Dedicated fried chicken places are actually hard to find in Vancouver proper. There’s the famous LA Chicken and Red Rooster Broasted Chicken in Richmond, but in Vancouver it’s mostly chains like Church’s and KFC. Korean independents like Lee’s Chicken are long gone. Enter King Chicken located on Broadway and Rupert, next to Sushiholic. Is there anything different that these guys bring to the table?
Note: this place is not affiliated with King’s Chicken (née Lee’s Chicken) in Surrey.
Note #2: I forgot about Zabu Chicken, the Korean place on Robson. I haven’t tried it yet, but might be an interesting comparison since Zabu also does a straight-ahead plain fried chicken in addition to their Korean-style sauced fried chicken.
This place is getting Instagram buzz from their $1 drumstick happy hour, which runs 11am-3pm. Weird-ass hours for a happy hour, but no one seems to mind for $1 drumsticks! It’s been decades since I’ve seen fried chicken for $1 per piece.
Mind-numbing array of combo specials. I never need a can of Coke, so I just focused on the fried chicken-only part of the menu.
I never thought that area was a bad area but I guess it is…
The Happy Hour specials in detail. The drumsticks for a $1 made me think of how some poultry workers in the US have to wear diapers while working on the line. Is this demand for cheap chicken causing this situation?
Side note: Wicca’s parents worked at Canada Packers (Maple Leaf Foods) in their poultry processing plant for decades. I never heard them complain about any of the work they had to do. I’m very proud that they put three kids through university doing that job.
For people who can do math, the 2pc and 4pc prices do not compute.
Fried slabs of coconut milk for $3 (2 pcs). Sounds similar to fried milk that you get in Chinese restaurants.
Menu side one.
Menu side two. Wow, they do everything here. I think I’ll just focus on their strength, which is fried chicken. Their menu is also available online.
Tableside condiments: soy sauce, black pepper, salt, sugar, and ketchup.
This place had the feeling of a small, family operation. There was a little girl sitting at one of the booths diligently working on some craft project.
Surprisingly, this place didn’t reek of fried chicken or old oil.
I love that feeling of wonder and excitement when the staff bring out your order in bags. Fun bags!
Enrique ordered 15 pieces and a fried coconut milk, I got a 10 piece and also a fried coconut milk.
Two fistfulls of Sunspun ketchup. Seems very appropriate that it’s Sunspun brand and not Heinz.
I got a 10 piece mix, half spicy and half original. This is the container of the original flavour pieces. We got three drumsticks, a wing, and a thigh with the back attached.
The spicy half of our 10 piece mix order. Two drumsticks, two wings, and a thigh with back attached. It appears that they simply sprinkle on spicy seasoning. The base batter didn’t seem to be different from the original.
Fried Coconut Milk. Cornstarch-thickened coconut milk that tasted more of cornstarch then coconut milk. Good to try once and we’ll stick with the chicken next time. If you’re a fan of fried milk, you might like this.
Original drumstick. The batter is similar to Church’s in thickness but crunchier — and definitely crunchy rather than simply crispy. However, the original is underseasoned so it comes off a bit bland. But if you eat it with ketchup, that becomes less of an issue. If you have an aversion to salt, you might prefer this one. The meat in all of our pieces were well-cooked but still juicy.
The winner here is the spicy flavour. It adds just the right amount of seasoning to bring it up a bit and makes it my default order next time I come here. Hints of 5-spice, cayenne, garlic powder, etc. If you need a tray of fried chicken for a family gathering, this would be the one to get. Just a touch of spiciness, and way less spicy that Church’s spicy chicken.
Not awesome, but a solid good. Maybe even great.
Read Sherman’s take on this place for another opinion.