Sherman's Food Adventures: HiFive Chicken (Burnaby)

HiFive Chicken (Burnaby)

For such a big city, Vancouver's fried chicken game is relatively weak.  When you have to put an American fast food chain near the top of the list locally, it is a real indictment.  Now I don't hold anything against Church's Chicken because it is indeed juicy and well-brined, yet in other cities, it wouldn't even make their top 3.  I personally love Church's and do think it is a close second to my favourite - LA Chicken.  With the addition of Popeye's it makes things more interesting, especially with Juke, Win Win and Down Low in the mix as well.  One spot I haven't mentioned is the local chain of HiFive Chicken (2 locations as of this blog post).  I've had their chicken many times and consider it a worthy competitor to the aforementioned places.  Recently, I was invited to sample their menu along with Diana, Emily and Melody.

As much as they offer chicken, HiFive has a wide range of sides including their popular Potato Wedges and Fried Mac n' Cheese.  Unlike all of the other spots, HiFive does not offer a traditional French fry.  However, this is not a problem since their spiced potato wedges are really good.  When eaten fresh, they are crunchy and well-seasoned while sporting plenty of soft potatoey goodness inside.  I find them rather filling as well and are a meal in itself.  It is best to share them.  With a cheesy and well-salted filling, the bites don't really need the accompanying dipping sauce (although it goes well with a side of ketchup!).  As greasy as it can be, it really isn't while being crispy on the outside.  I also like how the batter is not thick either.

One new item I got to try is their Pepper Poppers and they are fairly large in size.  They feature a crunchy exterior giving way to a cooked pepper that still exhibits a light crunch.  Stuffed inside is seasoned cream cheese that isn't melted.  There is a medium level of spice to go with a nice tang and creaminess of the cheese.  Once again, the grease level is moderate.  I also never had their Onion Rings and these are somewhat similar to the breaded version found at A&W except with a less aggressive thickness to the batter.  Hence, there is definitely a firm crunch, but not heavy.  Easy on the grease again, the batter reveals tender onion that is completely cooked through.

Onto the chicken, they are one of the few places that offers up both Fried and Baked Chicken.  For their fried chicken, the original is very similar to Church's except being a bit darker and at times, crunchier.  The chicken is juicy and brined, but not as salty as Church's.  I prefer the spicy due to the extra pop of flavour.  I find that the spice level equal to the one at Church's but just uniquely different.  It doesn't have an initial bite, but the spice builds as you eat it.  As for the baked, the skin is well-rendered to the point where there is not much fat left.  At the same time, the meat maintains a certain amount of succulence.  Once again, the spicy is my choice and similar to the fried version, the heat shows up at the end.


For all the times I've visited HiFive, this is the first time I got to sample the burgers.  We had them all including the HiFive Chicken, Fried Chicken Mega, Homestyle Spicy Chicken and the Super Spicy Baked.  As much as the baked versions were "healthier" (depends on your definition of healthier...), the fried ones were our preference.  With the solid crunch and juicy white meat, the HiFive Chicken (spicy) was our favourite.  The large size of the chicken breast made it hearty and filling.  I also enjoyed the super spicy baked as well due to the heat.  The chicken was still moist despite the crunch on the outside.  Well, there you have it, a successful return visit to HiFive Chicken.  For the items we tried, they were good and definitely worthy of being in the conversation as one of the better fried chicken choices in town.

*All food and drink was complimentary*

The Good:
- Solid fried chicken
- Option of baked chicken
- Good sides

The Bad:
- Didn't get to try the chicken strips, but they weren't my favourite the last time, heard they are changing the recipe

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