No matter what mood you’re in, fried chicken can always, always make you feel better. That combination of tender white meat and crisp, brown batter — it’s a level of comfort food that just can’t be beaten. So if you’re perpetually on the hunt for new and good fried chicken joints, well, here are three recently opened eateries for you to take the edge off your cravings.
Har cheong gai is somewhat of a legend in Singapore’s zi char scene. Many have attempted to entice diners with their prawn paste fried chicken dish, but not all have succeeded in getting the thumbs up.
Enter Ah Tan Wings. Set up by a pair of siblings obsessed with har cheong gai, the pop-up concept turned Yishun Park Hawker Centre stall has been attracting fellow fried chicken fanatics to the otherwise jinxed neighborhood over the past couple months, making Yishun great again, one wing at a time.
The current recipe, apparently developed into perfection after hundreds of experimental varieties, is the star of the show here. You can choose between the Atas Wing Meal ($4.90 for two drumlets and two wings) and the Atas Cutlet Meal ($5.90 for the har cheong cutlet), both of which come with a scoop of lemongrass steamed rice topped with a fried egg. It’s simple fare, but the affordable prices and juicy wings are reason enough to return for more.
#01-40, Yishun Park Hawker Centre, 51 Yishun Ave 11. Tues-Sun 11am-3pm, 4pm-9pm.
Just like its name suggests, this café is all about the bird. In theme with the menu, the space features hanging lights reminiscent of bird cages, with a small sitting corner/photo booth decked out in yellow blooms, leafy vines, and fairy lights. It’s not the most accessible of places, true. But Birdfolks does put a lot of attention into doing its fried chicken right, making every batch brined in a seasoning blend, battered, and fried on order, with plenty of variations.
First up, the signature chicken rice ($9.90), a plate of boneless thigh marinated with spices and deep fried, paired with an onsen egg and grains flavored in cilantro lime, garlic butter, or tomato oregano. For more rice options, try the teriyaki or “oriental” chicken rice ($9.90 each) – the latter is slathered with sesame sauce.
But if you’re just here for the bird, go for the battered thigh and drum option ($12.90), the sweet chili wings ($11.50/six), or the no-frills Tasty Wings ($9.90/six). There’s more fried goodness to be had, too, in sandwich form: dark rye sourdough bread slices wrapped around fillings like wasabi mayo chicken ($12.90) and nacho cheese chicken ($13.90).
#01-75 NEWest, 1 West Coast Drive, 6924-0876. Wed-Mon-noon-9pm.
Another artery-clogging, avian-themed café takes over the space vacated by Artistry (ouch, the pain of losing it is still fresh) — except now the place is freshened up and decorated with paintings of feathery friends and hanging greenery. Brought to you by the folks behind Revelry, Earlybird keeps the outdoor tables and chill vibes of the former tenant, with a typical brunch menu of pastas, pancakes, and toasts.
Naturally, truffle is here. That standard café go-to comes with sautéed mushrooms, parmesan, and a sunny side-up egg, within a croissant ($17). And for those edging the borders of getting hangry, there’s the more filling option of steak and truffle mash ($24).
But the plate of chicken and buttermilk pancakes ($19) is a must-try here, with crispy, lightly battered strips of meat on a bed of fluffy carbs, surrounded by drizzles of chili maple sauce. If you’re still up for more fried bird, there’s also the garlic wings ($12) to share.
17 Jalan Pinang, 9788-6856. Mon-Thurs 10am-10pm, Fri 10am-11pm, Sat 9am-11pm, Sun 9am-10pm.