Fried chicken is undoubtedly beloved by many in Jakarta, no matter the variation. After the Taiwan-style XXL fried chicken cutlets and Korean fried chicken trends in the capital, Southern-style fried chicken came along in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic in Indonesia and has since turned into a popular variant of the beloved dish.
Southern-style fried chicken is known for its juiciness and crispness, which are retained due to the marination of the meat in buttermilk. Several newer players in the local fried chicken scene have also helped popularize the Nashville hot chicken — prepared using a similar method as buttermilk fried chicken, with an application of spicy paste or oil after frying.
In Jakarta, fried chicken is normally served with hand-cut french fries or rice, though several places have started serving fried chicken waffles or pancakes for diner-style fare. For those of us who are more practical, a fried chicken burger is also a convenient option.
Here are a number of new-ish fried chicken joints of various styles that you can have delivered to your home, for whenever you’re craving salty, spicy, finger-lickin’ juicy goodness.
As the name suggests, Big Poppa is heavily influenced by Black culture as well as hip hop artists for its branding and dishes. If you guessed that its menu items were named after The Notorious B.I.G and Tupac Shakur — central figures of East Coast-West Coast hip hop rivalry during the 90s — you’d be absolutely correct.
There are four levels of spiciness available for Big Poppa’s dishes, namely naked, mild, medium, and hot damn. We tried the Biggie Thighs (IDR73,000) in naked, 2Pac Tenders (IDR65,000) in mild, B.I.G Burger (IDR80,000) in medium, and an additional signature gravy (IDR8,000) to go with our chicken. Our first impression was that everything came supersized, and we were surprised that the chicken stayed crispy even after around one hour of delivery time from West to South Jakarta.
Overall, the chicken thighs and tenders were tasty, though we prefer the mild spiciness level as the naked seasoning could be a little bland for more adventurous tongues. We pretty much fell in love with the B.I.G Burger, which tasted like an elevated version of McDonald’s McSpicy chicken burger. Though the spiciness level may be challenging for those who can’t stand the heat, we think it comes in perfect harmony with the house-made white sauce, month-old pickled onions, lettuce, and the springy buns made by Weirdough Bakehouse, a patisserie in Darmawangsa, South Jakarta.
Chick n’ Check
While we’re talking about fried chicken places here, we just cannot pass up this opportunity without mentioning Chick n’ Check. Its original burger and tenders impressed us upon the first try so much that we have since ordered a couple more times from the joint. You can pick a variety of fried chicken burger and chicken strips with three different sauces: Spicy Cayenne, Honey Mustard, and Black Garlic.
We’ve tried a package of fried chicken burger and potato wedges (or “heels”) named Chick n’ Check’s Full Cripsy and Heels Experience (IDR68,000) in Original Black Garlic and Spicy Cayenne, and the chicken strips, called Strip and Dip (IDR40,000) with all three sauces. In general, Chick n’ Check’s chicken patty and tenders are crispy, and the seasoning appears to be sprinkled after frying, which immediately gives it a spicy kick. The Potato Heels (IDR18,000 a la carte) are well-seasoned too, though we found that there were times when they were pretty tough to chew.
Among the variety of sauces, we got addicted to the Original Black Garlic sauce. Basically a black garlic aioli, its savory-sweet-and tangy flavors blended so well with the chicken thigh patty, red cabbage, and fluffy buns or for when you dip the tenders into the sauce. Spicy Cayenne comes in strong with spicy and tangy flavor, while the sweet Honey Mustard sauce can be for days when you’re craving something light on your taste buds.
Chick n’ Check delivers from Kemang, South Jakarta via Gofood or Grabfood. Instagram
One of the most well-known F&B brands to emerge during the pandemic, Dapur Ruben has grown exponentially since it first started taking orders last year. The husband-and-wife team started from a home business to opening two cloud kitchens in just months, which proves the power of mouth-to-mouth promotion — or in this case, Instagram.
We ordered Dapur Ruben’s ABC Burger (IDR75,000), 6-piece BFC (Buttermilk Fried Chicken) Set with Truffled Potato Gratin (IDR220,000), and Hand-cut Chips with Cajun Seasoning (IDR10,000) via food delivery app — and believe us, the hype surrounding Dapur Ruben is so big we even had to order a day in advance.
First off, the Southern-style buttermilk fried chicken — consisting of two drumsticks, upper thighs, and wings — comes with the brand’s signature golden sauce, which we found too tangy when combined with the chicken. While the seasoning didn’t really seep into the meat, we think that Dapur Ruben got the basics of buttermilk fried chicken just right. However, the Truffled Potato Gratin almost stole the show for us, because all we expected from the name alone just simply delivered.
The ABC Burger (Asian Buttermilk Chicken) consists of soft potato buns, buttermilk fried chicken, buttermilk chili ginger, kimchi coleslaw, and pickled daikon. As much as we wanted to like the dish, the chicken meat tasted bland and the buns were a bit tough, though the sauce and the Kimchi coleslaw nailed the Korean flavor this dish was aiming for. The hand-cut chips would make an enjoyable side to any burger you order, or you can also munch them alone as a snack.
Pre-order from Dapur Ruben’s official website, delivery from East Ciputat, South Tangerang or Gandaria, South Jakarta using instant delivery services or through Grabfood. Instagram
Fried Chicken Master
Though it has been around longer than the other brands in this list, you just cannot leave out Fried Chicken Master when it comes to a list of best newer fried chicken outlets in Jakarta. The Taiwan-style fried chicken is on the more affordable side, perfect for days when you can no longer think of what to buy for lunch or dinner with your family.
Where fried chicken skin is usually thick and crunchy, Fried Chicken Master’s batter is thin with a darker color. But don’t let that fool you as the chicken is juicy and fragrant, which makes for that perfect sinful lunch when eaten with rice and your sambal of choice.
You can choose from the 8-piece Half-Chicken (IDR54,500); 16-piece Whole Chicken (IDR104,500); a big cut of boneless chicken breast and thigh called Dada Lovecut and Paha Juicy, respectively (IDR43,500, a la carte); or the Jimbo (IDR41,500, a la carte) — the latter of which consists of bite-sized chicken thigh pieces that comes in plain and a variety of sauces such as mala, sambal pedas (garlic sambal), and pesto.
Fried Chicken Master has 15 locations in Jakarta and beyond, including: Kemang, Blok M Plaza, and Ashta SCBD in South Jakarta; Sunter and Kelapa Gading in North Jakarta; as well as Bintaro XChange and BSD Junction, South Tangerang. Order through Gofood or Grabfood. Instagram
Hot Stuff Chicken
One of the hottest fried chicken places in town, literally and figuratively, Hot Stuff Chicken is, well, hot. There are six levels of spiciness offered by Hot Stuff Chicken, ranging from Zero Heat, Mild, Medium, Hot, Fire, and Burn Baby Burn (which costs an extra IDR20,000). While every person has their own standard of spiciness, you might want to listen to our advice for settling with the outlet’s low to medium heat levels if you want to thoroughly enjoy your hot chicken.
We recently ordered its Half Chicken in medium (IDR143,000), Chicken Tenders in hot (IDR71,500), and Chicken Burger in fire (IDR82,500). Each of the fried chicken and chicken tenders came with a piece of white bread and a container of its signature Comeback Sauce.
Our tongues were still able to tolerate the medium level, as it was more salty with a hint of spiciness. The hot level had more bite and made us reach for our glass of water every once in a while. We thought the Comeback Sauce was a nice touch to the already tasty chicken, which balanced out the hotness with a salty-sweet flavor. While the chicken burger was like that perfect crispy, spicy, umami chicken burger we’ve been looking for, the fire level almost made us give up — to the point that our fingers felt hot just from holding it. In general, Hot Stuff Chicken had the essentials of Nashville Hot Chicken sorted out from the crispness, spiciness, and having the meat bursting with flavors as well.
We had our hot chicken delivered from Menteng to our place in South Jakarta with an interval of around one hour from order to delivery during the day. Even hours after that, we had our mind blown as the chicken stayed crispy well into the night.
Hot Stuff Chicken is located at Shophaus Menteng, Central Jakarta, open for dine-in or takeaway. Order for delivery through Gofood, Grabfood, or Whatsapp at +62 812-2888-2853. Instagram
Pantja Fried Chicken
Probably the fanciest of the bunch, Pantja Fried Chicken (PFC) is the sister brand of Pantja, a cocktail bar and restaurant in the South Jakarta’s hip area of Senopati. The luxe feel can be seen from its chic packaging, but does it translate to the flavor, which the joint itself claims as “the best buttermilk fried chicken in town”?
We’ve tried PFC’s 12-piece fried chicken bucket (IDR295,000) some time ago, and we thought that its chicken tasted a bit sour, even without the habanero chili sauce that comes with the dish. Difference in taste aside, PFC’s buttermilk fried chicken appears to be well-made — it’s a bit hard not to drool a little just by looking at the pictures alone. Pantja also offers Chicken Sandwich (IDR75,000, a la carte) and three-piece Chicken Tender (IDR65,000, a la carte).
Pantja Fried Chicken has three locations in Jakarta: Pasar Minggu in South Jakarta, Menteng in Central Jakarta, and Mall of Indonesia (MOI) in Kelapa Gading, North Jakarta. Order through Gofood. Instagram