I’m sure long-time Readers will know my love for Taiwan :) I go quite regularly and at least once a year I’m not sure what is it but I really like the food, people and culture there. That’s why whenever a new Taiwanese franchise ventures into Melbourne I get extremely excited, because they satisfy my constant cravings for Taiwanese food.
In the past year we’ve seen Chatime and Gongcha bubble tea outlets opening in Melbourne, this time it’s Hot Star Large Fried Chicken! I have shared with you how much I like their XXL large piece of fried chicken in this previous post. So you can imagine I was thrilled that they were opening in Melbourne. Their first store opened a couple of months ago on the busy Swanston St, I have been meaning to try but have heard the long queues so wanted to wait until it died down a little. Then last week I got the good news that Hot Star was opening another store on Elizabeth St once again next to Gong Cha.
Mr Bao and I went down to Hot Star at around 7:30pm and was very lucky to find parking right in front of the store. It looked very similar to the store they have in Hong Kong, where it is an actual store. Compared to the ones in Taiwan night markets the fried chicken is sold at food stalls. We met Prima the store manager that and was given a tour of the narrow store.
It was really interested to see the fried chicken cooked in front of us, Prima explained that they take quality control very seriously. The staff have been flown to Taiwan to learn how to marinate the chicken, coat it in the special batter and deep fry to make it crispy delicious but not too oily or greasy. All ingredients except for the chicken breast (they source locally) the rest are imported from Taiwan to hopefully replicate the same taste and flavour in Melbourne.
The fried chicken at Hot Star is renown for their huge size, but because it is so thin it only takes about 5 minutes for it to be cooked in the deep fryer. It is then placed on the drying rack where it will air dry and crisp up before another flavoured powder is sprinkled over it.
The most popular and my favourite powder would be the hot chilli powder, but they do offer plum powder as well for those who like it more mild ~
Our dinner on Friday night as a XXL fried chicken each and a cup of Gongcha. I can’t think of a better drink to pair with the Hot Star friend chicken, I chose the Milk Tea with pearls while Mr Bao got the Milk Tea with Honey and pearls.
Mr Bao opted for the fried chicken with only salt and pepper and not of one of the flavoured powders. We were both so impressed of the taste and texture of the fried chicken, I honestly think it is on par with the ones in Taiwan. Except the flavour of the chicken is a little different, as Prima suggests the type of chicken and how they’re bred is quite different in Taiwan compared to Australia.
This fried chicken with the spicy hot powder totally made my day and took me immediately back to all those times I’ve visited the night markets! Mr Bao and I enjoyed the fried chicken so much we didn’t even bother talking to each other until we finished and he wanted to go get another piece hehe
The Hot Star fried chicken is renown for being super large at least 29cm long it was definitely bigger than my face! I have heard some criticism from people that it is quite expensive $8AUD compared to $55TWD (not sure if prices have increased). You get a can of softdrink for $9.9AUD, I do agree that it is quite expensive compared to Taiwan. However, I don’t find the price to be unreasonable given the size of the fried chicken and the fact that we don’t have to fly to Taiwan to get Hot Star… I’m happy :)
Mr Bao and I were so obsessed we actually drove back to Hot Star last night at around 9:30pm and they were already sold out! We didn’t expect them to be so popular :( will need to go back another time. I really urge all Fried Chicken fans no matter if its Southern Fried Chicken, Korean Fried Chicken or good old KFC, you need to try Taiwanese Fried Chicken and Hot Star! Hope you will like it as much as we do!
Daisy and Mr Bao@Nevertoosweet visited as guests of Hot Star Large Fried Chicken and Harvey PR