Tim Yamat has tried a lot of fried chicken. In fact he’s grown an Instagram following of almost ten thousand for food reviews on Instagram. His Burger Wellington reviews are our faves, check them out at @titty.eats.
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Fried chicken is hot right now – sometimes really hot, with both Nashville and Korean fried chicken joints becoming increasingly popular.
We asked professional taster Titty Eats to help us in a blind taste test and find out who really rules the roost.
Order: Proper Hot Fried Chicken Boneless bites
Crunch: There was a nice, consistent crunch to the bites. There were no soggy bits and it was dressed well.
Tenderness: The chicken was succulent. It delivered a clean, firm bite, and wasn’t too crispy. Al dente batter is the way to go.
Spice: It had a bit of a kick to it. I could spot the chilli flakes on the coating and the spice lingered on after I’d finished.
Extra comments: It had a nice colour – the perfect golden brown that makes your heart skip a beat. The coating stuck well to the chicken.
Fun fact: Save room for dessert, as they have a cabinet of sweet treats. What is pinky pie? We don’t know, but it sounds good.
Order: Whole buttermilk fried wings, level three spice
Crunch: The first bite had a weak crunch, and after that it fell apart while being eaten. Tenderness: The chicken was cooked well, but was lacking succulence. It was a bit boring to eat.
Spice: The spice level on this one was insane. It dominated each bite and lingered long after; however it lacked seasoning.
Extra comments: The dredging was overpowered by chili powder. It didn’t coat well, and most of the dredge fell onto the plate.
Fun fact: Habanero, ghost pepper and Carolina Reaper are among the chillies used in their recipes. We dare you to try spice level five.
Order: Yummy spicy chicken
Crunch: Excellent crunch – really crispy. The coating lasted until the last bite. The dredging was magnificent, and it was perfectly fried.
Tenderness: The chicken was really juicy. The juices ran down my fingers as I ate it. Every bite was clean and it was easy to pull the meat from the bone.
Spice: The spice was almost non-existent, but the sauce was sweet and sticky, and worked as a good glazing.
Extra comments: If I had to guess, this chook had been double fried, which helped it to stay crispy. It had a familiar sticky glaze, like Korean fried chicken (the best kind in my opinion).
Fun fact: Owner Peter Lee was a metallurgical engineer in South Korea before coming to NZ.
Order: Spicy wicked wings
Crunch: This had a familiar crunch to it. It was evenly coated, and the “crisp factor” reached another level beyond others in the taste test. The dredge remained intact, with a couple of pieces crumbling off of the chicken.
Tenderness: The meat was very tender and juicy. Each bite was easy and clean and there was no resistance.
Spice: This had no heat whatsoever, but it was seasoned well. Various “herbs and spices” were definitely used.
Extra comments: If I had to guess where this was from I’d say, “I can eat a whole bucket of these.”
Fun fact: Kentucky Fried Chicken flew across to New Zealand in 1971. Now 50 years on, there are over 100 in around country.
Order: Little devil: glazed in spicy sauce and sesame seeds
Crunch: There was a good, crisp crunch to the batter, but after sauce was added it became soggy. After that there was no crunch to it and the “oomph” was gone.
Tenderness: The chicken was nice and tender, and had been cooked well. The meat was easy to pick off the bone, and came off clean. It wasn’t too greasy either.
Spice: This had a mild kick. The sauce used was similar to an Asian yumyum sauce. There were strong flavours of garlic with some sweetener, and a small amount of chili flakes providing a small spice hit.
Extra comments: Chicken that’s been battered like this tastes great. As long as it’s golden it’s good.
Fun fact: Newkor have private karaoke rooms so you can sing to your heart’s content without spoiling other diners evenings.