It was a cold and rainy night, and I wanted something more indulgent in the New Westminster area. My partner had driven past this new chicken joint on occasion, and suggested we get some tonight. I am not one to turn down crispy breading and juicy meat, so here we were.

A well lit, all glass front catches your attention as you drive by at night. And although the empty tables and ample space might turn you away, they actually do more take out and delivery business than dine in. And tonight, the revolving door of Korean speaking locals, indirectly spoke to their authenticity.

With such a well kept and clean dining area furnished with white ikea tables and chairs, I can see them at capacity during warmer months. Although they don’t have any washrooms and the food is packed to go regardless of take out or dine in. The packaging was nice from the cardboard box my chicken came in, the little plastic dish with attached lid that housed the pickles, and the matte finish plastic bag that held everything secure. For our dine in service we got styrofoam side plates, plastic forks, and individually wrapped wet wipes to eat with. Ketchup for the fries is not a given, so you’ll have to ask to receive a few packets.

Today it was incredibly cold indoors. And having to wait for our chicken in the chill was uncomfortable. The sign at the counter does warn that they start cooking the chicken after you order it, so there will be at least a 20 minute wait. Therefore knowing that now, you might want to call in ahead of time.

You order at the counter and pay, then grab a seat anywhere you like. The menu is televised across three screens with photos to point to. It starts with you choosing your cut of chicken. Boneless, bone-in, or wings. But today they only had boneless, my least favourite considering I like dark meat. However, it came out surprisingly tender and juicy.

At the large counter you get a clear view into their kitchen operation. It is as well kept and as clean as everything else. Here, you can visibly see your chicken being fried to order, and you can actually hear the crackle of its bath in oil, from the dining area.

They offer six different flavours of chicken, and the option to split an order and get two flavours for one. For majority of them you can get a half order at $12, or the full at $22. This was the case for all their chicken flavours, except for the original recipe at $1 less for the half order, and $2 less for the full; the cheese snow that cost $1-2 more; and their sweet and tangy soy-mustard wings with green onion that was only available as a full order. At $25 this was also the priciest thing on their menu. With it there are also a limited number of sides to choose from.

We tried their regular fried chicken as part of a combo. The “Chicko special” is 6 pieces of chicken (only available in boneless), fries, and a drink for $7. All packed up in one easy to-go travel bowl with lid. You can taste the quality of the chicken used, making the wait worth it. However, it got bland quick, and you wanted something to dip it in to, for interest and moisture. But ironically, I found the one below actually served dressed in sauce, too much. The solution, you can easily order the original chicken, and inject more flavour mid way, by adding on an order of any of their sauces to dip into. Of note, the price for the $1 sauce pretty much adds up to the same cost as getting them coated in it for you. But this way you get to choose how little or a lot you use.

I also wanted to try something distinctively more Korean, so ordered the “Yangyeom”: their deep fried chicken with a sweet and spicy coating. What I got was a lot for the half order. It had plenty of flavour, but a little too much breading and thick glopping sauce for my tastes. It overpowered and was spicer than I expected, for something with only one chilli pepper symbol (beside its name on the menu). But I was easily able to separate meat from breading and enjoy it much more like that.

Their chicken would be best with a beer to help cool and cleanse in-between bites. But without a liquor licence, I had to settle for a small side of their pickled radish, that helped in a similar fashion. For every half order of chicken you get a small dish of them, and a full serving earns you more pickles and a drink.

I added on the “shake shake fries”, which was a small order of fries like above, but with a self-dusting of cheese seasoning they call, “cheese snow”. You customize the serving with as much or as little, then shake. The result: evenly coating each fry with film of sticky cheese flavour. It had an enjoyable chalky to starchy texture to gnaw on, providing a nice contrast to the jagged crunch of the chicken above. It is a taste that grows on you, as the first bite caught me off guard, and is a little on the sweeter side.

Would I come back? – Yes.
Would I line up for it? – No.
Would I recommend it? – Yes.
Would I suggest this to someone visiting from out of town? – No.
A tasty chicken, when craving something salty. I suggest calling ahead and taking it out to be able to enjoy it best with some cold beers. Bar food and drunk food in a pinch. Don’t deny your cravings.

CHICKO CHICKEN
1194 Lansdowne Dr #303, Coquitlam, BC V3E 1J7
(778) 730-0274