce), yangnyum (sweet sauce) and spicy yangnyum. The chicken is marinated for 12 hours and then dipped in batter that has been mixed with soda water and secret spices before being fried to order. The crowd favourite here is the ganjang chicken – it looks like any regular fried chicken on the outside, but inside the flesh is sweet and aromatic thanks to the soy sauce. If you want some heat, go for the spicy yangnyum chicken – it’s fried chicken slathered with sweet and spicy Korean sauce and topped with a sprinkling of sesame seeds.
While there’s no guarantee of finding your oppa here at The Cafe Chicken in Hartamas, at least you’ll have good Korean fried chicken. The menu can get a bit overwhelming – what with different flavours of fried chicken, more chicken items such as waffle chicken and curry katsu chicken, as well as Korean dishes the likes of kimchi fried rice and Korean army-style stew – but we say stick to the fried chicken for a more straightforward experience. You’ll be glad you did; the birds are crisp and chunky, tossed in soy or a sweet-and-spicy sauce that sticks to your fingers. When things get too greasy, pop a few pickled white radish cubes to cut through the oiliness.
This friendly neighborhood joint’s signature fried chicken is one of the reasons it earned a rare five-star rating from our food critic. The winning batter that covers the chicken is made with just two simple ingredients: buckwheat flour and soda water. The light and crispy skin produces a satisfying and audible crunch every time you bite into it, which is a perfect prelude to the meaty flesh inside that’s warm, soft and dripping with juices. We recommend going straight for six pieces instead of the three – not that the chicken is small, but because it’s THAT good.
The star at this Korean fried chicken joint is the fondue-style hot snow cheese chicken. Yes, it’s a mouthful, quite literally: there’s a hot plate, half filled with cheese and the other half with boneless crispy fried chicken (you can get original, spicy or a mix of both). The waiter will assist you in heating up the plate and once the cheese melts, get ready to twirl your fried chicken in it. If it gets too jelak after one cheesy fried chicken too many, refresh your palate with the pickled side dishes that come with the meal. One plate is enough for up to four people, so we suggest noting this under group dining options.
Chicken House’s offerings have all the signs of a good Korean fried chicken. The skin crackles and crunches with every bite as expected, but it’s the sauces that seal the deal with their distinct punchy flavours, especially the hot soy sauce with garlic. There are many more options and they are just as good, from the sticky sweet chicken gangjeong and spicy chilli sauce chicken to chicken coated in Cajun spicy sauce; there’s even a few non-flour options (no batter, thin skin). You can choose either half or one whole bird – or if you’re greedy like us, get the half-half option of two different flavours to make up one chicken.
This humble fried chicken stall along Pudu’s wai sek kai doesn’t let anything go to waste. Besides the usual breasts, thighs and wings, Victory’s Crispy Fried Chicken serves the feet and bishop’s nose as well. There is usually a queue forming in front of the stall after office hours and for good reason too: the fried chicken here is tender and juicy with hints of peppery aromas (thanks to a generous coating of spiced flour and a stint in boiling oil), while the skin is light and crisp without being too greasy, making it a great side dish or snack to add to your meal when you dine at this popular food street.
This Singaporean chain opened in KL a few years back during the Korean fried chicken craze, and has managed to hold its own among fierce competition. For fried chicken, 4Fingers only offers drumsticks and wings, but they’re good enough that the crowds keep coming back. The wings, especially, live up to their ‘crispy’ claim. You can choose either the soy garlic or hot and spicy sauce, but we recommend the former. Sure, it’s a tad sweet, but the combination of the sweet and salty on the chicken makes the wings very addictive.
KyoChon isn’t a fast food restaurant; here, chickens are cooked to order, so expect a 15-minute wait in which you can solve the crossword puzzle provided at your table. Each piece of fried chicken is coated with a light batter, hand-painted with savoury sauces and then double-fried in canola oil, resulting in fowls with crunch and juicy flesh. Go for the soy garlic series for a taste of the original, or tear into the red pepper series where the chickens are glazed with Korean hot pepper paste. The honey series is marinated for 24 hours before layered heavily with natural honey – so it’s got that stickiness you’d expect from Korean-style fried chicken.
Various locations including 1 Utama Shopping Centre, Pavilion KL, Sunway Pyramid, Menara Hap Seng, and Pearl Shopping Gallery.
The queue here can get long and frustrating but the nasi lemak and fried chicken are worth waiting for – so much so that Village Park won the Best Ayam Goreng category in the Time Out KL Food Awards 2014. The fried chicken here – available as a whole leg with both the thigh and drumstick – is generous in size, well-seasoned, and has a crispy skin and satisfying crunch when bitten into. We recommend you have this with the restaurant’s award-winning nasi lemak, but we’ve seen it eaten with lontong and we’re sure it’s delicious all the same.
Appearance-wise, Hoe Fong’s fried chicken looks rather ordinary. It has no crunchy battered skin, but therein lies its brilliance. Here, the chicken (either the whole bird or the entire thigh with drumstick) is only rubbed with a thin layer of honey on the outside and salt on the inside before it’s fried for about 20 minutes. The skin becomes a thin, crisp covering encasing the meat within, which retains all its juices and natural flavours. Light soy sauce is drizzled onto the chicken before it’s served while the accompanying garlic chilli dip rounds off all that sweet, salty, savoury flavours perfectly.