Sherman's Food Adventures: King Chicken

King Chicken

For the past few years, the location right next to Sushiholic on Broadway has been in flux.  First it was a Chinese restaurant, then it because this HK-Style cafe spot and now, with the same owners, it specializes in Fried Chicken.  I noticed the change quite awhile ago, but never did stop to check it out.  However, after Sunday morning hockey, Kaiser Soze remarked th`at they had a $1.00 drumstick special from 11:00am - 3:00pm (No longer available).  Okay, he had me at special as the cheap Asian in me kicked in like a moth to a flame.

We decided to share 20 Fried Chicken Drumsticks amongst the 4 of us while we also ordered our individual dishes (they still serve the old menu as well).  This was not knowing how big the freakin' drumsticks were!  When they arrived on 3 plates, they looked as if the chicken was on the Barry Bonds diet.  These were the most massive drumsticks I've ever seen in the city!  The best part wasn't the price because these were actually very good.  Sporting a crunchy and thin batter with completely rendered skin, it was love at first bite.  Inside, the meat was succulent and juicy while mildly seasoned.  Sure, not as flavourful as LA Chicken, but this was good in its own right.  I would gladly pay regular price for these!

We foolishly also ordered the Chicken Karaage for 50 cents each to share as well.  Essentially fried chicken wings, these were also pretty plump and large.  We found the batter to be more flaky and airy where the batter fell off each piece after every bite.  The skin was not as rendered with these, hence it was a bit fatty.  Although juicy and tender, the meat here was fairly bland and in need of salt.  JuJu went a bit overboard and also had a combo which included Chicken Satay and beef ramen.  Although not marinated nor seasoned like what one would expect from a chicken satay, the meat was still tender while nicely seared on the outside.

Consisting of instant noodles and a bland broth, the Beef Ramen was not particularly good.  Well, the noodles were chewy while the sliced beef shank was fairly tender, but this could easily be made at home.  The good amount of sweet corn was a bonus though.  The combo also included a soft drink.  Milhouse decided on his go-to food and had the Bacon Cheeseburger with fries.  Served on a kaiser bun, the burger was pretty forgettable.  He likes his meat well-done, but it was actually too chewy and overdone for his tastes.  The side of McCain fries were prepared nicely though being golden and crispy.

For myself, I was greedy where I got a Wonton Soup as well as a Chicken Curry to go with my fried chicken appetizer (where I did finish all 5 of my drumsticks).  Unbelievably more bland than the ramen, the broth for the wonton soup could've passed for hot water.  However, the plump all-pork wontons were on point.  The meat was tender and juicy with an appealing bounce texture while nicely seasoned.  Featuring cut-up pieces of pan-fried deboned chicken leg, I wasn't holding out much hope for the curry.  In actuality, it was pretty spicy and tasty with a balance of sweet and savoury elements.

Kaiser Soze opted to have 3 Egg Breakfast with 3 sausages, hashbrowns and Villagio toast.  Nothing particularly amazing, but it did the job for $4.00.  The hashbrowns could've been pan-fried a bit longer as they were rather soft. Ending things off, Kaiser Soze and I shared some Deep Fried Coconut Milk.  At first we were concerned with the lightly coloured batter, but in the end, the milk was pretty good.  It was a touch on the denser side but it was still soft, semi-sweet and aromatic.  Okay, let's cut right to the chase...  Most of the food was actually rather average bordering on below-average.  However, the fried chicken blew us away.  Not only was it well-priced, the batter and chicken were on point.  Definitely kicks Church's arse and gives LA Chicken a run for its money.

The Good:
- Inexpensive
- Really good fried chicken
- Friendly people

The Bad:
- Other menu items are hit and miss (but mostly miss)
- Chicken is made to order, that's a positive, but if you don't have time, it'll be awhile


LotusRapper said...

Checked out King Chicken this past weekend after reading your post. One word ...... awesome.

Yes, their daily "happy hours" (11am-3pm) offerings where drumsticks at $1 each and chicken karaage (basically DF drummettes & wings) at $0.50 each definitely swayed me favorably. BUT these were danged good DF chicken no matter what the price.

Chicken pieces were meaty and juicy, the battered skin not at all oily and crunchy and airy & light.

Service is escargot-slow since a lot of folks come to pick up takeouts. hence slowing down the kitchen big time.

I had 2 drumsticks (huge) with 6 pieces karaage plus a bowl of plain rice since I didn't feel like having more fries which add to the deep fried-ness of the whole meal (I know, I'm a rebel), with a pop for like $6-ish total.

Will definitely return to check out their other offerings.

Steve said...

Ordered some thighs and fries at Kings recently. I don't know where they get their chickens from, but the pieces are HUGE, much larger than what most other restaurants serve. As mentioned above, the meat is juicy and the skin is crispy without being oily. My only complaint was the seasoning of the batter, or lack of it. Aside from being a little salty, I found the taste of the batter to be quite bland, at least compared to what is served at L.A. Chicken. That aside, I think Kings offers great value along with the added bonus of being fairly close to my home, meaning I don't have to risk my car and my life trekking all the way out to Richmond to get my fried chicken fix.

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