When I was living in Beijing ealier this year, a Korean friend introduced me to the wonderful world of “Chi-Mc”, the fateful pairing of Chicken and Maekju (meaning beer in Korean). We ordered Korean Fried Chicken and a 3 litre beer tower so many times I lost count.
Fast forward to the present day. One late night in Sydney, after a beer or four, a friend suggested we go to Arisun. I’d never heard of them but apparently they’re known for their Korean Fried Chicken. Turns out, Arisun has been featured on various “Best Fried Chicken in Sydney” lists and seem to be a fan favourite among my foodie friends. To raise the bar even higher, Matt Moran (of Aria) named Arisun as Sydney’s best food bargain, adding “They have amazing fried chicken.” Not a bad gig getting endorsement from a reputable Celebrity Chef. My expectations were high.
Arisun have 3 outfits – 1 in Strathfield, 1 in the CBD and as of this year, an Express store in the CBD as well. We stumble to the CBD restaurant, where there is a large outdoor area. It’s a nice night so we go for the al fresco option and all the great memories of “Chi-Mc”ing in Beijing come flooding back. We don’t make it very far into the menu before impulsively ordering it. There are 3 flavours – Original, Sweet & Spicy or Soy, with Soy being the most raved about. Soy it is.
Shortly after, a very large serving comes out and fills the air with a mouth watering aroma. My hungry stomach’s dream. A heaped mountain of crispy chicken.
Korean Fried Chicken typically has a particularly crunchy skin as a result of double frying in the cooking process. So apart from flavour, that was exactly what I was looking for. After the first bite, it was like the famous scene from “When Harry Met Sally”, moans and all. This was a textbook model of what Fried Chicken should be. The chicken was incredibly flavorful, surrounded in a crispy batter that encased a tender, juicy piece of chicken. The mountain quickly grew smaller. We ambitiously had one serving between two people and although we conquered the mountain, it left us absolutely full to the brim.
Usually, I’m the type of guy that likes to try most things on the menu but at this place, I’m not sure I want to. The chicken is seriously good. I’ve had a lot of Fried Chicken in my life and if these guys aren’t the Best Chicken in Sydney, I’d love to hear what is.
My next stop will have to be Arisun Express, where I hear they serve frozen beer and takeaway boneless popcorn chicken. To be continued…
35/1 Dixon St, Haymarket, Sydney
Written by Brian (@brhinos)