Wondering where to go this weekend? Or are you a foodie working around the Raffles Place area and getting sick of the food you get around there? You may want to check out the week-old Chick and Ken. Yes, they sell Chicken.
Opened by the Stateland Boys, Chick and Ken is their new KFC (Korean Fried Chicken) concept cafe! Riding on the bingsu and KFC waves, these boys are making a bold but strategic move, moving out of their Bali Lane enclave (where their very successful Stateland and Honeycomb are located at) and cafe culture, to venture out into the chartered waters of the current Korean food that is in Vogue.
Located at Lorong Telok, the road just behind the better known Circular Road, lies Chick and Ken. A little inaccessible for cafe hoppers because some walking is needed from either Clarke Quay or Raffles Place MRT. A 5-7 minute walk away, just enough to burn off the calories of.. A single fry.
Once you enter this dimly lit cafe, its all too familiar vibes would overwhelm you. You can’t seem to put a finger to it exactly, but.. That mental grill.. The rows of wooden seats..
Hmm.. STATELAND. Definitely Stateland, but with non-stop kpop hits. Everything is great about the interior, except maybe the lighting… It’s too dim for photography! And, they’d better leave one of the doors open, because it certainly looked like they aren’t open for business from the outside with the dim interior and tinted glass!
Nett prices on the menu. $16 for for 8 pieces of chicken: I thought it was a tad bit deep for my shallow pockets. Oh the saving grace, the LUNCH MENU! Yes, that’s for all you working people! $8.90 for 4 pieces of chicken of your choice, rice or fries, and a drink. How affordable is that?!
We were in time for the lunch set! We ordered a set of Ganjang Chicken with Seaweed Rice ($8.90) and a set of Salted Egg Chicken with Truffle Fries ($10.90)! The portions were surprisingly quite generous, and it is definitely good for sharing!
First up, the Ganjang chicken with seaweed rice. Each set comes with 2 wings and 2 drumlets. The Ganjang chicken consisted of soy, garlic and mirin glaze.
The wings and drumlets were fried to perfection. Crispy exterior, while the meat beneath the crisp skin remained moist and succulent. I thought that the Ganjang flavored chicken was pretty good and well-balanced. Not too salty or overwhelming, yet enough to make our stomachs churn in hunger with the constant whiffs of aroma coming from the soy glaze. While I enjoyed the taste of the ganjang glaze on the crispy skin of the chicken, I thought it would have been better if the meat caught on some of the amazing flavor as well. A bite into the chicken felt like 2 separate entities. While the skin was flavorful, the chicken was quite the opposite. A good attempt though. The flavors are right, now, they would just have to find a way to infuse these flavors into the entire dish. Just in case you’re wondering about the seaweed rice, it tastes just like the short grained rice we have at the usual Korean eateries! This is the Salted Egg Chicken, and this did not disappoint. The salted egg sauce was fragrant and paired really well with the chicken!
Try to have them with the chili slices for a spicy kick. What a clever twist to the usual KFC dish. I heard this dish was inspired by a meal the Stateland boys had at a Tze Char stall. Clever, very clever.
The truffle fries were surprisingly good too. The taste of truffle was well-infused and hey, you can have salted egg yolk fries with this dish too! Cha Yen Bingsu ($12.90): Did someone say Thai Milk Tea?! This Thai inspired bingsu caught me at RED RUBIES. Thai Tea Glace, home made red rubies, honeyed corn flakes, thai tea gelee and home made rice cakes. Basically everything I love in a bowl. What an ingenious creation!
I did not hear too good of a review about this dish before coming here, however I was unfazed because, WHO CAN RESIST SUCH A WONDERFUL SOUNDING CREATION? One of my friends complained that it was too “condensed milky”. Then again, hey.. The syringes are there for a purpose eh? If you’re not a huge fan of condensed milk, go easy on pumping it into your bingsu! Besides, what’s thai milk tea without CONDENSED MILK, and that exciting sweetness!
The bingsu wasn’t as sweet as we braced ourselves for it to be. Even though I enjoyed this bingsu thoroughly, because I am a sucker for anything red rubies, and thai milk tea, this is definitely not something you would want to order if you are looking for the authentic Korean bingsu experience. The ice in the bingsu is definitely not SNOW. It’s trying hard to be finely shaven, but not quite there yet. However, I heard that the boys are trying to get the authentic bingsu machine in pretty soon! So, let’s give them more time, shall we?
Honestly, I am impressed by the creativity of the boys in coming up with such a fusion menu to suit the Singaporean tastebuds, which are ever changing. By the way, did you know? The sauces for the chicken are all made from scratch by them, and it’s really quite amazing to see how they are able to manage all the different cuisines together, in their different cafes. A real talented bunch of guys.
However, Chick and Ken definitely has lots of room for improvement, with regards to the infusing of the flavors to producing quality ice for the bingsu. I am glad to see them being eager to gather feedback from their diners and that’s the sincerity I think most patrons appreciate.
Chick and Ken is definitely a place for you to go if you’re sick of the usual Korean food, and are adventurous enough to try something new. It’s not your usual Korean fix, but it is probably a Singakorean kinda fix. (I know I need to stop.)
How to get there?
21 Lorong Telok
Monday to Saturday: 12pm to 10pm
Closed on Sundays!