I walk around Adelaide with a camera and a tripod.
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Published October 19th 2015
Part schnitzel, part nugget, all delicious
Somewhere, some night, at a market on the banks of the Keelung River, in the Shilin District of Taipei, Taiwan, an oddity was created.
A partially deboned half chicken was brined and tenderised into a sheet like moiety resembling a schnitzel. It was seasoned and dredged with a batter comprising, among other mystery ingredients, five spice and sweet potato flour before being lowered, sizzling, into hot oil.
The process yielded a symphony of crispy crunchiness; a savoury umami crust yielding to a scalding, steaming rocket propelled delivery system for fragrant chicken deliciousness.
The popular Taipei Hot Star Large Fried Chicken chain opened in Sydney and Melbourne a few years ago, and last year an outlet opened in Chinatown on 75-79 Grote Street, Adelaide. Although other Taiwanese Fried Chicken outlets exist scattered around the city, I've found Hot Star Large Fried Chicken to the most consistent in regard to flavour and waiting time. One of the positive aspects of the chicken is that it is exactly that - a pulverised out sheet of chicken rather than the mystery meat filler that chicken nuggets occasionally appear to be made of.
A bright blue sign marks the entry to the shop. Opening times are 11 am to 11 pm every day, later on Fridays and Saturdays. Limited seating is available within, with 4 stools facing the street. On entering, the usual glowing displays present a menu consisting of the classic "large fried chicken" - a schnitzel-like beaten out, partially deboned (the ribcage is present at one side) half chicken, chicken bites, chicken wings and crispy chicken bites (think chicken nuggets with a particularly crunchy glass-like exterior). The choice of seasoning extends from original to "spicy", "curry" and "seaweed" flavours. Available sides are sweet potato fries, curly fries and battered & fried mushrooms. A selection of the usual soft drinks are present.