It’s been a while since the Korean fried chicken craze first hit Singapore. But has it died down ever since? I don’t quite think so. What is it exactly that has that won the hearts (and tummies) of so many Singaporeans? Let’s look into it.
Korean Fried Chicken is unique and should not be mistaken with the American version which we are probably more familiar with. Apparently the Korean method is to fry the chicken twice without as much flour batter, giving that crunchier skin with less grease. The Yangnyeom chicken 양념치킨 is also a standard seasoned variation, whereby the chicken is coated in a sweet, spicy, garlicky glaze while still hot.
Sounds good so far? After going on a mission to find the best Korean fried chicken in Singapore that will capture my stomach and resulting in a crappy sore throat thereafter, here’s my favourite picks in Singapore for this fried delight.
1. Chicken Up
Probably one of the more commonly heard brands for Korean fried chicken, Chicken Up is in the limelight too for their Korean fried Chicken.
Here is their Spicy Up ($34 ) signature dish that is ordered by almost every patron that sits down. Crispy skin that lies above the meat, together with that layer of oil in between, so much perfection in one bite as you indulge in a piece of this. The meat is pretty tender even for breast meat as all the chicken is only fried upon order. It takes a while to get to your table, but well worth the quality.
2. Oven and Fried Chicken
I really really love this one from Oven and Fried Chicken! We ordered their Fried Boneless Thighs ($25) because we were too lazy to get ourselves busy with bones and all.
Juicy tender meat, not oily, not sick of it even after eating it for awhile. Meat was chunky, which was why I enjoyed sinking my teeth in them. Skin remained crispy even after 1.5 hours which we left to ‘test’ as we continued our conversation. With a peppery finish, it gave that mild spicy factor just enough to flavour without overpowering.
Oven And Fried Chicken :182 Telok Ayer Street, Singapore 068630 |
Tel :62225959 | Website | Opening hours:Mon-Fri: 11:30–00:00, Sat-Sun: 16:00–00:00
3. Chir Chir Singapore 치르치르
Conveniently located in town, Chir Chir (pronounced as ‘chi-rei’ ‘chi-rei‘) really doesn’t have a reason why you shouldn’t try it. Whether is it hunger after an entire day of retail therapy, or simply cravings for fried food, Chir Chir will solve your day’s problems – good food in town, best of both worlds.
I had their Crispy Fried Chicken ($26.90). With the serving of a whole chicken, it was definitely more than enough for 2 people to share. The fragrant aroma could be smelt from afar even before it was served. Skin wasn’t too fluffy and there was quite a bit of oil in it though. Felt that the meat could be juicier and it would be perfect. Goes well with the mustard sauce (served with the chicken) and do ask for mayo separately.
Oh, their Chir Cream Beer ($13.90) is a must order too, complimenting the fried chicken with its cold and bitter-sweet flavour to cut through all that fried oil.
Chir Chir Singapore : 313 Orchard Rd #B3-04/05/06 S(238895) | Website | Opening hours: Mon-Thurs: 10:00–22:00 Fri-Sat: 11:00–23:00, Sun: 10:00–22:00
4. Kko Kko Na Ra 코코 나 라
With a very catchy name, the Kko Kko Na Ra too is another big player in the Korean Fried Chicken Singapore scene. They give quite a large number of pieces of chicken, but the pieces used here seems a bit skinnier than usual though.
The Deep Fried Chicken ($25). The deep fried to perfect golden brown skin is simply awesome, you don’t feel greasy or feel like throwing up even after you are into the 10th piece. You should also try their mixed platter to get to try a few variations like the yangneom as well.
Kko Kko Na Ra: 68 Tanjong Pagar Road, Singapore 088489 |
Tel : 62259282 | Website | Opening hours: Mon-Sun: 11:00-15:00
5. Choo Choo Chicken 츄츄
Next up is Korean fried chicken from Choo Choo. We tried the 8 Pieces Wings ($16) which the portion was really just nice for 2 and pretty affordable. Even if you had a heavy meal prior yet still crave for some Korean fried chicken, this is it.
The meat wasn’t too juicy and falls towards the slightly drier side compared to the other Korean fried chickens. Meat texture was tough for their drumlet, like really, considering it’s drumlet. However, the crispy skin and fragrant batter totally made it up.
Oh, there’s free wifi here too.
6. 4 Fingers
One of the earliest appearance of Korean Fried Chicken in Singapore was the 4 Fingers flagship outlet located at Ion Orchard. You will always see long queue of people craving for a piece of them.
The 4 Finger Crispy Chicken ($9.95) is available also in flavours like spicy or soy. I recalled the hype about it back in their earlier days. Their chicken though flavourfully cooked, the meat was dry and not as tender, perhaps as the chicken is batch fried in advance. Sometimes the chicken does turn out really juicy though and consistency is the issue. The skin however, made up for everything with its crisp and non greasy feel.
4 Fingers Chicken : 2 Orchard Turn, #B4-06A, ION Orchard, Singapore 238801 | Tel: 6463 8011 | Website | Opening hours: 10:00 – 22:30 daily
7. Gayageum Korean Family Restaurant 가야금
‘Gayageum’ also refers to a Korean zither-like string musical instrument. This restaurant located at the basement of Bukit Timah Shopping Centre Basement 2, isn’t easy to find as it’s hidden in a corner, camouflaged amongst the many maid agencies.
We had the Fried Chicken ($33) – large size. Even though we had 4 people tackling this large plate, it still left us stuffing ourselves silly. Not too greasy at all, thankfully. Chicken meat was really tender and juicy. Felt that the flour batter was a little too heavy to crunch on, and some part were slightly dry. Overall it’s really good though for sharing but my suggestion would be to get the small sized one.
Gayageum Korean Restaurant : Bukit Timah Shopping Centre #B2-14
70 Upper Bukit Timah Road | Website | Opening hours: Mon – Sat: 11:30-15:00;17:30-22:00, Sun: 13:00-22:00 (Closed every 1st & 3rd Tuesdays of the month)
Bibigo is one of those casual Korean restaurants that are always packed during lunch time and serves really good and affordable food.
Needless to say, we ordered their Gangnam Chicken ($10). I mentioned affordable right? Served in a round, sizzling stone plate, this is one dish you will not forget. Cut into bite-size pieces, there is more consistency in it’s fragrance and marination. There is a distinct familiarity to Popcorn Chicken in terms of size, taste and texture. Each piece is fairly greasy and easy to chew on.
Bibigo :#B1-107 Suntec City mall, 3 Temasek Boulevard Singapore 038983 |
Tel: 63385809| Website | Opens Daily 10:00-22:00
Conveniently placed amongst coffeeshops and cafes in Lorong Kilat, many come to Woori-Nara for their Korean fix.
Fried Chicken Boneless ($17) was what we ordered because as usual, we were too lazy to get all dirty with our hands. This is one fried chicken I really liked, because of the light and crisp batter. You don’t taste much greasiness and the crunchy batter was highly addictive. With a little chilli powder finish, you are gonna get some kick.
Woori-Nara Korean Restaurant: 19 Lorong Kilat #01-02 Singapore | Tel: 6464 9282 | Opens Mon – Sat: 11:30-14:30, 17:30-00:00 , Sun: 17:00-00:00
10. Chick and Ken
Bearing the heat to get to this good fried chicken joint, it was all worth it. Located in a small lane, you might just miss Chicken and Ken. We ordered their Korean Fried Chicken ($19.90), 10 pieces in two flavours; Soy & Garlic as well as the Yangnyeom style.
Soy & Garlic chicken (top) is made with Korean soy sauce with garlic infusion, drenching the fried chicken and caramelizing from the heat. Chicken skin remained crispy with every bite with strong garlic aroma coming from the sauce, which made the chicken taste absolutely amazing. Not too salty as well despite being coated in soy sauce.
Yangnyeom chicken (bottom) is actually a sweet and spicy gochujang (fermented Korean chili condiment) based sauce. I felt that the yangneyom though pales in comparison to the soy & garlic one in terms of tastiness. This has it’s own touch, but in my opinion it was too sour and it’s not spicy at all (for me, at least). Could do better with a little extra spiciness.
Chick And Ken: 21 Lorong Telok, Singapore 049033 | Tel: 6464 9282 | Website | Opens Mon-Fri: 12:00-15:00;18:00-22:00, Sat: 12:00-22:00
11. Oppa Chicken
OPPA Chicken is a Korean fried chicken restaurant franchise that opened early 2015. The boss, Debbie Wu, personally flew to Korea to learn the recipes and skills to making great fried chicken first-hand from the Korean OPPA counterpart themselves.
Recipes are franchised from Korea, so you can be ensured of OPPA Chicken’s authentic flavour. The signature OPPA Chicken Honey Garlic Wings (S: $13.90, M: $22.90, L: $38.90) are made with a unique garlic recipe not commonly seen in other fried chicken joints, and is one of their best sellers.
After reading this, are you hungry yet? Which is your favourite Korean Fried Chicken choice in Singapore? Do share it in the comments!