If you’ve ever tried fried chicken that wasn’t from KFC you should know that there’s a special level above it made for those who can prove better than the quality of chicken at these chain stores made by high schoolers. Korean Fried Chicken for me is the new KFC, in fact, KFC is average fried chicken if you can get your hands on good Korean-made ones. Ooh there I said it! I’m picking a fight with the food of a large corporation.
In Korea it’s common to have many chicken and beer restaurants which are exactly what it sounds like. A place that sells chicken and beer as a normal snack or meal. Imagine it as an equivalent to grabbing a chicken kebab and drink combo at the local kebab store.
As a Sydneysider, the first place you think to grab some good Korean grub is in Strathfield but for some of us that is a bit far (and a bit too long to wait) to satisfy your fried chicken cravings. Behold! Somewhere closer (for the South and West)!
Crispy Cluckers – 20 Joseph St, Lidcombe NSW 2141
Monday – Saturday 11:30AM-10PM | Closed Sunday
Crispy Cluckers is located right next to Lidcombe station so it’s very easy locate and get to. The store doesn’t particularly have a dine-in feel as it is like a takeaway store. The choice of food is quite small as it’s specialty is fried chicken and burgers with the only big variations being the sauce you get your fried chicken smothered in. From the menu we ordered a half and half which is a two types of chicken either one half original and one half sauced or both sauced for an extra $2. The server told us the hot and spicy wasn’t really hot so we ordered that and also the sweet chilli option as well.
As our stomachs were screaming murder, the sight of our chicken coming to us was heavenly. Look at that glossy sauce and crispy coating, it looks like pure perfection!
The chicken also came with a side of pickled radish as well, I saw it as a sort of palate cleanser and rinsing for the mouth because the server had lied to us. Well lied to me because the other half can handle his spice much better than I can. Not really hot she said? Boy did I think I’d ever fall for that again. Trusting those from spice and hot chilli eating cultures to tell me their food wasn’t spicy. I remember that one time in high school when I went over to my friend’s house who cooked an authentic Thai noodle soup dish of which they told me wasn’t spicy and I bet they had fun watching my reaction to a ‘not spicy’ dish. The reaction was pain damn it! It ended up being the spiciest thing I’ve ever eaten in my life and it’s remains there at the top of the list until this day.
My lesson learnt? Be reserved about what a person from a chilli eating culture tells you about the spice level. You may be cheated.
Dramatic description and anecdote aside, the spice was just a bit too high above my level. I’m more of a mild kind of girl, my other half is more medium so I guess this was medium to hot kind of spiciness. It wasn’t too bad but I just couldn’t be bothered sweating up a river that day.
The batter used for the chicken was lovely, had a chunkiness to it and was very crispy when it came out (ey ey get it?). They had all parts of the chicken fried, such as the breast, wings and drumsticks. Of course by the time we got to the last few bits it had become a bit soggy due to the sauces but nonetheless it was still delicious. My favourite was the sweet chilli fried chicken (because of obvious didn’t-want-to-die-of-water-intoxication reasons) but soon after we began eating the two flavours we realised we probably should have ordered some original flavoured just to see how good they are on their own.
As we were eating (at a very early dinner time of 5PM) we saw maybe 5 or 6 more customers come in to order some fried chicken for take away. I can imagine how popular they may be at around 6PM or 7PM. It’s certified, Crispy Cluckers is quite popular with the locals.
Store: 7/10 the store is very average with the basic tables and chairs, they did try to cute it up with some cute wall decals that Korean seem to be fond of
Menu: 7/10 as their street signage says – fried chicken and burgers, that was pretty much it
Waiting time: 7.5/10 we easily made our order at the counter and waited maybe 15 to 20 minutes until our fried chicken came out piping hot
Servers: 8/10 the servers were friendly in greeting us as we first came in and also helpful in helping us choose our sauces (I guess it was unhelpful in the end due to second degree tongue burns haha)
Value for money: 7.5/10 the half and half dish was perfect for us to feel comfortably full at $16 each despite the fact they don’t offer any rice with the dishes – the price was quite good compared to the prices they charge at Strathfield (around $40 a dish)
Taste: 9/10 when we had our first bite we knew we found a little gem of a restaurant because the sauce and crispy outside of the chicken said it all for us – at the end of our meal we like to ask each other as a sort of rating on the food “Would you come again?” and to this place we definitely would 🙂
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