I received an email from DK from Excuse Me Waiter notifying me that he was to move to Japan long-term and so I was invited to a going away dinner along with some other food bloggers. Along with Droolworthy World, Nessy Eater and The Food Diary we meet up at Chicken Institute to gorge on some fried chicken.
It’s a Friday night and Chicken Institute is packed, once a table clears, it’s promptly filled with more hungry patrons. Droolyworthy World have dined here before and recommend the side of the menu where all the chicken dishes begin with: ‘damn good fried chicken’ which sounds incredibly enticing so we order three buckets and a couple of sides.
First on the table is the Kimchi poutine; shoe string fries, shaved cheese, a good kick of chilli, sprinkling of shallots and drizzled in gravy. It’s a tangle of melty, spicy, oniony, cheesy, crispy fried goodness. As you work your way through the basket, some fries soak up the gravy and you get mouthfuls of soggy and crunchy at once which I relished.
Damn good fried chicken – House made spicy chicken salt, lime $20
The chicken took a while to arrive and when it did, I absolutely hoed into it. Every piece is made from filleted chicken thighs removing the need to stop and discard bones, so there’s no interruption to gobbling down juicy, moist, succulent crunchy fried chicken. There were six of us dining altogether and there were eight pieces of chicken in each bucket, which made for awkward sharing since we’re all food bloggers and want to eat more of the good stuff but are too polite not to offer to anyone else. Well I didn’t want the chicken to go cold so I volunteered as tribute to eat the remaining fried chicken, otherwise no one else would.
Damn good sticky chicken – sweet, spicy, sticky sauce, crushed peanut, shallot $22
The damn good sticky chicken is just as juicy inside and crunchy on the outside but with a deliciously sticky sweet and spicy glaze, tasting nutty with a coating of crushed peanuts. You receive a side of pickled radish with every bucket of fried chicken and these were nice to nibble on while waiting for the next bucket of fried chicken.
Damn good fried garlic chicken - Garlic caramel glaze, crushed peanut, lime $24
And we wrap up our fried chicken fest with one last bucket. The damn good fried garlic chicken is garlic-heavy, from all the slivers of deep fried garlic chips and the chicken is consistently succulent throughout.
Spicy cold noodle $17
This is a simple dish of thin rice noodles with loads of fresh veggies; grated carrot, cucumber, purple cabbage, dried seaweed and a soft boiled egg. There’s just the right amount of chili that gets you at the back of your throat, give everything a toss and eat immediately. Don’t let it sit in the spicy sesame dressing otherwise it will be absorbed by the noodles and falls apart when picked up.
The pork belly slices had nice flavour but the serving was on the very small side as the pieces were 3/4 fat, we may as well had another bucket of chicken for the same price.
SSAM B.B.Q grill Wagyu – With lettuce wrap, miso paste, pickled garlic, radish kimchi $24
We packed away caramelised pieces of gingery wagyu beef, shiny with its fat. Like the pork belly the servings are too scant in my opinion.
The place has a good vibe and I can definitely conclude that Chicken Institute have damn good fried chicken.