Sunday, 5 June 2016

Nene Chicken - Brisbane CBD

Having gone to Sydney and Melbourne not too long ago, one thing that I did notice almost on every corner was a Korean Fried Chicken joint. Unfortunately both of my trips were too short for me to have tried any before I came back. Thankfully, Nene Chicken, a very popular Korean Chain with over 1100 stores in Korea finally decided to open their first Brisbane store in the Myer Centre. Being the fried chicken lover that I am, we went on the grand opening day, despite the torrential rain.

Being Free Chicken Day, we expected quite a long queue, but thankfully I think a lot of people were put off by the rain. We managed to get served within 15 minutes of lining up.

On the topic of free chicken day, we were surprised to be handed boxes of single serve chicken pieces whilst lining up (having initially thought that it you might a free portion upon ordering), which actually turns out to be a very smart move because people who weren't previously interested could get a sample. 

The menu consisted of chicken pieces in a large variety of flavours, burgers, wraps, sides and desserts. As expected, it was counter service, with numbers being given to us to hold at the table. Tables were quite limited, and we were very lucky to get the last one there.

Having ordered a large combo, we were expecting a 600mL drink. We were both surprised and impressed by actually getting a 1.25L drink instead. I was also particularly pleased with the availability of metal chopsticks, forks and spoons along with plastic gloves to eat the chicken with.

Bowls on the table also allowed us to cleanly dispose of chicken bones, and we munched away on the complimentary chicken pieces before our order arrived.

Our combo arrived relatively quickly, having ordered 8 pieces half and half with four pieces original and four pieces garlic, and a very large portion of chips.

As you can probably see, it was a far cry from the usual KFC sizes that we are used to. However it did have a similar coating, but with a far less greasy oily texture, but a whole lot more juicier. My companion mentioned how impressed he was at how fresh the chicken pieces were, but also expressed his displeasure in his original chicken being also drenched with quite a bit of the Garlic Sauce. It would probably be a good idea to have them served in separate plates. The chicken came with one tangy mustard sauce, coleslaw and fresh radish. I enjoyed the light palate cleansing sides, which really balanced out the heaviness of fried chicken. The garlic sauce was quite generous in portion, containing quite a bit of sweetened large garlic chunks.

The chips were also quite a large portion. At this point, I was pretty sure that the large combo would be more suited to be named family size instead. The chips were freshly fried, hot and very crispy, which we really enjoyed. What I found lacking though was the option of condiments, which would have added some moisture to the dish. To remedy that, I had to take some of the extra garlic sauces from the chicken to put on top of the chips, which turned out to be very delectable. 

After quite a bit of confusing, and asking three separate waiters, our extra snack, the Tornado Potato came out. Having tried some in my treks across Asia before, I can say that the authentic ones have a dryness and texture more akin to pringles on a stick than this one which was still quite wet and a bit soggy. Whilst it was very nicely seasoned, I couldn't help but notice that the potato still retained almost all of its water, rendering the potato too heavy to actually be held up vertically on the stick without falling over in five minutes. Nevertheless, it was still a good try, and maybe they will be able to fine tune it and we will definitely say NeNe to coming back again.

Price Range: $10 - $20pp

Taste: 8/10
Value: 6/10
Service: 8/10
Environment: 8/10

NeNe Chicken Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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