07 March 2014

Hot-Star Large Fried Chicken: Taiwanese Fried Chicken, Sydney (5 Mar 2014)

96 Liverpool Street, Sydney NSW 2000

Fried Chicken by the handful

“No preservatives, no additives, not frozen chicken. Fried to order, always cooked fresh.

Just when you thought it couldn't get any better than KFC ie Korean Fried Chicken, along comes Taiwanese Fried Chicken, I guess we call it TFC. Apparently originating from the Taipei Shi-Lin Night Market this 'palm-sized crispy chicken' aka Original Fried Chicken ($7.90) is gaining popularity at a fast rate from the signs of its busy 4th day of opening in Sydney. Promoted as moist and tender it certainly was and had an enjoyable and pleasant crunch from the crumbing. Flavour wise it's pretty tasty and depending on how much red chilli spice you request will determine if you can still taste the chicken — I recommend starting with just a little. Also don't get that red chilli on your clothes, it will stain them as I unfortunately found out, and your fingers as well. I found out the chicken they use are '100% chemical free, hormone free, and steroid free chicken. Though not free range, they are 100% cage free'.  Also the oil used is '100% canola oil, which is low in saturated fats, contains high levels of cholesterol lowering fats, including Omega 3 and 6'.

Expect to find some bone and cartilage left in the chicken which I guess proves it's actually real chicken rather than processed and reconstituted although I'd prefer if it didn't have any bones at all so you don't have to worry about eating around it. I'm assuming it's not free range and organic chicken though but how nicer would your conscience be if it was. It's takeaway only but you can find some bench and stair seating next door in the open garden area. Service is efficient although bordering on a little perfunctory. I guess we all would be if the only thing you were cooking all day is bloody fried chicken by the vat full with a face mask. Sort of feels like a production line — chicken in, chicken out. Now we know why the chicken crossed the road — to escape being deep fried at Hot-Star.

PROS: Fried to order, Surprisingly moist and juicy chicken meat, Tasty crumbing, Pretty cheap 
CONS: Fried chicken is never a healthy choice, No seating, Only takeaway, I'm suspecting the plastic bags provided are not biodegradable but happy to be corrected, Feeling a bit guilty and dirty after eating so much fried chicken on its own — I'm craving salad now
MUST TRY: Original Fried Chicken, Revisiting to try the deep fried mushroom and curly fries
VERDICT: It is what it is and they seem to have a system that does it very well. Would love to have a piece of this chicken (without the bones) in a white bread sandwich with lettuce and mayo which would be one very nice chicken schnitzel sandwich — might have to BYO the ingredients to make it myself.
4th day of opening with busy lunch crowd

The original Fried Chicken — it's bigger than it looks on the menu
Need more calories — add a can of soft drink! 
Decide on how spicy you want it. I asked for medium although it never made it onto the docket and I think it hadn't for others as well so double check your docket and watch if they put some on. I had to tell the server I wanted some red chilli on it before she gave it to me.
No preservatives, No artifical flavors — hopefully the chicken is hormone free as well?
Everyone gets a plastic takeaway bag — I'm feeling guilty for the environment already if it's not biodegradable
The future's so bright I gotta wear shades when I serve customers

A vat full of crispy chicken — vegetarians look away!

Hold out your plastic bag and I'll serve you your fried chicken
Everything that comes out of this kitchen will be from the yellow food group
Pepper and red chilli seasoning — my advice so easy on the red chilli
Lots of order in front of mine. It took 15 minutes from ordering to receiving but I guess it depends how busy to is at the time.
Original Fried Chicken ($7.90) — moist, tender, tasty, evil for my waistline

Bigger than my palm

Moist and tender chicken. I wonder if they premarinate it in something. I kept burping a garlic taste for some reason.
Watch out for the cartilage and bones

Left over bones, cartilage and excess crumbing I thought best not to eat to be a little healthier
Damn, this red chill stains. I'm thinking I got this from up against the service counter so watch out.
A bit of an orange staining on the fingers too so bring along a wet one
Garden area next door you can sit
Water bubbler in the garden which didn't really work properly

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Hot-Star Large Fried Chicken on Urbanspoon


Padaek said...

Wow - fried to order fried chicken! What a great idea! Looks delicious and well worth the wait. Fried chicken and coke - what a great combo. :)

Noisy Noodler said...

Fantastic! I tried this in Taipei's Shilin market and loved it so looking forward to trying this to compare.

Eva said...

I literally just walked past this place today! In all honesty, not worth the calories and trans fats BUT the sweet potato fries definitely seem more up my alley (:

BGDino said...

I just noticed in your photo that they have curly fries too... dilemma... fries or chicken... or both? Maybe I'll have to bring my husband!

Sophie said...

Mmm.. deep fried chicken-y goodness. :P I keep on walking past this store it's always busy with people at the moment.

Unknown said...

Hilarious finish Simon. Good writing. I loved Hot Star Chicken when I was in Kuala Lumpur. So keen that it's available here.

Liz said...

This place is near where I work and I do see the lines forming from lunchtime onwards...as tempting as fried chicken is, the thought of gristle/fat is enough to turn me off it!

(also the "garden" next door is actually the NSW Police Courts) :P

Meanwhile I have just discovered your blog and I love it! I've subscribed and look forward to reading more of your foodie adventures. :)

Annie said...

walked past Hot Star today and there was a queue happening. might try it next time i have a fried chicken craving

Mr C @ The Food Diary said...

Cannot WAIT to try this place, I loved any sort of fried chicken!

Simon Leong said...

hi padaek, fried chicken and coke should do wonders for the waistline too ;-)

hi noisy noodler, let me know how it compares once you try

hi eva, i'm keen to try the sweet potato fries too

hi bgdino, yep curly fries. i think BYO husband and go both :-)

hi sophie, so busy. everyone loves their fried chicken in this town

hi neil chung, would love to know if it tastes the same here

hi liz, thanks for the name of the garden next door. i thought it was the NSW Police Courts but wasn't 100% sure. thanks for following my blog. keep me posted if you have any foodie tips for me.

hi annie, definitely seems like a popular spot

hi mr c, let me know what you think if you get to try. i want to try those deep fried mushrooms :-)

Simon Leong said...

Hot-Star Fried Large Chicken gets a mention in The Sunday Times 23 March 2014 http://on.fb.me/1g1KY5R

andy said...

Been to taiwan and try this great fried crispy chicken. and it is now available in Sydney.. Awesome especially sprinkle with hot chilli powder!!!

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