LOCAL FAST FOOD

The fried hens from homegrown and Singapore’s first Halal-certified fast food joint are sandy brown with a thin and even coat of crisp, peppery batter.

Where to get it: Arnold’s Crispy Chicken [HALAL]

WESTERN

Typical spices used in Cajun/Creole fried chicken seasoning include cumin, coriander and garlic salt– while the battered and breaded crust is thick and crispy.

Where to get it: Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen [HALAL]

TAIWANESE

Sweet potato starch (for a mochi chew) coats the butterflied and pounded chicken steaks seasoned with salt, pepper and a dash of five spice powder.

Where to get it: Hot-Star Large Fried Chicken.

LOCAL CHINESE

This chook with shatteringly crisp skin and an extra coating of fine crumbs is based on a 1970s recipe. Dip it in tangy chicken rice chilli (fresh red chilli, garlic, ginger, lime, vinegar and sometimes poultry stock).

Where to get it: Two Wings

JAPANESE

Bite-sized pieces of fowl are marinated in shoyu, garlic and sometimes ginger, then lightly coated in flour (not batter) and fried. Serve with a lemon wedge to cut through the grease.

Where to get it: Sushi Tei

FILIPINO

Golden fried chicken is simply marinated with seasonings like garlic powder, salt and pepper, and breaded with flour and cornstarch.

Where to get it: Jollibee Singapore [HALAL]

KOREAN

The Korean method of double fried chicken wings results in a thin, crackly, ultra-crunchy skin coated with a sweet, sticky, salty glaze of spices, sugar and salt. Add gochujang (Korean red pepper) paste for a chilliish punch.

Where to get it: 4 Fingers Crispy Chicken [HALAL]

AMERICAN

Buffalo wings–whether deboned or bone-in–are unbreaded wingettes and drumettes usually coated in hot cayenne pepper sauce. Said to be named after their place of origin in New York.

Where to get it: Wingstop [HALAL]

INDONESAIN

After marination in turmeric and spices and fried, the bird is then smashed with a hammer to loosen the protein fibres. Loose crunchy bits of batter–called kremes–is a must.

Where to get it: Ayam Penyet Ria [HALAL]

LOCAL TZE CHAR

A pungent yet umami prawn paste flavour is what defines har cheong gai. The thorough flavour’s achieved by marinating the flock in the tempura-esque batter (that might contain Chinese wine) overnight.

Where to get it: New Hong Kong Street Chun Kee

 

THE TASTE TEST

BiTES paid for our own fried chicken feast. Here’s our assessment of the chooks.

Jollibee Singapore [Halal]
Price: $3/pc, $16/bucket of 6 for Chicken Joy
Open: Daily 9am-9pm. #06-048A Lucky Plaza, 304 Orchard Road. Tel: 9054 3892/6735 5119/6735 5117
Side/seasoning: Brown gravy with chicken drippings
BiTES finger-lickin ratings:
(Good) Well-seasoned chicken; crunchy bite from the thick batter.
(Bad) Slightly too salty, no memorable flavour.

4 Fingers Crispy Chicken [Halal]
Price: $7.95/6 pcs (wings+drumlets) in soy garlic

Open: Sun-Thu 11am-10pm, Fri-Sat 11am-11pm. Various locations including #B4-06/06A ION Orchard, 2 Orchard Turn. Tel: 6509 8641
Side/seasoning: None. Ketchup and chilli sauce on request
BiTES finger-lickin ratings:
(Good) Intense bursts of sweet soy garlic on the crispy skin.
(Bad) The meat is fried till dry, and it’s actually three wings cut into half.

Hot-star Large Fried Chicken
Price: $4.70/bone-in cutlet in Original
Open: Daily 11am-9.30pm. Various locations including #B4-70 ION Orchard, 2 Orchard Turn. Tel: 6634 2254
Side/seasoning: Salt and pepper with a hint of five spice.
BiTES finger-lickin ratings:
(Good) Springy batter for a fun jaw exercise; its no-frills seasoning is its strength. A handy snack.
(Bad) A tad dry, dense and overdone. Batter turns slightly gooey when soggy. Some don’t like the bone-in factor.

Ayam Penyet Ria [Halal]
Price: $8.10 (Indonesian smashed fried chicken)
Open: Daily 11.30am-9.30pm. Various locations including #01-71/72 Bedok Mall, 311 New Upper Changi Road. Tel: 6441 0025
Side/seasoning: Belacan-chilli relish. Served with rice, deep-fried beancurd, soybean cake, veg and crispy bits.
BiTES finger-lickin ratings:
(Good) Overall delicious, crispy and tasty flavour–great with crispy bits and the fiery chilli.
(Bad) A tad pricey and the meat’s a little dry.

Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen [Halal]
Price: $5.70/2pcs (mild)
Open: Daily 10am-10pm. Various locations including #03-01 Bedok Point, 799 Upper Changi Road. Tel: 6448 9312
Side/seasoning: Choose from cheese, gravy, BBQ, ranch, tartar sauce.
BiTES finger-lickin ratings:
(Good) Overall rich, moist texture of chicken. Local chickens delivered to kitchens every morning for freshness.
(Bad) Too much oil, a slight smell.

Wingstop [Halal]
Price: $7.95/6pcs of classic wings (Original Hot)

Open: Daily 11am-10pm. Various locations including #B1-53 Bedok Mall, 311 New Upper Changi Road. Tel: 6844 9230
Side/seasoning: Sauces include cheese, ranch, honey mustard. Other wings flavours: Cajun, atomic, mild, teriyaki, lemon pepper, Hawaiian, garlic parmesan, hickory smoked BBQ, Louisiana rub & in-Singapore-only oriental soy pepper.
BiTES finger-lickin ratings:
(Good) Spicy and flavourful. Classic blue cheese sauce–not too pungent–complements the chicken perfectly.
(Bad) Don’t expect much crispiness as the wings are slicked in the red, vinegared hot sauce.

Two Wings
Price: $8.50/4pcs
Open: Daily 11.30am-9pm. New outlet at #01-01 Essen @ The Pinnacle, 1 Cantonment Road. Tel: 9667 0368
Side/seasoning: Homemade chicken rice chilli
BiTES finger-lickin ratings:
(Good) Tender inside, wings size is more substantial. Batter seems more like a crumb coating, making it textural and crisper. Wellseasoned with accents of ginger and heat, accentuated by the tasty chilli.
(Bad) Sweet aftertaste is a slight turnoff. A bit oily.

Sushi Tei
Price: $7.25 ($6.80 before GST)/5pcs
Open: Daily 11.30am-10pm. Various locations including #03-15 nex, 23 Serangoon Central. Tel: 6634 7717
Side/seasoning: Mayonnaise
BiTES finger-lickin ratings:
(Good) Seasoning has hints of delicious garlic, and Japanese mayonnaise given is awesome.
(Bad) Dry (breast meat), toughish and poultry pieces are fraught with blobs of chicken fat and oil.

New Hong Kong Street Chun Kee
Price: $13 for small (7pcs)
Open: Daily 11.30am-2.30pm, 5.30-10.30pm. 240 Tanjong Katong Road. Tel: 6342 1981
Side/seasoning: Belachan sauce and a small lime. BiTES finger-lickin ratings:
(Good) Each bite is a mouthful of the crunchy light-coloured fluffy and fragrant batter and juicy chicken meat. Remember to dip in the sauce reminiscent of liquid prawn. Seasoning penetrates to the bone.
(Bad) For prawn paste fans, this could do with more of that ‘kick’.

Arnold’s Crispy Chicken [Halal]
Price: $11.90 for spring chicken meal
Open: Daily 11am-9.30pm. #02-99 City Plaza, 810 Geylang Road. Tel: 6746 2372
Side/seasoning: Good ’ol potato fries and coleslaw
BiTES finger-lickin ratings:
(Good) Thin crisp batter allows fresh-tasting chicken to shine. Tender with a peppery punch.
(Bad) Some parts a little tough and bland. Batter leaves powdery residue. Only delivers to selected areas 🙁

Texas Chicken [Halal]
Price: $8.20/2pc meal
Open: Daily 10am-10pm. Various locations including #B1-30 Changi City Point, 5 Changi Business Central Park 1. Tel: 6636 1292
Side/seasoning: Sweet-savoury honey-butter biscuits and mashed potatoes with gravy.
BiTES finger-lickin ratings:
(Good) Overall delicious and fresh-tasting. Portions are bigger than usual. Juicy chooks with a crisp coating of breadcrumbs and batter. Signature spicy taste blends five types of chilli peppers for balanced flavour.
(Bad) More heat, please.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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