The latest Korean drama, Crash Landing on You, has, well, crash-landed into the hearts of many young Singaporeans out there. While the biggest takeaway for many viewers might be the brilliant love story of how true love knows no geographical boundaries, my biggest takeaway from the show would be how the five North-Korean musketeers – who lived an otherwise restricted life – saw sparks when they first sank their teeth into a sexy piece of Korean fried chicken (KFC). It gave me the deja-vu moment of when I had my first bite into a KFC, a feeling of pure joy and ecstasy.
Although Korean fried chicken has been in Singapore for quite a while (thanks, globalisation), we believe that it’s a good time to rekindle your love for the shatteringly-crisp fried chicken, just like the good-ol’ days. We’ve compiled a list of 15 (?!) Korean fried chicken joints for you to sink your teeth into deliciousness.
There’s something about family-run restaurants that provide a homely and hospitable dining environment. With Korean dramas, variety show Running Man snippets and K-pop music videos playing in the background, Gayageum Korean Family Restaurant offers affordable and homely Korean fare and hospitality to diners.
The no-frills restaurant, located in the basement of Bukit Timah Shopping Centre, serves up a killer KFC. The Fried Flavoured Chicken ($42 for a large) features KFC doused in three flavours – the restaurant’s signature Original flavoured KFC, and two flavour of your choice. Choose from either Sweet, Spicy, Soy or Spicy Soy.
At 170 Upper Bukit Timah Road, #B2-14, Singapore 588179, tel: 64638011.
Woori-Nara is where you can get adventurous and experiment with different flavours and combinations of KFC. The Yumyum Chicken ($16 for a small, $30 for a large), which features a Sweet and Spicy coating, and Soy Chicken ($16 for a small, $30 for a large) are the more commonly found KFC flavours, but diners can take it up a notch with the Cheese Yumyum Chicken ($19 for a small, $35 for a large) and Cheese Soy Chicken ($19 for a small, $35 for a large) to get that #instaworthy cheese pull.
If you hate fighting with the bones that come in KFC, the place offers boneless options as well, making sure that your indulgent experience is free of all that unnecessary peeling and whatnot.
At 19 Lor Kilat, #01-02, Singapore 598120, tel: 64649282.
Guksu Restaurant has claims to be the first specialised Jeongol restaurant in Singapore. What is Jeong Gol, you may ask? Jeongol is a type of Korean stew that was originally served only to the upper-class nobles and royals in ancient Korea. The stews usually feature an elaborate mis-mash of ingredients – a variety that’s fit for a king!
While you keep warm with a bowl of Jeongol, sink your teeth into the restaurant’s version of KFC, which might just be its best-kept secret. The Chicken Wing Platter ($32.90) gives the diner a choice of either Original, Soy, Spicy or Wasabi flavoured KFC served with a side of pickled radish and mashed potato.
Diners can also choose to go all out with the decadent Cheese Chicken Fondue ($39.90), which features boneless KFC served with potato wedges, mozzarella cheese, garlic cream sauce, parsley and snow powder. Now that’s how you eat in opulence.
At 3 Temasek Blvd, #02-384/385, Suntec City West Wing, Singapore 038983, tel: 63347950.
If you need your KFC fix pronto, you can probably satiate it at one of the many Chir Chir outlets all across the island.
Chir Chir’s extensive KFC menu not only offers different flavours such as Spicy, Garlicky, Crispy fried, or Cajun, diners can also choose whether they prefer their chicken with the bones in or as tenders, for easier eating.
The KkhanPung King ($28.90) looks like a volcano ready to explode. Chicken pieces are coated in a sweet and spicy sauce with an accompanying dipping cream. Yummy!
Dining out with your friends and they’re not too keen on indulging in KFC? Not to worry, for Chir Chir offers roasted chicken coated with garlic, spicy BBQ or rosemary, for those who may be slightly more health-conscious.
Chir Chir has several outlets.
This one is for all our Muslim friends out there. Jinjja Chicken is a halal-certified Korean fast-casual restaurant that offers KFC made with 100 per cent fresh chicken.
The Jinjja Wings or Jinjja Drumsticks come with three different sauces – Soy Garlic, Yangyeom, or Monster. For all you fans of heat and spice, the spicy hot Monster sauce is made with mouth-numbing chili, spices and peppers, which will definitely leave you craving for more.
Diners can order a minimum of six wings all the way up to a hundred wings, at the most value-for-money price of $99. A great idea if you are thinking of throwing a big fried chicken party or even if you are just really hungry (no judgment here).
Jinjja Chicken has several outlets.
Nene Chicken is another halal-certified KFC chain on our sunny shores. Nene Chicken offers a comprehensive set meal such as the Nene Signature Pasta ($11.50). This chef recommended dish features pasta of your choice served with a KFC drumstick, curly fries, salad and a drink.
If you’re with a group of friends, why not try the Nene 50cm Hotplate Chicken? The huge 50cm hotplate platter will probably occupy the entire length of your table, and is filled with a plethora of goodies. You’d get to enjoy half of an entire KFC, Korean Stewed Chicken, Tasty Curly Fries, and a cheese dip – perfect for getting that swirly cheese pull.
Diners can also choose from three dips – Swicy, Freaking Hot or Honey Mustard. Priced at $35.40 for ala carte and $39.90 for a combo meal with three drinks, it is definitely an affordable choice.
Nene Chicken has several outlets.
Chicken Up offers a variety of your favourite Korean dishes for a hearty meal. The place also has affordable daily lunch set menus at $12.90, from 11am to 5pm. The KFC wings offered here come with three different sauces – Soya, Spicy Yangnyum and Yangnyum, Pair them up with interesting sides, such as Spam Rice Balls or Lotus Root Fries for an awesome meal.
They say the best drink to go with KFC is alcohol. Look out for the numerous ongoing tipple promotions at Chicken Up which offers a variety of Soju and Korean beers at unbeatable prices for a late night out.
Chicken Up has several outlets.
The brand Bonchon Chicken is definitely well-known throughout the globe. Bonchon Chicken uses a unique double frying method perfected by its founder, Jinduk Seo, to ensure each piece of chicken has the signature shattering-crisp skin.
The KFC offered here comes in two sizes – small ($16.90) and large ($32.90). Diners can choose from either ordering parts of the entire chicken, wings, or boneless. Only two sauce flavours are offered here: either Soy Garlic, or Spicy Sauce, and it’s heartening to know why. The sauces are all made in Busan, South Korea, before being shipped out to all their outlets worldwide. This ensures customers get the exact same authentic taste, wherever, whenever. If you’d like, you’re able to order a Half & Half to get the best of both worlds.
Bonchon Chicken has several outlets.
If you’re keen on supporting local and feeling hungry for KFC, 4FINGERS is the place to visit. This Singaporean company was founded in 2009, and it’s massive success can be seen from the 28 stores worldwide. The signature 4FINGERS KFC showcases its crackly, flavour-packed skin that envelopes juicy and tender meat. The two sauces offered, Soy Garlic and Hot & Spicy, are made only with natural herbs and spices, without artificial flavours or MSG. So you know that you’re eating well with every tantalising crunch.
4FINGERS has several outlets.
Hailing from Korea, Pizza Maru has over 600 outlets worldwide, with three outlets in Singapore.
Although it’s popular for its cheesy Korean-style pizzas, the restaurant chain also offers a decent KFC. Diners can choose from eight (yes, you read that right) different flavours for their KFCs – Garlic, Original, Sweet Chilli, Supa Hot, Honey Butter, Onion Tartar, Cheese Sprinkles or Honey Garlic. A platter of 12 pieces of KFC costs $29.80, and diners can choose up to two flavours.
FYI: Did you know Pizza Maru is the world’s largest Korean pizza chain?
Pizza Maru has several outlets.
Oven & Fried Chicken (OFC) is the beautiful birth child of Okkudak and Ssaldak, two of the most popular chicken restaurants in Korea. The restaurant pays homage to the different preparation and cooking styles of her parents; Okkudak specialises in baking its chicken without oil, while Ssaldak prepares its chicken using rice flour instead of the common wheat flour. OFC combines the best of both worlds and makes it into its signature style of cooking.
Whether it’s roast chicken or KFC that you are hungry for, OFC has got you covered. The Roasted Mixture ($32 for whole, $17 for half) is a healthy grill-roasted chicken marinated with the restaurant’s signature marinade.
But if you’re reading this article, we guess your interest is in the crunchy KFCs. OFC dedicates three menu sections to fried chicken: the Crunch Chicken (healthy chicken cooked without oil), Fried Chicken (coated with rice flour and fried), and the Yang Nyeom Chicken (KFC drenched with a choice of sauce). Diners can also choose which part of the chicken they’d like, such as boneless thigh, wings, or a mixture.
Besides, KFC there was other Korean dishes on the menu that are quite authentic too.
At 182 Telok Ayer Street, Singapore 068630, tel: 62225959, and at 16 Chun Tin Road, Singapore 599603, tel: 64633505.
Joo Mak Korean Restaurant is found on the fourth floor of Beauty World Centre. This quaint restaurant has been around for quite some time, and its patrons mainly come here for the great KBBQ they offer.
However, Joomak has an entire menu section dedicated to KFC, and they do make a cluckingly good one. There are only three varieties of the KFC on the menu – original, sweet & spicy, garlic soy, ($20 for half, $35 for whole). Diners who aren’t a fan of bones can opt for the Boneless Chicken option ($30), for a cleaner, hassle-free meal.
At 144 Upper Bukit Timah Rd, Singapore 588177, tel: 6466 7871.
Who says you can only get Korean fried chicken at restaurants? Located in Toa Payoh, Waker Chicken can be found tucked away under a HDB block.
This no-frills food stall offers everyone’s favourite KFC in the standard original, sweet spicy and soy flavours, as well as more unique, out-of-the-box flavours like the Honey Butter Chicken, which is reminiscent of the Honey Butter Almond nuts that everyone buys back as presents after holidaying in Korea.
At 125 Lorong 1 Toa Payoh, Singapore 310125.
If you think of Korean fried chicken, the first place you’d think of is probably Kko Kko Nara. The brand has been around since 2008, and can be cited as the pioneers that started the whole Korean fried chicken craze on our sunny shores.
Kko Kko Nara offers KFC coated with traditional flavours – Original, Sweet, Garlic ($25 for nine pieces, $40 for 18 pieces), and something for the adventurous, such as the Honey-Shiock, KFC coated in the restaurant’s special honey garlic sauce ($25 for eight pieces, $40 for 16 pieces). The restaurant prides its KFC on having a crunchy texture without excess grease – ensuring it does not leave an unctuous feeling when you’re halfway through the meal.
Although well known for its Korean fried chicken, the restaurant chain also offers a plethora of other Korean dishes, such as Korean fried pancakes (from $22), Bibimbap ($18), Korean grilled meats (from $25) and soups (from $20) for a wholesome meal.
Kko Kko Na Ra has a few outlets, such as 68 Tanjong Pagar Road, Singapore 008489, tel: 6224 818, and #02-243, Jewel Changi Airport, 78 Airport Boulevard, Singapore 819666.
Hoho Chimek prides itself as a fuss-free Korean restaurant of the East. The restaurant serves up a good variety of classic Korean dishes such as Bibimbap (from $15), Pancakes (from $8), and Stews (from $15). No trip to Hoho Chimek is completed without ordering one of their crispy KFC. Although the offerings may be modest (choose from either a Soy Garlic or Spicy sauce), it makes up for it with its crunchy skin and juicy meat.
At 430 Upper Changi Road, East Village, #01-45, Singapore 487048, tel: 67021396.