Choo Choo Chicken, The Authentic Korean Fried Chicken at Bali Lane

Choo Choo Chicken

Address: 33 Bali Lane

Opening hours: 10.30m to 11.00pm, Last order 10.30pm

Introduction

After having the best fried chicken in Seoul at Kyochon Chicken, i am quite interested in what Singapore has to offer given the current Korean food craze.

Choo Choo Chicken at Bali Lane (just beside a famous cafe Stateland Cafe) is one such restaurant selling Korean-style fried chicken. They offer mainly three style of fried chicken – Whole Chicken, Chicken Strips and Chicken Wings and they come in various authentically-Korean flavours like Soy, Spicy, Sweet, Crispy and Garlic.

The seating capacity of Choo Choo Chicken is really small and can house up to only 26 diners. Payment method is only cash and NETS.

Choo Choo Chicken Menu: Click to enlarge

Spicy and Soy Chicken Wings (S$29.90nett)

I ordered their chicken wings with two (Spicy / Soy) flavours and it cost S$29.90 nett for a total of 16 pieces of fried chicken. It’s good to be shared by two people.

The Spicy Flavor of Choo Choo Chicken

Their wings are fatter and fuller compare to Four Fingers and it’s juicer and not as dry. Choo Choo Chicken applies a rather generous coat of sauce on their succulent crispy wings and the meat tears off from the bones with little effort.

The soy flavour has a tinge of garlicky soy sauce fragrance. It’s lightly sweetened and the soy sauce doesn’t overpower the natural sweetness of the juicy wings.

If you like strong flavour and likes spicy stuff, you probably will like the spicy flavour more. It has a fiery zesty aroma but it’s taste less mild than it’s smell (at least to me cus i can take spicy stuff quite well). It has a good blend of sweet spicy sauce that is finger licking good.

The Soy Flavour of Choo Choo Chicken

However, their wings are a little oily (and that’s what made it juicy) and it’s a little overly cloying. The first six wings are really enjoyable but it’s a little too much for at the eighth. I thought it will be good if Choo Choo Chicken has an option for twelve piece wings so that two person can have six pieces each instead of eight.

Choo Choo Spam Rice Burger (S$6.90nett)

This dish is a decent surprise. I ordered this with little expectation but it’s actually quite satisfying. The idea is serving Korean rice patties mixed with Kimchi and a slice of Spam. The layer of salty Mayonaise complement the sour spicy Kimchi very well.

The rice is moist, well-flavoured with sesame oil and is mix in a generous portion of Korean Seaweed. Spam, which is very popular in Seoul, is also added to complete the final Korean touch. Love this unique dish of Choo Choo Chicken.

Conclusion

Choo Choo Chicken is serving some decent Korean fried chicken wings here. It’s authentically similar to those that i had in Seoul and the quality is not lacking either. The biggest drawback, in my opinion, is their price. Let’s take a quick comparison:

Fried Chicken Price Comparison
$19.50 for 24pcs – Kyochon Chicken Seoul ($0.81ea)
$22.00 for 18pcs – Four Fingers ($1.22ea)
$10.00 for 6pcs – Lola’s Paprika Honey Wings ($1.67ea)
$30.00 for 16pcs – Choo Choo Chicken ($1.88ea)

Choo Choo Chicken, just beside Stateland Cafe at Bali Lane

To be fair, I think the size of Choo Choo Chicken wings is slightly bigger compared to the other three. Choo Choo Chicken did however satisfied my craving for Korean Fried Chicken.

Choo Choo Spicy Sandwich at $7.90 with Potato Wedges

Probably it’s not something that I can eat on a regular basis due to it’s price and calorie count, but it’s worth the visit for the taste of authentic Korean Fried Chicken.

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The Korea’s famous Yoogane Chicken Galbi is in Singapore!

The famous Yoogane Dak Galbi (유가네 닭갈비) is in Singapore!

Address: 200 Victoria Street, Bugis Junction, #02-47/48

Opening hours: 11:00 am – 10:00 pm

Introduction

Yoogane, started in Busan in 1981, had since grown to one of the most popular galbi brands in South Korea. Galbi is a kind of grilled dish in Korean cuisine that are made with marinated meat in a ganjang-based sauce.

Yoogane is very popular and well-received in Seoul among the locals and tourists and they have currently expanded to over 100 branches in South Korea. I had Yoogane at Seoul in 2013 and you can read up the review here.

Yoogane Singapore menu. Click to enlarge. As of 2 May 2014.

On 1 May 2014, Yoogane opened it’s first franchise brand at our Bugis Junction. For those who are having first-time experience with Yoogane, the dining concept is mainly having their Galbi (pan-grilled marinated chicken) as the main dish, while the customer can add on toppings like teokbokki (plain, cheese, sweet potato), noodles, rice, cheese etc. into the pan to be pan-fried together with the Galbi.

Apron is distributed to diners to prevent splattering onto diner’s clothes. I didn’t see this when i visited the Seoul Myeongdong branch.

Yoogane’s Chicken Galbi

While in Seoul, the Chicken Galbi cost S$10.00 for one pax, their signature Yoogane Chicken Galbi cost S$16.90++ in Singapore and the increase in price is actually not surprising. I ordered one portion of Chicken Galbi to share and i thought the portion is actually sufficient to be shared by two people if you order their noodle and fried rice as well.

This is the portion for one pax of Dak Galbi with “Combination Fixings $10.90++” topping that consist of vegetables, mushrooms, noodles, 3 types of rice cake and potato slices.

I had a little chat with their operation manager Mark while he’s cooking my Galbi (Yes, their operation manager cooks for customer). He told me that the ingredients used and recipes are all imported from Seoul. He and his partners actually had training in Seoul for up to two months to learn the trick of preparing a good pan of Chicken Galbi. Yoogane has also sent four of their very experienced staff from South Korea to help out during the initial period. He assured me that the quality of their Chicken Galbi is comparable with South Korea’s.

It takes a little while for the meat to be cooked and for the vegetable to soften

I think i agree with him. The meat is as tender and as well-marinated. The level of spiciness is less than moderate, and it is more sweet than spicy actually. Such taste should be readily accepted by Singaporeans.

The chicken may be the main dish, i actually thought that the more exciting dishes are the fried noodle and rice.

Front: Jjol-myeon (Korean Sticky Noodle) Back: Ra-myeon (Instant Noodle)

Fried Ra-myeon and Rice in Mozzarella Cheese

The two types of noodles are already included in my Combination Plate which are the Ra-myeon (Instant Noodle) and the Jjol-myeon (Korean Sticky Noodle). I remembered back in Seoul, i don’t really like their noodle as it’s a little dry. However, i really love the noodle in Singapore. They added water into the noodle to ensure the noodle remains moist while it absorbs the sauce from the pan. I very much prefer the Ra-myeon than the Sticky Noodle. It absorbs the sauce more easily, much softer and has a better texture.

As for the fried rice, it cost S$3.90 for quite a big portion that goes very well with Mozzarella Cheese (S$3.90++). I had been a fan of Yoogane’s fried rice since i had it in Seoul.

Their staff firstly pan-fry the rice (with seaweed and sauce) till the desired color, ensuring that the rice has been well coated by their sauce.  Then they spread out the rice evenly and scatter the shredded mozzarella cheese on the rice and cover the cheese with another layer of  rice to simmer the cheese.

The fried rice is left on the pan for a while and when you noticed that the cheese has melted, it’s time to FEAST! The portion is rather big and two of us sharing one portion of fried rice.

I didn’t have the cheese version of fried rice in Yoogane Seoul so i consider this as a craving well-satisfied!

Did i mention about their free-flow Kimchi at the salad bar? Their Kimchi is actually quite good. In fact better than most of the Kimchi i’d eaten in Singapore.

Conclusion

I originally like Yoogane for it’s dining experience, food, and their reasonable price. It’s a pity that the Singpaore price is slightly higher than what i’d expected and the price is like 1.5 times of what it costs in Seoul.  However, I’m still very glad that Yoogane had been brought in to Singapore and the standard is no less than Seoul, and in fact slightly better than the one i had in Seoul Myeongdong.

If you are considering making your way down to Yoogane, do consider that I took about an hour to complete my meal which means the turnover is rather slow. I am someone who love good food, but i hate long queuing time. For me, if the queue is so long as the photo below, i will head off to somewhere else for dinner and probably come back another day.

7.00pm – The queue curves to the right at the end, and extends forward for a short distance, then you will reach the reception table of Yoogane.