I have been a little slow on the ‘KFC’ trend. No I do not mean the fast food stuff. It is all about the Korean Fried Chicken now. It does not sound that special but after you have it, you will never see fried chicken the same way.
To celebrate the last day of uni we decided to go for chicken and beer. We were quite a large group of 10 and all the popular places in Melbourne were too full and could not accommodate us. So we ended up in the lesser well known Chimac. Initially we had to wait a little but eventually a couple of tables were put together to squeeze us in. Already placed on the tables were a unique snack, there were salted deep fried raw spaghetti noodles which did not seem edible at first. A little nibble proved them tasting like a weird pretzel.
The menu was vastly different to what I had imagined. There were many fusion type dishes that I was very eager to try. As an appetisier, these “Ta-Kors” (Korean style tacos) were such a surprising find. We ordered one of everything and I ended up trying the spicy pork and tofu. As you can see, these were overflowing with salad and this injected a freshness which complimented the sweet marinated meat well. The tofu one though was much blander, wasn’t too bad though considering I don’t even like tofu.
We also ordered 3 whole chickens in the 3 different styles. It may seem excessive but between us, we completely demolished them. Overall the chicken was very well cooked. The meat was juicy and even the breast part was not overly dry. What stood out to me was that there was not a lot of skin involved. This definitely helped to minimise the oiliness and gave the batter a clean crisp flavour. These were all served with a side of pickled radishes which help cut through the immense amount of chicken.
When I think Korean chicken, I think of fried pieces smothered in sauces. So I was pretty surprised that there was only one on the menu. Nevertheless, the “Bloody Sweet” was super saucy and pretty overwhelming because of that. It was delicious but I probably couldn’t do more than one piece.
In contrast to that I found the “Ultra Crispy” to be quite bland and underwhelming. Yes the batter was ridiculously crispy and not greasy, but it just wasn’t a stand out. These are probably the most comparable to fast food KFC, but oh so much better.
I think the majority favourite was the “Wonder Soy” marinade. Initially it did not seem like anything special but once you taste the spices it really brought a different dimension to just fried chicken. Extremely fragrant and crispy.
The “Kimchi chips” were a hit and miss with the group. Personally I really liked them because it was such a weird combination. Imagine your usual nachos and beef toppings, now replace that with french fries and kimchi. So tasty. A little hot for some though.
The only time I like drinking beer is with fried food. We got some jugs of the local brew, Brunswick Bitter, and it was really good. Very light and worked well with the food. It would’ve been even better if we had gotten the beer promptly, before most of the chicken was eaten.
A minor issue was with the service. It can take a while to get their attention and also quite a wait for the dishes to come out. They forgot to bring us our kimchi chips initially and ended up giving us some plain french fries for free to make up for it, which was nice of them I guess.
My first Melbourne KFC experience was good but I am still hoping for more. I will have to try all those other places to see if I can find the one that matches my memory of good Korean chicken.