Have you ever been to Newington? The development that was once the Sydney Olympic Village is now a quaint suburban neighbourhood that seems to suddenly appear out of nowhere. There's a Korean grocery store, a Woolworths supermarket and a whole row of restaurants and cafes catering for locals. It feels like we're in a university town with its quiet cosiness. What brings us here? Korean fried chicken. Of course. But with a name like Crispy Cluckers, how could we resist?
Young crowd at Crispy Cluckers
Newington is the second branch opening for Crispy Cluckers, expanding on its Lidcombe original. There's a small range of chicken burgers and salads (the deep fried prawns with garden salad sounds like my kinda health kick) but really, everyone is here for the fried chicken.
There's a huge group of uni students booked in when we arrive, decimating endless platters of fried chicken. Unfortunately they were yet to receive their liquor licence but are allowing BYO beers and ciders for the thirsty.
Deep fried chicken with soy Selection one on our half n half chicken for $30
There are only three of us tonight so we go for tactics, opting for the half n half chicken to maximise our research options. The chicken doesn't take long to arrive, served on rectangular platters that soon jostle for space on our table. The batter has a deep golden colour, with promising curls of crispy bits at the edges.
Our first half order is the soy fried chicken coated in a sweet soy marinade. It's a touch too sweet for me but the sauce does add extra juiciness to the flesh.
Deep fried chicken with shredded spring onion Selection two on our half n half chicken for $30
($5 surcharge for the spring onion)
The other half options are hot n spicy or sweet chilli but the kitchen is happy to provide our requested spring onion for a surcharge of $5. We're happy to pay it, and our fried chicken is draped in a mountain of finely shredded spring onion, soy and garlic. There's as not much of a wasabi kick as you find in similar dishes at Naruone or Sparrow's Mill.
Complimentary pickled daikon (white radish)
We don't have beers to wash down our fried chicken but we do pounce on the refreshing cubes of pickled daikon. They're an essential palate cleanser and oil-overload reset. Staff will also provide you with free replenishments if you ask nicely.
Kkan Pung boneless chicken $27
We commit to a complete blowout with the the kkan pung boneless chicken too, a Beijing-style sauce that reminds me of sweet and sour. It's spicy, sweet and tangy with a medley of finely chopped shallots, carrots and red chillies thrown into the mix.
Deep fried chicken with soy
We'd heard people wax lyrical about the chicken here, but it must be an off night. The chicken is reasonably good but not, shall we say, groan-worthy. Yet between three females we still manage to finish almost everything. Only three lonely pieces defeat us. Staff cheerfully pack this in a takeaway box and insist on giving us some free pickled radish with it too. We'll strike that up as a win.
Shop C03/3 Avenue of Europe, Newington, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9648 8282
Monday to Saturday 11.30am-10pm
20 Joseph Street, Lidcombe, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9649 8282
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5/10/2015 12:00:00 am