Chicken Coop, in Glynburn Plaza, would at first glance appear to be your standard suburban takeaway joint with a menu that you would expect from such a shop: roast chicken, chips, crumbed fish, burgers, yiros, hot dogs and snacks. However, this Korean family run business also sells some the best Korean fried chicken you can find in Adelaide, as well as other traditional Korean dishes, such as boiled pork hocks with kimchi, and pork soup with Korean sausage. This place is still very much a hidden gem, although quite a few local Koreans know of their special menu.
The décor is very basic and is exactly what you would expect from a takeaway shop in the suburbs. There are only three tables that would each fit groups of three, though many people do not come here to eat but rather to take away as you would expect.
This Spicy Fried Chicken definitely is my favourite off the menu. If you are after something finger-licking delicious, literally, and with a little heat packed in it, then this is your kind of dish. The super crunchy succulent chicken was smothered in a sticky glaze that contains Korean hot pepper paste (gochujang) which gives the chicken its darker colouring. It’s then topped with toasted sesame seeds which gives the dish a beautiful nuttiness.
The Soy Sauce Fried Chicken was super crunchy from the double frying and corn flour batter. The sauce was a delicious sweet, garlic infused soy-based sauce. The only issue I had with it was there wasn’t enough.
Ddeokbokki or Tteokbokki is perhaps the most well-known Korean dish. It is basically spicy rice cakes that are cooked in a red pepper paste based sauce. There are many different variations of this traditional dish but this one is kept simple with rice cakes and sliced fish cakes topped with spring onion. The rice cakes were wonderfully chewy and soft; the sauce was thick and packed a real punch of heat which perhaps may be a little too spicy for some. This was perhaps one of the best Ddeokbokki dishes I have had and could easily top the ones I have tried at restaurants. It was a very well executed dish that was kept minimalistic but true to its Korean roots. Definitely great comfort type of food in my opinion.
The staff were wonderful and cheerful. For the portion sizes it is very good value. Between three people we only spent around $10 each, and even then, we were not able to finish all the food. It does get pretty messy when eating because of the sticky glaze smothered on the fried chicken and perhaps much better eaten at home. Chicken Coop has to be one of my favourite places for some cheap, satisfying authentic Korean food. Definitely not for those who are watching their weight but highly recommended nonetheless.
Words and Photos by Linh Nguyen
WHERE: 161 Glynburn Rd, Firle