Fried chicken is taken to new heights at this Epping eatery
So you think you know fried chicken? Stop. You don’t know diddly squat until you’ve eaten fried chicken, Korean-style. It’s a revelatory moment when you first sink your teeth into this stuff: fried chicken that makes an ear-splintering shatter with every bite and stays crunchy until you reach the last lonely piece on the platter. The secret? Korean fried chicken uses double frying, a process that renders the fat out of the skin until it’s a brittle parchment, while keeping the flesh moist and juicy. Forget the cutlery. This is food for fingers only.
Get your deep-fried fix at Beschico in Epping, the sole Australian outpost of this popular Korean restaurant chain. It sits opposite the train station, the large dining room split up into an odd combination of hidden booths, wooden dining chairs and formal sitting chairs. Customers are mostly families with kids or small groups of young men nursing beers, and there’s a steady stream of takeaway customers picking up telephoned orders of fried chicken.
The fried chicken can be ordered as a whole bird ($30) chopped into pieces, but we prefer the ease of drumettes, the mini drumstick part of the chicken wing. Original flavour is the crispiest but you can also get them smothered in garlic soy sauce or a hot sauce that is more sweet than spicy. Nine pieces costs $16-$18; 18 pieces will set you back $29-$32. Dipping sauces of sweet mustard and sweet chilli provide extra punch, and a bowl of pickled daikon white radish cubes helps cut through the grease.
There’s only one thing that makes fried chicken taste even better, and that’s beer. There are two beers on tap – Orion and Max – served in varying pours from 300ml up to a 1.8L jug.
The fried chicken is the main highlight here, but if you need some palate relief, dive into the bossam kimchi ($35), a DIY affair. Use the cooked Chinese cabbage leaves to wrap up bundles of cold pork belly slices with spicy kimchi – it’s messy but delicious. Add extra raw garlic and green chilli if you dare. And if your date promises to let you into the car back home.
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