Here at I Ate My Way Through, we never turn down more fried chicken, and when that fried chicken is filled with molten cheese? Well, say no more. (Also see Best Asian Street Food in Sydney)
Similar to the ever popular Hot Star Fried Chicken, 3Q Chicken – newly franchised from Taiwan and located conveniently outside George St Cinemas for all your after-dinner snack needs – offers up a Taiwanese menu, where the chicken breast is large and in-charge, and everything is deep fried. Here they boast an oozy cheese option ($8.50), which in my opinion, puts them ever so slightly more in the running than Hot Star. Sure, if you’re a fried chicken purist then you probably won’t agree, but I’m a cheese fanatic, and anything can be made better with the addition of cheese.
If you’re feeling a bit guilty about the fried stuff, well, they’ve got veg options for you too. Deep fried battered mushrooms anyone?
For me, these were really more about assuaging possible guilt than anything else. I’ve always preferred mushrooms with garlic and butter, but these were pleasant enough – juicy on the inside and battered on the outside.
The Sweet Potato, on the other hand, made much more of an impression. It was lightly dusted in a plum salt, and had a whole sweet/salty delicious thing going on, with a slightly addictive tang from the dried plums. It was a riot of flavours in my mouth, and it seems that it’s quite authentically Taiwanese, with a few street food chains offering this flavour combo. I can see why, it’s incredibly addictive and utterly delicious.
If you’re after a smaller bite, these chicken bites will also do the trick. Cut into smaller pieces so there’s a higher coating to chicken ratio, these pieces of fried chicken retain their crunch well, and are more spiced than their larger counterparts. This is what automatically comes to mind when I think about Taiwanese fried chicken, and it’s much milder here than some of the other joints I’ve tried around Sydney. Just enough to give you a kick of flavour, not enough to have you blowing your noise because all that pepper has caused a reaction in your sinuses.
And the final order of the day – because unfortunately belly real estate is finite – battered and fried squid balls. Get your mind out of the gutter – these are made out of squid meat that’s been ground to a paste, whipped till springy, and rolled into balls. These were an absolute favourite when I was a kid – a firmer version of their fish counterparts, these were the sausage-rolls of Singapore and ubiquitous at every children’s party.
Childhood memories aside, 3Q is putting up a
food good fight. With established giants Hot Star just down the road, it can be hard to break into what seems like a saturated fried chicken market. The actual fried chicken breast isn’t quite as mind-blowing as Hot Star, but then again I like how there’s a cheese option. I’m also more a fan of the bits and bites that you can get – I admit totally to having food ADHD and am always up for more variety. There is, though, a slight issue with the consistency – the batter, for example, of the chicken breast wasn’t quite as cooked through in certain bits, resulting in a slightly floury texture in parts that even the cheese couldn’t mask. But I’m sure there’s more maturing to do, and who knows what will happen as the brand expands in Australia!
Shop 8 505 George Street, Sydney, NSW
I Ate My Way Through dined as guests of 3Q Chicken