I have a confession to make. I am obsessed with fried chicken. So, when I heard of ‘Hot Star’ a Taiwanese-style fried chicken store taking Melbourne and Sydney by storm, I just had to give it a go. I didn’t want to pig out all on my own so luckily for me, I was accompanied by another self-confessed fried chicken lover, my friend, Tree!
Where: 96 Liverpool St, Sydney, NSW 2000 Website: http://hotstarchicken.com.au/
We both stood there in front of the ‘Hot Star’ shop pondering over what we would order. Our stomachs were grumbling, the cashier guy was waiting slightly awkwardly for us to make a move and other customers were fluttering by. In the end we decided on the ‘Original’ large fried chicken, a ‘Spicy’ large fried chicken and ‘curly fries with spicy mayonnaise sauce’.
When they said large, I thought they were exaggerating. Turns out those fried chicken pieces were big. Tree and I gave each other a ‘oh crap, it’s huge’ look and chuckled over the fact we may have over ordered. That aside, the chicken was placed in a paper bag that was about half its size and popped into the ‘Hot Star’ plastic bag we were given after ordering. The chicken pieces were relatively reasonable in price at $7.90 AUD each considering its size. They do also offer meal deals that come with a drink and a choice of one of their sides. One small problem I found with the packaging is that it’s not very public transport friendly. The smell was pungent and the heat that came off the bag was pretty intense. We couldn’t wait to tuck in though. But before we could, we had to make a short trek to Hyde Park as there are no seating facilities. Those silly Ibises were circulating us but we made it the best makeshift picnic we could.
|From left to right: ‘Original,’ ($7.90 AUD) ‘Spicy’ ($7.90 AUD) & ‘Curly Fries with Spicy Mayo sauce’ ($3.90 AUD)|
First up, the ‘Original’ piece. Evenly coated with their special Chinese five spice-like, tangy seasoning, first bite was pretty amazing. I loved how the chicken was moist, boneless and the crunchy texture was on point. It was a very unique taste and the eating experience was enhanced due to it being freshly fried.
|Open kitchen view at Hot Star|
However, the ‘Spicy’ piece was a different story. It had the same seasoning as the original with a generous amount of a sweet paprika like seasoning. Tree and I have pretty good spice tolerance but, as soon as we bit into this one, I had to reach for my water. The spicy flavour was intense and overshadowed the sweet, tangy taste of the original. While it was still a moist and had a great crunchy texture, it was not a very enjoyable piece of chicken. It left me sweaty and the oil began to build at my throat.
I’ve had a few curly fries in my time and Hot Star’s didn’t cut it for me. Crunchy in texture but was soaked in an oily flavour. The fries didn’t taste like they had soft potato insides and lacked their special seasoning. It’s only saviour was the spicy mayonnaise that accompanied it.
As much as I want to rave on about how amazing my first ‘Hot Star’ experience was, I have to say I’m quite disappointed by the whole experience. Tree and I both tried our hardest to finish our chicken pieces but while the first bites were amazing, the lust soon ended. Unfortunately, we also suffered several hours later with food poisoning. We have since recovered. However, the smell of Hot Star’s fried chicken that waffles whenever we walk past no longer leaves tongues wagging.
Have you tried ‘Hot Star’ and loved your experience? Leave a comment below, I would love to hear what you think.
Hope you’re all having an amazing week,
P.S. I would love to thank my friend Tree for going on food safaris with me and being such a trooper after this ‘Hot Star’ experience. If you would like to see more of her adventures, she makes great easy-to-follow recipes on her blog ‘The Quiet Kitchen.’ Go check it out!