On the last trip to Korea, I wanted to try the Korean Fried Chicken but did not get a chance. There was a Korean Fried Chicken store below our accommodation but unfortunately when we wanted to try it they were closed (business must be good since they do not open on Sundays!). Not to say that there aren’t any Korean Fried Chicken places in Singapore, it’s just that they are (mostly) on the other end of Singapore (lol). So imagine my pleasant surprise when Chicken Up opened in Tampines!
The first trip down left a reasonable good impression: there was not much of a waiting time and we were seated in about 15 minutes. The interior resembled that of a vibrant hip pub with the bottles of preserved fruits decorated the shelves near the glass panels. Condiments like sauces (e.g. chili and mustard) and plain water are self-service and free-flow. Whereas wet tissues, tissues and bottles of (complimentary) water (perfect if you have more than 2 in a group and saves you the trouble of having to get the water from the dispenser yourself) have to be requested for.
We ordered the Gangnam Chicken Wings (4 pieces) as $12, Pineapple Soju at $35 and Spicy Crispy (Half) Chicken at $25 (I think). While the chicken was delicious, the prices were a little steep. The total bill came up to about S$70++. But to give credit, the chicken was cooked upon order, so it was served nice hot and crisp, bursting with flavor and juiciness. And the Pineapple Soju was full of pineapple goodness, complimenting well with the soju.
On the second trip, we had to wait about 30 minutes before we were seated (it was a Friday night after all). Due to the packed capacity, we opted to sit outside. Service on that day was not as good as the first time: it took quite a bit of effort trying to get the attention of any of the waiters/waitresses to take our order. It did not help that we were located at a corner (outside) which might have been a blind spot for them, and made us feeling a little ‘neglected’ when they ‘overlooked’ us. There should have been at least one waiter/waitress on standby outside when the restaurant is at full capacity.
Anyways, back to the food. Once we managed to get the attention of a waitress (thank goodness!), we ordered Gangnam Chicken Wings (4 pieces), Crispy (Half) Chicken, Kimchi Fries and Melon Bingsu at S$20.
The chicken as usual, was fried to crisp perfection on the outside and nice and juicy on the inside. Though it was fried it was not greasy. What stood out for me was the Kimchi Fries, which was a fusion of flavors: the fries were doused with a kimchi ‘chili’ sauce and mayo, topped with tuna flakes and peppers. The taste was interesting and I quite liked it, but R and J did not like it much. They thought that the flavors clashed.
The Melon Bingsu while delicious was very much over priced. I mean how much does a (whole) melon actually cost? What more half a melon… It’s just melon, ice-cream and (finely shaved) shaved (melt in your mouth) ice. If the (half) melon was slight bigger and there were 2 scoops of ice-cream instead it might be worth the $20.
This time round, we used the promotion where you will get 10% off as long as you post a photo with/of the chicken at Chicken Up on your SNS (e.g. Instagram, Facebook). We showed the post to the cashier and 10% was given easily.
Verdict: A good place to hang out with friends and family, and munch on good food at the same time. Might not be suitable for the elderly as almost everything on the menu is fried, and children as the seating is limited and it might be cumbersome if you squeeze in a pram (i.e. the seats are close to each other).
Chicken Up Tampines Branch:
2 Tampines Central, #01-44 to 47,