Do you like chicken? Are you a foodie? Do you believe in everything that is fried? Are you addicted to foodporn on Instagram?
If you answered yes to all of the above, then SURELY you would know about Hot Star already. Touted as the new hot kid in town (literally), Hot Star Large Fried Chicken is making waves amongst food bloggers and fellow fried chicken lovers. Not sure what all the hype is about? Read on!
To give you some background, Hot Star Large Fried Chicken is a famous snack that originated from Shih Lin Night Market in Taipei - since then it has opened so many franchises in various countries.
In fact the first time I tried it was during my trip to Shanghai last year - M had loved the experience so much! Hence both of us were quite excited when I got invited to try out Hot Star at the Sydney store, which opened up one month ago near World Square (across from Hype).
Turns out Sydney has embraced the hype wholeheartedly as well! I've been here a few times already and on each occasion, I've had to line up for at least 10-15 minutes.
So what's so unique about Hot Star? They rose to fame with their larger-than-palm-sized crispy chicken and till this day it is still their best seller. As you can see from the menu board, the chicken is the hero star in addition to some side dishes that are also on offer.
The Curly Fries with Spicy Mayo ($3.90) was quite interesting - I thought it was calamari at first but then I soon realised it didn't quite taste like it. The sauce was very creamy and added a lot of flavour, which M loved but for me, it was just so so. I think because each ring was relatively thin, I felt like I was just eating fried batter?
The Sweet Potato ($3.90) was my favourite as they were deep-fried to be searing hot - you could literally see tiny steams that evaporated from each chip as you broke them into half. The sour plum powder coating added a sugary taste to it which made it all the more enjoyable for me to devour. The exterior was crazy crispy whilst the lovely innards were soft and sweet - loved it!
The Mushrooms ($4.90) was another interesting option from the menu - it was very juicy and tender to bite into. The thin batter surrounding the mushroom was ultra crispy and because I am a big fan of the shroom, this option could not do any wrong.
The Chicken Bites ($5.90) proved to also be a hit! First of all, rest assured - it tastes different to the hero Fried Chicken. Tossed with Thai basil leaves, the seasoning for the chicken bites is very tasty and the meat is also super tender. These reminded me of popcorn chicken - Asian style. Very fun to eat!
Finally we get to the hero - The Fried Chicken ($7.90). You can get Original or Spicy - if you choose the latter, you can opt between four variants of spicy - personally I would go with medium. What's unique about Hot Star's Fried Chicken is that whilst it is 100% chicken breast, it is not dry or bland at all. Deep-fried to perfection and insanely crunchy on the outside with a tasty batter to boot, the chicken is amazingly succulent and oh so addictive! Each bite was as flavoursome as the last, especially if you opt for the chilli version.
So what's the secret to this chicken's success? Hot Star's Chicken is sourced from fresh local produce, marinated for 12 hours and goes through a "special massage" in a secret flour coating before frying. There are also no preservatives, no additives and the chicken is not frozen - always fried to order and cooked fresh.
The chicken is served super hot and seriously, do share it with at least one other person because I kid you not, the serving size is ridiculously massive! Definitely worth the price you pay. Just one thing to note: there are no seating areas nearby so be prepared to walk and eat (as you wouldn't be able to resist waiting), and perhaps bring some wet wipes!
Hot Star is open till midnight on most days and till 2am on Fridays and Saturdays which means it will be the ultimate hotspot for after-drinks/post-hangover :P If you haven't tried it already (gasp!), I would highly recommend you check out Hot Star - it is truly worth the hype!
Hot Star Large Fried Chicken
96 Liverpool Street
Sydney NSW 2000
Labels: Chicken, Chinese, Taiwanese