Night Noodle Market Fails to Impress

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Melbourne always has some food event on and since this is Good Food Month it is even more true. The sun is out and so are the red lanterns marking the Night Noodle Markets. This is the second year and they learned a lot of lessons from last year in terms of layout and seating. Sadly it was not the best place to find Melbourne Fried Chicken.

Lucky Cat welcomes you!

Lucky Cat welcomes you!

Hollywood and The Chick tried two places, one of which was severely lacking, the other was acceptable for fair food.

Izakaya Den looked promising

Izakaya Den looked promising

A squeeze of lemon and a side of mayo for this Chicken Karage just didn't make up for the lack of flavor in the chicken morsels themselves.

A squeeze of lemon and a side of mayo for this Chicken Karage just didn’t make up for the lack of flavor in the chicken morsels themselves.

So bad we had to bin it in hopes of finding something better.

So bad we had to bin it in hopes of finding something better.

Gogi offered a second chance. This time, Korean Fried Chicken.

Gogi offered a second chance. This time, Korean Fried Chicken.

Friendly Gogi service from a big food truck.

Friendly Gogi service from a big food truck.

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Nice nuggets with a bit of bone.

Nice nuggets with a bit of bone.

KassKass

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490 Flinders St Melbourne VIC 3000

KassKass has been on the chicken scene’s list ever since day one right up there with Gami. Hollywood and The Chick were out for drinks in the city and after a few beers here and there they decided it was time for some yummy Korean style Melbourne Fried Chicken.

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We ended up getting the Okonomiyaki (a favorite of The Chick’s) and the half and half boneless chicken of the original and hot and spicy chicken with two tap beers to drink. We were warned that the spicy chicken is very hot, but we thought they just didnt know us that well so we let it pass.

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The chicken was authentic Korean style chicken. it was small size pieces cooked fresh. The spicy pieces werent that spicy. We enjoyed the chicken and the okonomiyaki was different than the authentic type we had in Japan but was pleasurable nonetheless.

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KassKass is a cool Korean place if you are craving some Korean style fried chicken and you are in that side of town

 

Hollywood’s Rating: 7/10 Clucks

The Chick’s Rating: 7/10 Clucks

KassKass Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Kong

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599 Church St Richmond, VIC

Kong is Chin Chin’s cousin brought by the same group and boasting many rich Korean, Japanese and American flavors. Hollywood was happy to find out that Kong had Melbourne Fried Chicken offerings in the form of fried chicken wings.

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Kong has both a takeaway and a more elaborate dine in menu. Hollywood opted for the takeaway option and ordered the Korean fried wings with honey, garlic and sesame alongside the famous kimchi and pulled BBQ pork bun.

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Kong’s Korean fried chicken wings are fresh and have a great sweet and savory flavor with a hint of garlic that is truly amazing. The other dishes are also very fresh and tasty.

Hollywood’s Rating (for the fried wings): 8/10 Clucks

Kong BBQ on Urbanspoon

Chick-In (with Guns and The Tan)

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Hollywood and co (The Tan and Guns) were up for some good old Melbourne Fried Chicken with beers for an epic Friday lunch, so they headed down the street from work towards Chick-In.

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Chick-In was recommended in some blogs and articles about the best that Melbourne Fried Chicken has to offer. It is Korean style chicken which is always good with some beer. The joint was packed and we had to wait a bit but finally landed some seats at the communal bar like tables.

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We placed 2 orders of the Gang Jung (1 soy and 1 spicy) and 1 spicy Korean Style Chicken Schnitzel with chips and 1 order of spicy Korean fried chicken wings and a jug of beer.

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Although the place had a funky decor, the chicken wasnt that great. The Gang Jung was similar to nuggets and while it seemed fresh it wasnt really spicy. The chicken taste wasnt that prominent and was covered in more of a sweet chili sauce which gave it more of a sweet taste which overpowered the whole experience. This was the same case for the wings and chicken schnitzel. The soy version had similar tastes but was a bit more saltier which made it seem better.

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Chick-In does boast some funky vibes but fails to deliver the much anticipated crispy crunch.

Hollywood’s Rating: 4.5/10 Clucks

Guests Rating: 4/10 Clucks

Chick-in on Urbanspoon

Random Clucks #2

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We are still determined to bring you the latest clucks on the Melbourne Fried Chicken scene. We’ve been out and about and have this to report. Check out this big list of crispy cluckers!

Hot Star

We went back for the crispy fried chicken and it was amazing!

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 Taiwanese Pop Chicken at the Vic Night Market

This was a pleasant surprise, too shame it’s only on for the Vicky night market.

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MoVida At The Airport

This chicken was awesome, and out of all places it clucks at the Melbourne airport. Good stuff! Give it a go.

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Parlour Diner

Yep, they still got it. Greatly spiced chicken tender pieces accompanied by some great spicy sauce. Yummmy!

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Mookji Bar

This Korean joint on Lonsdale st failed to deliver a clucktastic experience. It was more of a miss than a hit for The Chicken Scene. They do offer a wider variety of dishes that might be worth the revisit.

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Rockwell and Sons

Last but not least, Rockwell and Sons never fails to deliver an amazing clucktastic Melbourne Fried Chicken feast!

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Hawaiian Fried Chicken

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Best of Honolulu 2012 - Ray's Fried Chicken

Best of Honolulu 2012 – Ray’s Fried Chicken

Hollywood and The Chick were in Hawaii taking some well deserved time off with family and friends. The trip involved birthday celebrations, surfing, tasty shrimp trucks, swimming with dolphins and turtles, kayaking and, yes you guessed it, some Hawaiian Fried Chicken. We made time for two tasty excursions for Ono fried chicken and the more classic southern style.

Waikane Store – Ono fried chicken

We were staying in Hau’ula along the Eastern shore of Oahu. We noticed an “Ono fried chicken” sign on the Kamehameha Highway and we decided to see how it compares to our beloved Melbourne Fried Chicken.

Waikane Store - "Ono" Fried Chicken and Famous "Sushi". Keep your eye out or you'll miss the sign on your way to the Big Waves on the North Shore

Waikane Store – “Ono” Fried Chicken and Famous “Sushi”. Keep your eye open or you’ll miss the sign on your way to the Big Waves on the North Shore

We asked for an order of the fried chicken to share and skipped the spam sushi which was also on offer. It was served in a small paper container consisting of 4 small thigh pieces with plastic wrapping.

"Ono" Fried Chicken wrapped up in the s basket with the Famous "Sushi"

“Ono” Fried Chicken wrapped up in the s basket with the Famous Spam “Sushi” – that ain’t a slice of tuna!

The deboned chicken seemed pan fried because the bottom was a bit blackened and crispy compared to the top. The chicken pieces were the right amount of greasy and had a bit of a sweet taste which we enjoyed. It seemed to be cooked earlier in the day and reheated but that didn’t stop it from being full of yumminess.

The pieces were small, but with a good amount of meet and light coating of sauce. There was no seating - so we ate on the boot.

There was no seating – so we ate on the boot.

A sweet piece of Korean? Fried Chicken.

A sweet piece of Korean? Fried Chicken.

We were told that the recipe is an old Korean family recipe but it didn’t seem like any Korean Fried Chicken we’ve ever had. The Chick felt it tasted more like roasted chicken than fried, probably because the skin wasn’t very crispy.

We paired the savoury chicken with a couple of sweet bananas from the near by fruit stand which had an authentic roadside stink of old cigarettes and was run by a gravelly voiced old woman. We definitely recommend grabbing a quick cluck from this road side market if you are travelling the East coast of Oahu.

Sweet mini-bananas. Perfect combo.

Sweet mini-bananas. Perfect combo.

Roadside fruit stands were our favorite stops on this tour.

Roadside fruit stands were our favorite stops on this tour.

Just watch for wild cluckers when parking, they need those for the next batch.

Ray’s Cafe

We came to know about Ray’s Cafe through the webby web (Yelp) and after reading so many positive reviews we decided we had to get a taste of their fried chooks.

Door Open = Open. Door Closed = Closed. Gotta love the simplicity.

Door Open = Open. Door Closed = Closed. Gotta love the simplicity.

Ray’s is located on North King St in Honolulu in a very local neighbourhood with no parking. It’s a hole in the wall with humongous portions sizes. The menu on the wall boasts the best of diner fare: greasy breakfast plates, steaks, ribs, burgers, ahi tuna steaks, a lobster special, and of course – fried chicken. There were options for family-sized buckets, but we opted for a single serving.

The Specials all sounded wonderful and looked filling.

The Specials all sounded wonderful and looked filling.

For the family.

For the family.

We opted for the small portion - without the Hamburger Steak.

We opted for the small portion – without the Hamburger Steak.

While waiting for the main, we received a bowl of fresh, crisp lettuce and a squeeze bottle of ranch dressing. The Chick was thrilled as it satisfied her craving for green foods.

American version of a salad - we skipped the bottle of ranch dressing, and found the lettuce was crisp and refreshing.

American version of a salad – we skipped the bottle of ranch dressing, and found the lettuce was crisp and refreshing.

While waiting we saw plates of ahi tuna steaks and macaroni salad (Hawaiian specialty) go by and watched a man dig into a huge steak with classic crinkle fries in a basket. The chicken can be paired with steak, but our order of fried chicken consisted of 3 big, very hot, thigh pieces with two mounds of white rice. The chicken was single coated and very crispy, almost no breading, but the skin was perfectly fried. It was so hot that we had to let it rest for a bit to cool down. We struggled between burning fingers and the desire to bite in, and in the end had to use a fork. Extra points for truly fresh cooking, it was worth the wait. We added a bit of tabasco sauce to get a bit of kick, but the chicken was tasty on its own. Overall the pieces were big, juicy, and steamy and we enjoyed our experience at Ray’s. Hollywood has his eyes set on the Ray’s ribs and cheeseburgers for the next visit.

The rice was perfect - and the chicken was finger burning fresh.

The rice was perfect – and the chicken was finger burning fresh.

The chicken was so hot we had to resort to a fork - the chicken came off a bit stringy, but didn't taste dry.

The chicken was so hot we had to resort to a fork – the chicken came off a bit stringy, but didn’t taste dry.

The skin was not overly spiced, so a little hot sauce kicked it up a notch.

The skin was not overly spiced, so a little hot sauce kicked it up a notch.

Plenty of hot chicken and very crispy skin.

Plenty of hot chicken and very crispy skin.

Ray’s is like a Classic American greasy spoon with Hawaiian and Asian touches which all made for a unique culinary experience. Certainly worth a trip off the beach, but beware, you may lose your beach-ready bod along the way.

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Hot Star – Where the Chicken is the Hero

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Hollywood (A.K.A Cluckmaster) had been aware of a new Melbourne Fried Chicken clucker that is to be reckoned with calling itself the Hot Star. He has been talking up the potential of this contender to the Chick who was wary of the fast food style and what it might imply about the quality.

Thankfully, Hot Star surprised and delighted with a new take on a favorite food. Apparently our reputation as Melbourne Fried Chicken connisours preceded us, so after snapping a few photos out the front we were invited into the kitchen to see how the magic was made.

The chicken is marinated for a day before being coated in, wait for it, tapioca flour! Apparently this is all the rage in Taiwan, and the Swanston  location is the first outlet of the franchise in Australia. It sounded a bit odd, but after a bite, it was clear to the chick that a new style had been invented that was worth note. It is not as crispy as Southern Fried Chicken, the tapioca gives it a bit of a spongier/sweeter note. But they are coming out with a crispierr version that sounds worth a second visit.

The chicken is a single breast piece, cut by dedicated professionals to get the maximum surface area. You’ll know what I mean when you are handed your breast in a bag that seems  bigger than your head. There are the occasional bones left in for flavor, but otherwise it is a smooth piece of breading and chicken. The Chick isn’t a big fan of fast food, but this was fast, fresh and full of  flavor.

The frying is done in real time from fresh (not frozen) chicken, so there’s a bit of a wait after you order, but it is worth it. The chicken comes out steamy, not too greasy and the unique tapioca breading a perfect golden color. The original version comes coated in salt and pepper, there is also a spicy version with a bit of  chilli powder sprinkled on top, a hint of flavor, easy to swallow for those who can’t handle their spice. The Chick preferred the original but dipped in chilli sauce found next door at Rice Paper.

The sweet potato fries are not always available because they are made with a wet batter and take longer, but they are worth it. And if the other wet batter items coming (crispy chicken, mushrooms) are anything like the potatoes, then we’ll be back.

Conclusion:  Even if you tend to avoid fast food joints, but love fresh fried food, Hot Star is for you. $9 a bag makes this one of the best cost/flavor combo we’ve found in Melbourne. It also sat well with the cluckmaster as a great on-the-go meal. Thumbs up!

Hollywood’s Rating: 7/10 Clucks

The Chick’s Rating: 8/10 Clucks

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Hot Star Large Fried Chicken on Urbanspoon