We have just finished a 3-hour Karaoke session and perhaps a little tipsy after a few drinks, so it makes perfect sense to go and look for some greasy food to offset the alcohol. I ain’t craving for shish kebab, meat pie, gravy chips or Turkish gozleme; I want to slap my face with one of those humungous piece of golden fried chicken that everyone’s been talking about. Good thing is that the shop is only a stone throw away from George Street, so we follow the smell of deep frying wafting through the air and find ourselves at Hot Star large fried chicken shop on Liverpool Street.
Taiwan is famous for street food and I am just so glad that they finally slowly make their way to our shore here in Sydney. While Sydneysiders are still can’t get enough of Xiao Long Bao, Gua Bao, Bubble Tea and Herbal Dessert; a new kind of street food made famous in Taipei Shi-Lin Night Market is now the new kid on the block – deep fried chicken (steak) that is larger than your face, or a chihuahua.
Hot Star came with few different franchise locations, currently only one in Sydney and two in Melbourne. The Sydney branch tend to get rather busy on a Saturday night, seems like everyone has the same idea as me, to munch on some fried chicken after a big night out.
For $7.90, you get to choose your chicken in “original” or “crispy”, then you also get to choose the seasoning that you want on your chicken – spicy chilli powder, salt and pepper, or plum salt. I like my food spicy so I go for the crispy chicken with hot chilli powder seasoning. But only later I’ve been told that I actually can choose the heat level depending on how hot I want on my chicken. There are also other items on the menu including deep fried mushrooms, deep fried sweet potato fries, deep fried chicken bites and deep fried curly fries. I think I’ll just settle for the chicken for my first visit.
The chicken pieces are deep fried on the spot as the orders keep coming through, it is quite a sight when each piece of chicken comes out of the fryer looks blisteringly crunchy and golden on the outside. They rest the pieces on the rack for a couple minutes before they start sprinkling seasonings all over them and then put inside a paper bag.
The deep fried chicken is scorching hot, they won’t let me grab it using my hand to avoid burning myself but putting inside a plastic bag that was given to us while ordering at the counter. Taking selfie with a large piece of piping hot fried chicken proven to be extremely challenging.
I am a little scared as my piece of chicken looks like it has been through a dust storm of chilli powder; it is in a shade of crimson red. The thick layer of golden batter is crispy yet chewy which I believe the chicken is coated in a flour mixture using glutinous rice flour. The chicken inside was brined in a spiced solution, obviously for a long period of time, as the meat is springy, succulent and juicy; tasted salty with a hint of five spice. Thank god the chilli powder is not as hot but a tolerable mix of paprika and cayenne; just enough to give your lips a tingling sensation.
See, everyone likes Hot Star large fried chicken steak, and a selfie with a large piece of fried chicken outside the shop is mandatory!
If you want to line your belly with some oily deep fried, Hot Star might be just the perfect midnight snack you’ve been looking for. And if you have tried and didn’t like it, obviously you weren’t drunk enough.
96 Liverpool Street, Sydney NSW
Opens: Sun-Thu, 11am-12pm and Fri–Sat, 11am-2am