Hong Kong’s KFC craze is in full swing. No, not Kentucky Fried Chicken, the other KFC — Korean fried chicken. Distinctive for its thin, crispy skin and juicy yet grease-free meat, this hit food trend from Seoul is popping up all over the city. Here are the top spots in Hong Kong to hit up.
This popular chain restaurant boasts over 100 stores across Asia. As of July 2016, it’s also available in Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong. The bestselling Rose Cheese ChiQueen — a small mountain of juicy, roasted chicken nuggets smothered in melted cheese, served over a bed of fried rice and shredded mozzarella — is alone worth a pilgrimage to Chir Chir. Aside from that, the chicken comes in flavors such as garlic, soy sauce, cajun, and BBQ, and there are a range of salads and snacks available. This restaurant is famed for its large portions, so be sure to come as a (hungry!) group.
TwoTwo Chicken bears the honor of being the original KFC joint. Yep, it’s the restaurant that started the fried chicken craze in Korea in the first place. TwoTwo is one of the biggest fried chicken chains back at home, but, unlike most of the other venues listed here which have plentiful seating, this tiny joint only offers standing space. Be ready to either eat on your feet or take your food to go. The chicken comes in six flavors: original, spicy, sweet and sour, onion, garlic, and teriyaki. Each piece of chook has a crunchy, golden brown exterior and moist interior, and comes with a coleslaw topped with chili sauce. Also on offer are small bites such as potato wedges, as well as a range of beers, cocktails and juices.
This lesser-known Korean fried chicken specialist is distinctive for its unusual preparation method. Each piece of chicken is marinated for 48 hours, freeze-dried for 10 hours, and then fried via a pressure cooker. The result is tender bites of flavorful, non-greasy chicken with a deliciously crispy skin. This joint near Mong Kok boasts attractive environs with wooden tables and warm lighting, and each table is equipped with a button diners can push to call the waiter. The menu is extensive, with chicken flavors such as honey cheese, Welsh onion and even candy floss available. There’s also a great selection of fruity mocktails, Korean beers, and snacks such as deep-fried shrimp noodle rolls and BBQ pork belly skewers.
Originating in Jamsil, Seoul in 2001, Uncle Padak has two locations in Hong Kong – one in Sai Ying Pun and another in Kowloon City. The cozy 26-seater diner in Sai Ying Pun is usually packed to the gills. The Kowloon City branch is also small, but a bit more out of the way. The must-try dish here is the signature Padak spring onion chicken, which comes topped with shredded scallions and a sweet and spicy sauce. The chicken is juicy and piping hot, with large portions ideal for sharing. There’s also a range of Korean alcoholic beverages such as soju and makgeolli, as well as side dishes such as fishcake soup, egg rolls, kimchi, and ramen. Padak also offers a great weekday lunch combo with fried chicken, salad, pickled radish and rice balls for just $83.