Sherman's Food Adventures: Shawn's Chicken

Shawn's Chicken

If you haven't already noticed, the proliferation of KFC joints (Korean Fried Chicken) within the Lower Mainland has been exponential.  Hey, I'm not surprised because KFC is freakin' delicious.  However, there is an under-represented version of fried chicken - Chinese Fried Chicken.  Is that really a thing?  Well, kind of...  We have Taiwanese fried chicken where it is often served as nuggets with five spice and fried basil.  There is also a version that is pounded and is as big as your face.  But there is a new place in town that is not Taiwanese, but rather, it is called Shawn's Chicken.  It is actually Yongshun Fried Chicken out of Beijing that has some flavour elements that are similar to Taiwanese fried chicken, but is unique in its own right.  Jacqueline and I were invited to check it out.

We started with the 2-Piece Combo served with a choice of fries or yam fries and a soft drink.  For any of their fried chicken options, you can choose between original or spicy.  For this one, we had the original and it was flavourful as promised on the menu.  It was well-brined (in a broth) being super juicy and succulent.  There was a multitude of flavours, of which was definitely not like any other fried chicken out there.  It had some elements of Taiwanese fried chicken with some liquorice notes.  The accompanying fries were starch-coated (seems like Cavendish) and crispy.  You can also choose yam fries as well.

We then tried the Spicy Chicken Wings which were actually the original version, but tossed in seasoning.   This featured a super crunchy exterior with rendered skin.  The meat was just as juicy and tender as the drum and thigh.  In terms of flavour, the meat itself tasted like the original, but the seasoning spice had considerable impact with heat, earthiness and slight numbing.  If I had to choose, I would definitely go with the spicy over the original.

The most dramatic item we had was the Axe Chicken which was a fried chicken leg that was as big as my face.  Again, it was well-brined with juices literally squirting out of the meat as I tore the drum from the thigh.  That batter was nicely-seasoned and firmly crunchy.  It stayed as such even as it sat for quite awhile.  Loved how they drain the chicken after it is fried in their special rack deep-fryers.  Hence, it wasn't greasy at all.

In addition to the usual soft drinks, they have 2 special beverages in the Lemonada and Plum Juice.  These are only $1.00 more than the price of a regular soft drink ($2.75), so I think they are worth it.  Unlike most fountain drink lemonades, this one here was so natural-tasting and didn't rely on the sugar for flavour.  The plum was surprisingly not too sweet and had a mild essence.  As you can see, the menu at Shawn's Chicken is completely focused only on fried chicken.  They do that well and the chicken is both juicy and well-marinated.  Batter is crispy where the spicy is the one to get (in my opinion).  Prices are on the higher side, but reflect the freshness and size of the product.

*All food and beverages were complimentary*

The Good:
- Juicy and well-marinated chicken
- Crunchy batter with rendered skin
- Made-to-order

The Bad:
- On the higher end of the fried chicken price spectrum


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