Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably tried and swooned over the sweet yet savoury taste of the well-loved KFC — nope, not Kentucky, but Korean Fried Chicken. Perfectly prepared with a crispy crust encasing tender, juicy flesh underneath and coated with a sweet, tangy sauce, the Korean fried chicken has been gaining in popularity, as chains here expand and more new brands enter the market. On this special day (National Fried Chicken Day yo!), try not to think so much about the calorie count and pamper yourself to one of the best things the Korean culinary world has to offer.
1. Kko Kko Na Ra
Serving Korean fried chicken in Singapore since 2008, Kko Kko Na Ra is one of the first restaurants to introduce the dish to locals, and has earned the reputation as one of Singaporeans’ most well-loved spot when it comes to this dish. Featuring a crunchy texture and zesty taste, Kko Kko Na Ra prides itself on serving up chicken that is non-greasy and tasty to boot. There are four different flavours in its chicken – original, soy garlic sauce, sweet and spicy, and hot and spicy. Accompanied by a plethora of other Korean food staples such as Kimchi Pancakes ($22) and Kimchi Stew ($28 for small, $38 for large), a standard eight piece wings and drums set is priced at $18 while a larger 16 piece set is priced at $30 on its lunch menu. If you are looking for a particularly spicy combo for that extra kick, try the Hot & Spicy Kko Kko Chicken dish. With three chilis beside it on the menu, it’s sure to challenge your tolerance of spice.
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.
2. Gayageum Korean Family Restaurant
Located in Bukit Timah Shopping Centre, Gayageum Korean Family Restaurant is where you will source for your affordable yet delicious Korean food finds. With Korean dramas, variety show Running Man snippets and K-pop music videos playing in the background, this family-run restaurant is a hidden gem and will make you feel like you’ve been transported to a hole-in-the-wall in Seoul. Their Fried Flavoured Chicken dish features an elegant mix of flavours, giving customers a taste of the Original flavour, including two other flavours of choice at $39. Garlic Fried Chicken in Spicy Soy Sauce is one of the more popular choices, with a spicy and savoury taste enticing visitors to come back for seconds.
At 170 Upper Bukit Timah Road, #B2-14, Singapore 588179, tel: 64638011.
Woori-Nara’s menu features all the big hits under the Korean culinary repertoire, including our favourite Korean Fried Chicken. Available in sizes large and small, the poultry dish is twice fried to create that extra crunchy skin and then tossed with your sauce of choice. Their Cheese Fried Chicken is one of the more interesting options off the menu, priced at $18 for small and $34 for large. 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.
While Guksu might be known largely for its Jeongol (Korean-style hot pot and stew) dishes, the restaurant’s Korean fried chicken might just be its best hidden secret. The Chicken Wings Platter ($32.90) is something you should definitely sink your teeth into. Choose from Classic, Soy, Spicy or Wasabi — it’s served with mashed potato and pickled radish. Or, for something truly indulgent, try the Cheese Chicken Fondue ($39.90) that’s good for three to four people. A creamy cheese broth serves as the centrepiece, into which you can dip Korean deep fried boneless chicken and potato wedges. Too good.
At 3 Temasek Blvd, #02-384/385, Suntec City West Wing, Singapore 038983, tel: 63347950.
5. Chir Chir
With multiple outlets spread across the nation, Chir Chir is a bona fide Korean fried chicken joint to be reckoned with. The South Korean brand offers various flavours for its fried chicken, such as Garlicky Chicken, Spicy Chicken and Crispy Fried Chicken. They also have tenders, and chicken that isn’t fried, if that’s to your fancy. KkhanPung King ($28.90) is an interesting dish, presenting its chicken pieces that have been covered in a spicy and sweet sauce and accompanied by a signature dipping cream. Sounds delicious? Find the nearest Chir Chir restaurant near you to try it.
Chir Chir has several outlets.
6. Jinjia Chicken
Best known for, of course, its Korean fried chicken, this halal certified restaurant serves the popular poultry dish alongside other authentic Korean dishes. Its signatures include JinJia Wings and JinJia Drumsticks, tossed with the sauce of your choice – Soy Garlic, Yangyeom, Monster or mixed – with options allowing you to order up to 100 pieces at once, for just $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). Its menu also features other scrumptious dishes, including desserts such as Oreo Bingsu ($7.90) and Jjajang Myeon (Black Bean Noodles at $7.90).
Jin Jia Chicken has several outlets.
7. Nene Chicken
Nene Chicken’s menu features a colourful mix of classic fried chicken dishes such as the Two Piece Chicken Meal ($9.90) as well as other more interesting ones such as the Hotplate Chicken ($39.90). Served with a zesty mix of dips, this Hotplate Chicken combo includes the best of all worlds, serving a half chicken of the original flavour and Korean stew chicken with a side of curly fries and cheese. If you are looking for something more filling, the place also serves chicken in burgers. With a choice of Original ($9.95) or Kimchi ($10.95) flavours, Nene Chicken’s Chicken Burgers are paired with milk buns, iceberg lettuce, tomatoes and red onions. Similarly, their wraps are priced at $7.95 for Original and $8.95 for Kimchi flavours, served with a grain wrap and similar veggies. Does Nene Chicken run out of ways to eat chicken?
Nene Chicken has several outlets.
8. Chicken Up
Chicken Up is a family-friendly restaurant, offering a diverse choice of items on its menu from stews to noodles, including the well-loved Korean fried chicken. The place also has affordable daily lunch set menus at $12.90, from 11am to 5pm. And this includes fried chicken, with the Boneless Chicken set and Chicken Wing set. For both set meals, you can choose between the YangNyum, Soya and Crispy sauces and are both also served with a side of your choice, namely Kimchi, Bulgogi, Truffle Fries or Rice. Sounds like a great deal, doesn’t it?
Chicken Up has several outlets.