KUALA LUMPUR, JUNE 14 – One of my favourite parts about mukbang video is when the content creator skilfully polishes off one piece of Korean fried chicken after another, practically slurping the meat off the bones in one swift motion.
It’s an art form. And by the end of the clip, you’d have an aluminium bucket filled to the brim with clean bones and a well-smeared pair of disposable gloves, glossy with sticky glaze, the sign of a Herculean task completed.
My gym bro and I had no such ambitions when we dropped by Chicken House in Solaris Mont Kiara over the weekend, after our morning coffee nearby. We simply wanted some good eatin’, to chase our excellent long blacks.
First impressions count. We were impressed with how a sizable chunk of the shop’s entrance – prime real estate – was dedicated to a fryer kitchen. The other dishes might come from the kitchen at the rear of the shop but this was where all the action takes place for the Korean fried chicken.
Judging by the stacks of takeaway boxes piled up by the doorway, this makes sense. Korean fried chicken is a stalwart of the delivery business boom in packed cities such as Seoul and Busan.
The same appears to be the case for Chicken House (and other Korean eateries in Solaris Mont Kiara, KL’s little K-Town).
We settled down at the table the Korean proprietor pointed out to us, the plastic menus following suit with remarkable efficiency. There is always a jug of cold water at the table but I wanted a can of sikhye
I have always been piqued by how popular mukbanger Sanghaegi would down one cup of sikhye after another as he devours plates of tteokbokki and jjajangmyeon.
A traditional sweet Korean rice beverage, sikhye is made by steeping malt water in cooked rice; in fact, the drink often contains grains of cooked rice too!
Rejuvenated, we were ready when our fried rice and saucers of banchan (side dishes) arrived.
This was no ordinary fried rice, however, but jjajang fried rice. Pairing the dark, viscous gravy made from chunjang (sweet bean paste), pork and vegetables with fried rice rather than noodles was certainly texturally interesting.
Considering the history of jjajang in Korea further, this pairing doesn’t seem quite as unlikely. Jjajangmyeon is a staple of many Korean Chinese restaurants; the dish itself an adaptation of the Shandong noodle dish, zhájiàngmiàn.
Whatever its roots, the dish is delicious. Comfort food at its simplest and best.
Nibbling on the banchan (such as kimchi, radish and spicy sliced hot dogs) between spoonfuls of the jjajang fried rice, we were no longer famished but far from sated. We wanted our Korean fried chicken.
The first platter to arrive was their Korean style Mala Fried Chicken. Crispy and sticky with spicy glaze, the pieces of chicken were well seasoned, something we often found lacking in more commercial franchise outlets where all the flavour resided solely in the crust.
In between bites, I observed the mom-and-pop ambience, with one of the staff climbing a ladder to reach the storage on the mezzanine level, carrying a bag of rice on her way down.
One is transported to a hole-in-the-wall diner in one of Seoul’s older neighbourhoods.
Though the Mala Fried Chicken had the redder, fierier colour, the honour of spiciest chicken went to the Hot Soy Sauce with Garlic Fried Chicken.
Despite its innocuous golden hue, it definitely earned its warning of Three Chillies in the menu (though not so ridiculously spicy that our taste buds were desensitised afterwards.)
Other fried chicken flavours included the Original, Spicy Sauce, Sweet Sauce, Flourless and the extra-sticky GangJeong.
Perhaps we’d give this a go the next time we’re in this part of town. Plus, there is a kimchi-jeon (pancake made with ripened kimchi) with my name on it, waiting for my return...
15G, Jalan Solaris 4, Solaris Mont Kiara, KL
Open Wed-Mon (Tue closed) 10:30am-11pm
Tel: 03-6211 5928
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