Fried chicken takes me to a happy place — a childhood favourite that I often indulged in at my grandma’s. The aroma of batter as it dips into bubbling hot oil, the juicy texture of the chicken and the seasoning, all coming together as one. I like it so much, friends joke that I “will work for fried chicken”.
I might, if it’s a damn good fried chicken. ;)
Whether it’s southern fried, spice fried or Korean fried chicken, I’m game. When Nene opened in Avenue K Shopping Mall recently, my friends and I couldn’t wait to check them out — this South Korean brand has been dishing out Korean fried chicken for close to two decades.
“Nene” means “Yes Yes” in Korean and the brand is seemingly popular, judging from the queue and ridiculous wait time (45 minutes) we had to endure at the Avenue K outlet. My friends and I shared Combo B (RM108.90 for 4-6 pax).
I was hoping to try “swicy” but only the original and bulgogi flavours were available that night. The combo comes with rice but they ran out and replaced it with sweet potato fries instead. The latter was soggy and hardly appetising. Even the regular fries were abysmal.
Nene’s original fried chicken was a disappointment — especially after such a long wait. Granted we got a batch of fresh-off-the-fryer chicken, the batter was bland with barely any aroma. The more you eat, the more cloying it gets because it tasted so one-note.
The bulgogi flavour took more than 45 minutes to arrive and while it was tastier than the original version, it was hardly anything to shout about. The coating is savoury-sweet, but lacking caramelisation which is important when you’re eating Korean fried chicken.
Overall, we were all very disappointed with Nene Chicken. The food was below average and service, painfully slow. Compared to the other Korean fried chicken places I’ve tried, Nene Chicken is far behind in terms of taste and value (portions are small).
Food: 4/10 (halal)
Verdict: Pricey yet mediocre. Skip the original flavour unless you like things bland.
Avenue K Shopping Mall