Chimaek, a portmanteau from the words chi from chicken, and maek from maekju (beer), is a popular concept in Korea, combining fried chicken and alcohol. Chir Chir (pronounced as chee-real chee-real), one of the largest chimaek franchises in South Korea with more than 100 outlets, is the bubbling sound oil makes when chicken is dunked.
The restaurant uses fresh, not frozen, chicken, and all the sauces and marinades are imported from Seoul. Whipped cream is whipped freshly daily, and tasted ethereal in the chir cream beer ($13.90/$18.90). 5 side orders of the whipped cream, please.
There are three types of chicken dishes to choose from: (1) deep-fried, (2) nest snow, and (3) roasted.
(1) DEEP FRIED CHICKEN
For deep-fried chicken, starting from $26.90 for 7 drumlets and 7 wings, there are three flavors: crispy, garlicky, and spicy. And you can choose whole chicken, or wings only, or boneless tenders. They are marinated for 6 hours, and deep-fried upon ordering, taking 8-12 minutes.
Among the three flavors, our favorite was crispy, without any sauce. The garlicky and spicy sauces made the skin less crispy. The garlic was too mild, and the spicy too hot. The crispy was perfect on its own. As its name suggests, it was crispy outside, juicy and tender inside.
(2) NEST SNOW ($32.90)
My favorite dish that night: the Cajun chicken tenders swam in a hotplate of cream sauce, made creamier by whipped cream, parmesan, mozzarella, and cheddar. Who can resist cheese on fried chicken?
(3) ROASTED CHICKEN
There are three flavors of whole roasted chicken: garlic ($32.90), spicy BBQ ($32.90), and rosemary ($29.90). They are marinated for 12 hours, and roasted a la minute. The spicy BBQ undergoes an additional step of pan-frying to coat it in sauce. The spicy deep-fried chicken was already too spicy for me, and this spicy bbq roasted chicken was an atomic bomb in my mouth.
How does Chir Chir compare to the veteran Korean fried chicken restaurants, such as Chicken Up, Kko Kko Nara, and Mubanna Chondak? I don’t like Mubanna. For Kko Kko Nara, I will return for their army stew, not for their fried chicken. Only Chicken Up and Chir Chir would I return for their fried chicken. But Chir Chir has three advantages over Chicken Up: One, it’s super near the MRT and you can get to Chir Chir dry even if it’s raining and you don’t have umbrella; two, the service is more comfortable, and friendlier; and three, there is no stench of oil in the air. On the other hand, Chicken Up has an advantage over Chir Chir: you don’t have to queue.
Chir Chir Fusion Chicken Factory Singapore
313 Orchard Road, 313@Somerset #B3-04/05/06 Singapore 238895
Sun-Th 10am-10pm, F-Sat 11am-11pm
Rating: 3.375/5 stars
Written by A. Nathanael Ho.
Thanks, Jeanette, and Rachel, for the invite.