Chi-ruh Chi-ruh ... the sound of boiling oil when chicken goes into a deep-fryer is music to the ears of every fried chicken fans. That’s also how you pronounced Chir Chir — the name of Korea’s largest casual restaurant chain specialising in freshly-cooked chicken dishes.
Amidst the recent CNY hustle-bustle, we managed to snuck in an afternoon of good lunch, trying out some of the resto’s signature chicken dishes. Todate, Chir Chir has over 100 outlets and more opening across South Korea, China and Taiwan, making it one of the largest chimaek franchises. In Korean foodspeak, chimaek is a contraction of two words: chi = chicken and maek = beer.
Most of the offerings comprising newer and existing specialities were on-point and as authentic as those we had eaten in Seoul. We predict the scrumptious Curry Fried Chicken (RM30.90/RM56.90 double portion), Chir Chir’s signature crispy battered chicken sprinkled with curry seasoning should hit the spot for locals.
I was pleasantly surprised by the distinct burst of zingy heat when I bit into the deliciously crisp chicken. Nifty small tongs were provided for us to pick up the chicken pieces, ensuring we didn’t need to get our hands dirty. For such delectable fried chicken, I daresay most people won't mind getting to grips with it.
At this point, the latest beverage of Grapefruit Yoghurt (RM14.90 glass/RM30.90 jug) proved a godsend, to douse our fired-up tastebuds. A cool ice blended drink of grapefruit juice and yoghurt, we were tickled to see the concoction came topped with half a fresh grapefruit and mint leaves.
Cheese lovers would go ga-ga over the indulgent offering of Rose Cheese Chiqueen (RM33.90/RM60.90 double). Conceived to appeal to the young (and the young-at-heart), the crispy albeit juicy fried chicken tenders heaped atop a creamy pool of rosy tinged melted mozzarella and fondue cheese is served with thick, burbling cheese sauce in a cast iron skillet. Some chunky-cut potatoes and cherry tomatoes lent textural contrast to the dish.
An avalanche of whipped cream and grated cheese crowned the wickedly decadent Nest Chicken (RM34.90/RM62.90 double). Guarantee to send young dairy-loving queens and kings into spasms of joy, the strips of tasty Cajun chicken tenders came swimming in rich cream sauce and sweet potato mash. Bits of capsicum, black olives and broccoli studded the unctuous mixture but we bet nobody is likely to complain about the cloying richness.
Personally, I’d return for the house speciality of Spicy Chi-Bap (RM33.90/RM60.90 double). Served with fragrant seaweed-flavoured rice, the juicy fried chicken tenders in sticky spicy marinade of onion salsa, BBQ sauce and sweet potatoes topped with rice and grated cheese proved incredibly addictive. The strong, punchy sweet-savoury-spicy accents are as typically Korean as it gets.
Washing that down was another newish drink, Pineapple Smoothie (RM14.90 glass/RM30.90 jug). Sips of the ice blended concoction of pineapple puree, coconut, strawberry, banana and mint leaves conjured up visions of blissful, balmy summery days.
Todate, the staple crowd-pleaser of Honey Butter Chicken (RM24.90/RM52.90 double) still rules. Dried cranberries, almond flakes and honey-mayo dip ramped up the appeal of lightly battered boneless chicken chunks coated in honey butter sauce. Textural contrasts came from thick-cut fries and chewy topokki (rice cake pieces).
For more info, call Chir Chir Fusion Chicken Factory, tel: 03-2110 4867. Address: Lot 1.108.00, Level 1, Pavilion Elite, Pavilion Kuala Lumpur, Jalan Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur. https://www.facebook.com/ChirChirMY