Four Singaporeans embarked on an epicurean journey around the globe to enjoy good foods and also in search for culinary inspirations. Their wishes came true when they scoured New York and they saw how people in the Big Apple couldn’t get enough of this newly found variant of fried chicken that came from Korea, instead of the traditionally known American-style fried chicken. In awe with how it tastes, the quartet return back home and introduced the trend for us here in Southeast Asia.
Korean-style fried chicken is probably represented strongly by 4 Fingers’ real competitor here in Indonesia by BonChon with its numerous outlets. Instead of introducing itself as a family restaurant, 4 Fingers appeared more like an underground movement thanks to its distinctive appearance, and that’s probably why people don’t really take it too seriously here. Inspired by urban New Yorker style, 4 Fingers appears more like a hip hop community who likes hanging out with their hoodies, riding skateboards, and playing around with authorities with their graffiti arts. Need not be afraid of that and dive in to see what they have inside with their version of fried chicken.
Fried chicken in Korea is probably like when you find gorengan (fritters) in Indonesia. It’s for anyone, anytime, and anywhere, especially as a bar food. The real difference lies with the frying technique and the skin appearance of the fried chicken. Firstly, they don’t marinade the chicken, they fried the chicken twice thus rendering it from the fat and making the skin thinner but still maintain its crispiness. Afterwards they rub the chicken with either soy garlic sauce or the piquant sauce that tastes so good. To make it even healthier, Koreans usually fry it fresh and they don’t use any heat lamps at all. It’s indeed a radical movement that even the Western people cannot help but to love it.
4 Fingers’ version slightly differ from BonChon as they use chicken of larger size (unlike BonChon who standardized it heavily to keep it on medium size) and it has a thicker skin, more like the Western version but only slightly. The sauce was immaculate and you have to try combining the chicken with the sauced rice, which I think it’s like a version of teriyaki but more spices in it. Additionally their calamari also tasted impressive although unfortunately they ran out shrimps that day which actually the official camaraderie of the squids. By the way, later I found out that this is a problem also in other outlet either in Singapore or The Philippines.
The only major downside was the service. I arrived around 2 pm that day but they didn’t seem to prepare themselves at all. There’s only one cashier available and she wasn’t briefed about the IDR 15,000/3 chicken wings promotion. Additionally, our iced mint tea was not get any sweetening at all and then later we were given sachets of sugar for it instead of simple syrup by an unfriendly staff. I think my previous two visits were tainted by slow service as well.
But you know what they say, ‘As long as the food is good, we don’t mind’. Usually this doesn’t work for me but the food was really good that day and they nailed it against BonChon big time! Although the price may be steeper than BonChon, I think it’s still worth the visit once in a while. Your turn now.
4 FINGERS CRISPY CHICKEN
Must eat: Chicken wings, chicken wings, chicken wings!
Spend: IDR 50,000 – IDR 75,000 / person
Rasuna Epicentrum, Jln. H.R. Rasuna Said, Jakarta – Indonesia
Cilandak Town Square (CITOS), Jakarta – Indonesia
FX Mall, Jalan Jend. Sudirman, Jakarta – Indonesia
Opening hours: Everyday, mall opening hours