If you love food that is abnormally large, requiring two hands to hold it, then you’ll love Hot Star Chicken. Taiwanese XXL chicken, especially a Hot Star branded one, is my favourite street snack and a must every time I visit Taiwan. Starting as a small counter at Shilin Night Market, the Hot Star franchise has now made its way to Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, and more recently Australia. In Taiwan, every second person walking through the night market will be holding one (or two) of these!
Unlike the “somewhat dirty” night market stores in Taiwan, this newly opened Perth outlet has a permanent store with much flashier fit out. The flashiness does come with a heftier price tag at $8.90 each. That’s four times more than its Taiwanese equivalent!
We went to Hot Star with the intention sharing one chicken chop between the three of us. But as usual, our eyes were bigger than our stomachs and we ended up ordering one each. All with extra spicy seasoning!
Verdict? Crunchy, freshly fried and tasty batter but the chicken fillet itself lacked in flavour. If you eat the batter and the chicken together then its nice. But if the batter falls off and you just have a bit of the chicken on its own then you’ll find it really bland. The ones in Taiwan are generously coasted in five-spice powder and have a strong peppery taste to it. The chicken is however cooked perfectly and is very juicy. Hopefully they can improve the marinade of the chicken fillet because I really enjoyed how crunchy and fresh the batter was!
Word of warning: The spicy seasoning can get quite spicy! It was just right for me but poor Wincen had a really hard time haha!
Random fun fact: According to a Taipei Times’ report of 2011, Taiwanese devour more than 250,000 fried chicken cutlets a day. That’s a crap load of chicken!