I like fried chicken. Nah scratch that. I LOOOOOVE fried chickkkeeeennnnnn! If you had been dining with me at places like Hartsyard, Mary's or NaruOne, you would see me slowly eating that damn crunchy skin just to savour the moment. So it's no surprise that I jumped at the opportunity to try out Hot Star Fried Chicken and get a look at how it was made behind the scenes. Should be fascinating since there are already queues of customers lining up outside their small shop even though it has only opened around early March this year.
Got the chance to meet Hot Star Sydney's store manager, Cassey, who showed what happens in the kitchen. Each serving size is about 250 grams and around 30 centimetres of breast fillet chicken goodness. It is also freshly prepared on site and only coated with batter, deep fried and seasoned when ordered by the customer. While most of the ingredients were delivered from Taiwan including the secret seasoning and flour, the chicken breast is sourced locally in Australia.
The chicken breast is cut and marinated for at least 12 hours
Coating the chicken using tapioca flour powder
Prepping the chicken before the deep fry
Deep-frying the freaking large chicken in Canola oil
Seasoning the chicken with salt, pepper and various spices (ranging from Little Spicy to Extra Spicy)
We also got to see the sides getting prepared including the sweet potato fries, curly fries and the chicken bites. Like the large fried chicken, all sides are also cooked to order.
Dipping the sweet potato fries in batter
Preparing the fresh basil to accompany the chicken bites
And now the finished product!!! Now I was prepared to expect some really large fried chicken from what I've heard from fellow bloggers but I was still stunned about the size especially when I got to hold it for the first time. You get a choice of how spicy you want your chicken: little spicy, medium spicy, spicy or extra spicy. If you cannot handle chilli at all then you should know that even medium spicy was getting to my taste buds while the spicy chicken was so hot that I needed a bottle of water to cool myself down.
Spicy Large Fried Chicken ($7.90)
Original Large Fried Chicken - Little Spicy ($7.90)
While it may not be NaruOne or Hartsyard's fried chicken, it has that delicious crispy coating that you will definitely need especially after a crazy night out drinking. The chicken was very juicy and full of flavour and spices especially with the first bundle of bites. There were some bones and cartilage remaining in the chicken once you reach half-way but that didn't bother me too much. By the end it was too much for me to attempt to eat the whole thing especially since once it got very greasy. It was insanely large so I reckon it would be ideal to share with a friend or two. Also, it's very hot to handle even after we didn't touch the chicken for about 10 minutes.
If you still want to try the chicken but cannot handle the largeness, then you can get a bag of chicken bites for your fill. These morsels are made using the same batter, coating and seasoning as the large fried chicken. For me, the chicken bites were so yummy, addictive and flavoursome thanks to the basil that was deep fried with the bites when it was cooking. Will definitely be ordering these again.
Chicken Bites ($5.90)
Absolutely loved the mushrooms too! So juicy to eat especially with the crisp batter. Watch out for the incredibly hot juices flowing out when you bite into them so be patient.
Hot Star's sweet potato fries were one of the better versions that I've tasted. It's not too thick and well-seasoned. Very delicious and addictive to eat with the crunchy batter matched with the soft, sweet and very hot potato as you bite into each chip.
Sweet Potato Fries ($3.90)
I do have a soft spot for curly fries though these ones are gob-smacking crunchy. They were also easy to stick together the point where I was grabbing a bundle of these fries out of the bag.
Curly Fries ($3.90)
Hot Star Large Fried Chicken
96 Liverpool Street Sydney NSW 2000
Sun-Thurs: 11:00am - midnight
Fri-Sat: 11:00am - 2:00am