What I 8: The Best Fried Chicken and more in and around Auckland with @alicyclo

Nothing beats comfort food like Fried Chicken. And with the variety of Fried Chicken options available, it’s never, ever boring. Benedict Uy of @alicyclo takes us in and around Auckland to taste the Best Fried Chicken and more .

#whatI8

What’s the key to growing a great food account, and give us a tip for taking a good shot of your favourite food.

Enjoying food is a great way to go to different places and to try them. Having a reason to note stuff down is also good; I use it to remember what I liked/didn’t like about a place. I don’t take the best photos. Plenty of people have told me my photos are blurry. I do think lighting plays an important part so that you can actually see the food well, but in some places that is part of the ambience and makes it harder to take a nice photo without flashing the other diners.

Do you favour a particular food category?

One food that is easy to share is Fried Chicken. There are so many different types of fried chicken available around Auckland. I usually look for ones with nice crunchy skin, juicy meat with that chicken flavour, and a nice sauce or flavour on the outside to give it that extra kick. I usually like ones which have the thigh pieces since I find that cut has the nicest flavour and tends to be the juiciest. The fried chicken game in Auckland is quite good since I enjoyed the fried chicken in most of the places I’ve been to.

Name the top 5 places that always satiates your craving for Fried Chicken.

BestPlaceFor.com - Big Dark from Peach's Hot Chicken v2
Big Dark from Peach’s Hot Chicken


My favourite place at the moment is Peach’s Hot Chicken in Panmure. The Big Dark is such a good meal and when you get to pick a side, my go-to is the Mac-n-Cheese. The Chicken has such a nice flavour and you pick the spiciness levels so you can get a nice amount of heat on there. Leaving the bread until the end gives it time to absorb all those flavours.

The Bburinkle Sunsal Chicken from Twelve was quite memorable. The powder sprinkle on the chicken was really tasty and flavourful. The taste was quite different from the other fried chicken that I’ve had. The fact that it was quite addictive was also a plus.

BestPlaceFor.com - Bburinkle Sunsal Chicken from Twelve
Bburinkle Sunsal Chicken from Twelve


The Chicken Cutlet at Kai Eatery on Rutland street is huge as well as tasty. You wouldn’t expect much from a shop made from a shipping container but the fried chicken here is delicious. You can also add flavours to it, like seaweed, to give it a more delicious flavour.

BestPlaceFor.com - Chicken Cutlet from Kai
Chicken Cutlet from Kai


Seoul Night has quite a few fried chicken options but the Rosemary Chicken is the one that I prefer there. Be warned that it is quite spicy but the flavour and crunch is just sublime. It is also served with fried lotus chips and rice cakes, which adds extra crunch and chewiness. It does come with a dipping sauce which does soften the heat but I like the spiciness of it.

BestPlaceFor.com - Rosemary Chicken from Seoul Night
Rosemary Chicken from Seoul Night


I don’t think a fried chicken list is complete without Pocha since that was the place where I first tried KFC (Korean Fried Chicken). The range of flavours was out of this world, compared to the single options from many places. I’ve been told the volcano chicken is really nice but I haven’t tried it yet. I have tried and really like the Spicy and Sweet Chicken. The sauce is sweet and mildly spicy giving the chicken a nice flavour. The rice cakes are also coated in this tasty sauce and give a really nice chewy texture different from the chicken.

Spicy and Sweet Chicken from Pocha


Check out this list of Auckland’s Best Fried Chicken all in one place
.

What is something you’ve eaten that just blew you away because you did not expect it to be that good? 

I recently had a donut from Grown Up Donuts in Wairau Valley. They do filled donuts and I wasn’t expecting much since donuts are generally quite good. The softness and airiness of the donuts themselves was gorgeous. It was just so easy to eat even though I wasn’t particularly hungry. The flavours of the filling were really well balanced. You could taste what it was supposed to be. I forgot which filling I had picked and after taking a bite I knew it was the chocolate peanut butter one. I’m not the biggest fan of peanut butter but the subtle flavour and creaminess of it went really well with the perfectly fried donut.

BestPlaceFor.com - Six Pack of Grown Up Donuts
Grown Up Donuts


A pandemic lockdown kicks in but there’s a new rule, you can visit one restaurant only for the next six months. Where would you go and why?

It would need to be a place with rice and I like variety so somewhere with lots of dish options, all done well. Most likely a Malaysian or Thai restaurant. There are two places that come to mind, Blossom Court in Panmure for Malaysian or Thai Family Restaurant in Pakuranga for Thai. Although I really like the different noodles available in Malaysian restaurants, I might have to go with Thai Family as they serve Duck, one of my favourite meats. Their Curries are really nice and I find their stir-fried dishes have really nice wok hei.

BestPlaceFor.com - Cashewnut Duck from Thai Family Restaurant
Cashewnut Duck from Thai Family Restaurant


Which other foodies do you love to follow and why? 

I don’t really follow specific people when looking at food. I don’t really use Instagram much which is probably why. I tend to go with groups to see what’s out there to eat.

Lazy Susans – Auckland foodie group. They are really useful when trying to find something specific since the community is so helpful. An added plus is that there is a travel group as well for recommendations around NZ.

Denizen – I usually come here to look at new openings. They have a good rundown of what’s happening around the city. Not only do they have ideas for food types e.g., Best Ramen in town, but they also have their reviews of different restaurants which usually has links to the actual restaurant itself.

Concrete Playground – Another nice site to see what’s going on around the city. There are also sites for other cities, primarily in Australia. It’s nice to see what is out there just in case you happen to visit.

Now, let’s have the Quick Best Bite questions:

Best Dessert/Sweets?

I love Deep-fried Ice Cream and the best I’ve had was in Golden Harvest Restaurant in Dunedin. In Auckland, the one at Bao Baby Bao in Elliot Stables and Nickies Thai in Newmarket were also quite nice. They were crumbed rather than battered though.

BestPlaceFor.com - Deep Fried Ice Cream from Bao Baby Bao
Deep Fried Ice Cream from Bao Baby Bao


Best Ice Cream?

Ube Ice Cream at Gold Ribbon in Glen Eden (haven’t tried the Hapunan one but have been told it is really good)

BestPlaceFor.com - Ube Ice Cream at Gold Ribbon
Ube Ice Cream at Gold Ribbon


Best Breakfast?

The Croissants at Amano Bakery were perfect for me. Really crispy and flakey all the way through with a nice buttery flavour. It was very moreish. 

BestPlaceFor.com - Croissants at Amano Bakery
Croissants at Amano Bakery


Best Ambiance?

Clooneys was one of the places that I actually had to stop after entering just to take in the ambience of the restaurant. Everything was just arranged so beautifully and the dining area really serene that you couldn’t help but get excited (The restaurant has been closed permanently in 2019).

Best Meat dish – steak/beef/pork/chicken?

There are two that I can remember really well. First is the Lamb Chops from the Vodka Room in Ponsonby.

The fat was rendered so well that it was really crispy but still juicy. It was served on top of the plov, which is a rice dish. The other one was the pork chop from St. Heliers Bay Cafe and Bistro. Succulent Pork Chop with perfectly rendered fat. Both are quite old so something more recent is the Meat Candy from Smokin Coles BBQ in Grey Lynn. It was chewy, crispy and delicious. Really easy to just keep ordering it.

BestPlaceFor.com - Meat Candy from Smokin Cole BBQ
Meat Candy from Smokin Cole BBQ


Best Noodles?

There are two that stand out for me. First is the Hokkien Mee from KL Kitchen in the China Town Foodcourt in Ti Rakau. It has the best lard flavour in it that the whole thing tasted like crackling. The other is the char Pork Chop from Bunga Raya in Avondale. The wok hei and flavour in it was amazing and it was such a large serving of the tasty noodles.

BestPlaceFor.com - Hokkien Mee from KL Kitchen
Hokkien Mee from KL Kitchen


Best Burger?

The Blind Finch in Ohakune serves the best burgers and sandwiches with a huge range of flavours. In Auckland, although it isn’t really a proper burger but the Double Cheeseburger Hoagie from Good Dog Bad Dog in Commercial Bay Harbour Eats was really nice. 

Best Veggie or Vegan dish?

Roasted Carrot at Cassia was initially an after though when ordering but turned out to be one of the better dishes of the evening.

BestPlaceFor.com - Roasted Carrot from Cassia
Roasted Carrot from Cassia


Best side?

The Loaded Waffle Fries at The Candy Shop in Newmarket was quite nice. The addition of the bulgogi beef took it to the next level.

BestPlaceFor.com - Loaded Waffle Fries with Bulgogi from The Candy Shop
Loaded Waffle Fries with Bulgogi from The Candy Shop


What’s on your hit list? Can you give us 5 dishes you have to eat in the future that we can expect a post on? Even if you have to wait for travel bans to lift!

Not really a dish but I was supposed to head down to Queenstown to try Amisfield Bistro but Lockdown 2.0 put a stop to that. I would hopefully be able to head down to try it out eventually.

Lechon is a Filipino whole roasted pork and Pipo’s Lechon in Kelston does that as well as other Filipino dishes.

I was craving Yakitori and found Omni on Dominion Road and Nook on K Rd.

There is a new Filipino place on Victoria Street called Jolly Bird which does Filipino (read: sweet) Spaghetti and Fried Chicken. They also have a Pandan Sundae which looks nice.

There’s a Malaysian restaurant called Treasure Kitchen which does Cendol, a Malaysian dessert with green “worms”. There’s a branch in Henderson and another in Otahuhu. 

It sounds like it’s gonna be quite an adventure. We can’t wait to see you try those delicacies!

Check out the full list of all the mouthwatering food Benedict has shared above. What is the first thing you’re going to try? Let us know in the comments 😊

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