Top of the town: 3 best grilled chicken you must try

Top of the town: 3 best grilled chicken you must try

With the weather yoyoing unpredictably this month, Katy Perry’s ‘Hot and Cold’ has been running through my head. So, with the seasonal munching marathons that are CNY and Xmas over, your scales may be saying ‘you are up and you are down’ and you may be searching for a healthier eating option. If so, better than any faddy ‘in then out’ food trend, why not go for the known benefits of chicken.

Roast and grilled chicken is about two things: the skin and the tenderness of the meat. It is simple food which, done right, is succulent and succoring, but done wrong just sucks. foodpanda sent me, the intrepid carnivorous explorer out to find out which three restaurants offer the most exciting chicken:

Healthy Chicken

If you have ever passed through Wellington Street at lunchtime, you have probably seen a lengthy queue outside stretching under the Escalator. If there is one of thumb I live by as a bon viveur in Hong Kong it is that if locals are willing to queue for food during the crush of lunchtime then it is worth queuing for. So, curious to find out what the fuss was all about, I visited Healthy Chicken. When I walked in, I saw their busy staff ducking down prepping food inside their open kitchen. Greeted by Maggie, the marketing associate, and Percy, one of the 3 founders who is the mastermind behind Healthy Chicken, I found out why their chicken is in such high demand.

What’s in their grilled chicken?
Percy and Maggie prepared a half grilled chicken, along with their one of their sides of spinach rice, guacamole, and bell pepper mix.

Salt-free chickenSalt-free chicken that will surprise you at Healthy Chicken

What’s the story of their grilled chicken?
The story began when the 3 musketeers, who are gym buddies and play basketball together, found it frustrating how they could not get a decent, reasonably-priced salad with grilled chicken in HK. They conceived of a restaurant that would offer quick, tasty and healthy chicken and salad for busy city bees. Thanks to their conception, Healthy Chicken was hatched.

What’s the secret of their grilled chicken?
As I cut through the chicken, immediately I know it is going to be tender and succulent, the skin is slightly crispy and full of flavors. The chicken is aromatic with paprika, cumin, rosemary, cayenne pepper, bay leaves and pepper. Percy surprised me when he told me that they don’t marinate their chicken with salt since when I tasted it, it doesn’t taste as if it needed seasoning at all. The meat is tender and that is because of the slow cooking in the oven for just a little over 90 minutes. Their chicken is marinated overnight to ensure the flavor comes through the next day.

What sets them apart?
There is no salt, no oil, no msg in the marinating or cooking process. This a truly healthy option for those who have a strict diet! Healthy chicken is constantly tweaking their menu as they believe that they can always improve and make healthy dining better for their beloved customers. They insist on everything being homemade right in their kitchen from the marinade, to the dipping sauces, to their vibrant and fresh side dishes. They also are very thoughtful when it comes to embracing those who would prefer dressings on the sides. They have created 5 different homemade sauces for you to choose from (My personal go-to is the minty fresh aji verde).

Why we love their grilled chicken?
Quick, tasty and healthy. With their wide selection of sides of healthy rice, fresh-made guacamole and crunchy bell pepper mix, you will not leave Healthy Chicken feeling starved even during a detox week. I am addicted to their spinach rice and I guess even Popeye the Sailor Man would approve!

Iron-rich Spinach riceIron-rich Spinach rice

Address: Shop A2, 87 Wellington St, Central, Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2489-0100
Get their tasty healthy chicken delivered to you here!

La Rotisserie Grilled Chicken

Next I power-walked to Sheung Wan and crunched down some steps and arrived at La Rotisserie, an authentic french rotisserie on Hillier Street. This food-mecca has a touch of the Paris about it: handwritten menu on the black chalkboard, neon script on the walls, chefs in matching black jackets hovering around an the open kitchen turning their roasted potatoes with the meticulous air of culinary surgeons – I could tell I was in for some serious Poulet Rôti. I sat down with Jerome, a French native, one of the 3 masterminds behind La Rotisserie, as he spilled the beans over a glass of their Saint Amour.

What’s in their grilled chicken?
Jerome prepared their in-house ½ grilled chicken, along with their signature roasted potatoes, their daily greens, french yellow buttery beans with cherry tomatoes and their specialty chocolate cake.

Grilled chicken at La RotisserieFinger licking good grilled chicken at La Rotisserie

What’s the story of their grilled chicken?
Rôtisseries can be seen all over France and they traditionally represent a quick and easy family meal. A roasted or grilled chicken evokes meals with friends and family. Often mama will go pick up the roast from the rôtisserie on the way home, while papa will carve the meat for his children and family; getting together with a few friends over a roast on a Sunday is also a natural habit. Having been in Hong Kong for 7 years, Jerome feels that most French cuisine here is all about fine dining. There is a demand in HK for a good old French rôtisserie that reminds him of home.

What’s the secret of their grilled chicken?
Grilled chicken is all about the marinade and the cooking process. At La Rotisserie, their head chef will prepare the chicken by applying a coat of butter all over the skin, as well as a mix of fresh herbs and spices. Then they put the whole chicken in their imported French rôtisserie machine to slow cook. The daily roasted potatoes are placed right beneath the chicken to absorb all the rich chickeny goodness. That explains why their roasted potatoes are naturally shiny and crispy.

What sets them apart?
Integrity is what makes french cuisine unique. La Rotisserie manages to combine french dining and comfort food. They import corn-fed chickens that are bred for 45 days, allowing the chickens to grow in a hormone-free and healthy environment. The chicken tastes much better and more tender compared to those which are hormone-filled. Most of the ingredients at La Rotisseries are imported from France in order to preserve the authentic and traditional flavors of a French rôtisserie.

Why we love their grilled chicken?
While their marinade has a depth of flavor, their chicken meat is moist and soft thanks to the slow and even roasting process. Their grilled chicken comes with several sides you can choose from: roasted potatoes, ratatouille, french beans and lentils depending on their daily rotation. I was bummed that they didn’t have lentils (a must-try side dish) as a daily green on the day but Jerome tells me that they do make lentils 2-3 times a week. I guess I will have to try my luck again!

Address: G/F, 33 Hillier Street
Tel: 2324 1898

Flaming Frango Grilled Chicken

Still undaunted in my quest to find the holy grail of chicken, I stepped and sweated my way up towards Soho and space walked onto the slope that meets Elgin Street. There I found myself landed at Flaming Frango. I took my Nandos-aholic friend from the UK here last month and he is officially cured of his habit, so I know that FF is my Final Fantasy chicken stop for grilled chicken with chillied piri piri kicks. I chatted with Vinay, the co-founder of Flaming Frango, in hope of uncovering the secret of their signature sauce.

What’s in their grilled chicken?
Vinay prepared their signature Flaming Grilled Chicken with Piri Piri as well as my all-time favorite, grilled zucchini and seasonal vegetables.

Flaming grilled chickenFlaming grilled chicken with a charred lemon on the side at Flaming Frango

What’s the story of their grilled chicken?
Having owned a British gastropub The Cottage, Vinay was looking for an opportunity to expand his culinary horizon. He travelled around the world to look for inspiration and realized that he should open a place to celebrate one of his beloved dish, grilled chicken. He wanted to share his love of a tender juicy bird and, after tasting and testing in different venue, explored ways to perfect a grilled chicken and his favorite sauce, piri piri.

What’s the secret of their grilled chicken?
When asked about their beloved sauce, Vinay revealed they make the sauces in house and it consists of fresh piri piri chilies, garlic, oregano, red wine vinaigrette, lemon juice and fresh herbs. As for how they prepare their scrumptious chicken? Vinay went on to explain how the chicken is perfected at Flaming Frango. First their chickens are marinated for at least 24 hours prior to selling daily. They coat the chickens using their piri piri marinade. Once the chicken has been marinated, they seal off the juice by grilling it on an open fire to give it a smoky and charred flavor. Then they continue the cooking process in the oven with an additional coat of marinade based on the customer’s spice preference. Now we know where that burst of flavors come from!

With the first bite, the zest and lemony taste bursts while the herbs gives the meat layers of in-depth flavors. The chicken is tender and goes perfect with my crunchy vegetables. Often when you get a side dish of seasonal vegetables they are soggy and bland, but not Flaming Frango’s. Theirs are just grilled on the open grill until cooked. .

Crunchy fresh roasted vegetablesCrunchy fresh roasted vegetables

What sets them apart?
Other than the fact their piri piri rocks your plate and your palate, it is the quality of the chargrill that has me coming back time and time again. They also select the most important ingredient, chicken, carefully. Their Argentinian, certified hormone-free range chicken is dense and juicy enough to hold up to the flavors they baste with.

Why we love their grilled chicken?
Chicken skin that is crispy with a robust flavor, fresh vegetables that are still crunchy and firm, and to top it off, you get to choose your own sauce to your liking. There are 3 sauces to choose from, mint and coriander for a fragrant subtlety, spicy piri piri if you can take a heat punch, or their brand new sauce, Flaming Spicy Piri Piri, which will definitely cause your tongue to twirl. Try it just to see for yourself.

flaming spicy piri piriChoose your sauces: mint and coriander piri piri (green), spicy piri piri (orange) or their brand new flaming spicy piri piri (red)

With 7 years of culinary experience and having free-ranged the world to get his inspiration for Flaming Frango and their devil-iously good Piri Piri sauces, there is no surprise that their chickens are often sold out. If you get turned away, it is because they would prefer you come back the next day rather than selling chicken that are under-marinated (less than 24 hours). Spiced up by their piri piri, my Perry fixation is finally over. So what do you say? Time to plan your next Frango fix?

Address: Ground Floor, No. 36B Staunton Street, Central, Hong Kong
Tel: 2899 2244
Beat the crowd and get the flaming chicken set delivered to you now here.

Azure Lorraine |
Contributing Editor

Azure Lorraine is an adventurous food and life lover from sunny Cali. She enjoys writing about anything from food, lifestyle to mindfulness. Follow her scrumptious and vibrant journey around the world on Instagram @azuyuzu852.

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Article Written By foodpanda

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