Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Hot Star Large Fried Chicken - Sydney - Sydney, Australia

Hot Star Large Fried Chicken

Huge fried crispy chicken alert!

Hot Star Large Fried Chicken is a fried chicken sensation, originating from the country of Taiwan, with beginnings from the ever so famous branch in the Shinlin Night Market in Taipei. It's classified as street food as there is no seating in the eatery and you eat standing up or on the go. If you've ever been to Taiwan, then you'll know probably know how popular the fried chicken from Hot Star is, with lines upon lines of people waiting to grab hold of their famous oversize chicken. They are well known for their 'crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside' chicken.

When I was in Taipei a few years ago, I did have the chance to visit the main branch in Shinlin Night Market. On the menu, there was only one thing and that was the large fried chicken that was as large or if not larger than one's head. Though my recollections of the night were rather faint, I do recall the line being long, filled with many tourists but it moved very quickly. The chicken was heavily spiced and then fried to utter perfection, leaving a steaming hot crispy outer crust and juicy centre. However, I can't remember whether they used breast or thigh meat.

Fast track a few years and Hot Star opened its first branch in Sydney CBD and boy was I excited. I, together with Tin Tin, had a chance to visit and get a behind the scenes tour of Hot Star, located near World Square Centre, courtesy of Hot Star and Harvey Publicity. We actually went a while back, within the first few months of opening but I haven't had a chance to write about it till today.

We visited Hot Star on a Friday night, where the weather was utterly horrible with dark clouds and the occasional sprout of rain. Still, there was a number of people queuing and waiting for their freshly fried goodies and it got busier as the time progressed.

What we noticed upon entering and heading to the back of the store was how busy it was behind the scenes and the number of staff they had working hard to deliver perfect fried snacks to hungry customers. It looked like a production line consisting of the coaters, the fryers, and the servers, most with masks, so rest assured that hygiene is decent.

The menu is simple. There are five options to choose from including the fried chicken, chicken bites, mushrooms, sweet potato and curly fries. You can purchase these as individual items or buy as part of a combo. Everything is cooked to order guaranteeing that everything is freshly fried. During busy times, you may have to end up waiting a while for items to be cooked. It is worth the wait as that means everything will taste much better. All items are deep fried and to be honest it isn't that healthy and is therefore not for the health conscious. But hey, you should treat yourself once in a while.

After speaking to the store manager, we were told that most ingredients used for their products are sourced from Taiwan with the exception of the fresh ingredients such as the chicken, mushroom and potatoes. They don't use preservatives or additives either.

The 'Large Fried Chicken ($7.90)' is available in either original or spicy, with the option of spice levels ranging from little to extra spicy. The enormous slab of breast meat, approximately 250 grams and 30 cm in length, is coated in flour and then a crumb, deep fried and then gets a final dusting of spices. Before this cooking process, the chicken is marinated for a whopping 12 hours! Yes, you read correctly. No wonder it is so tasty. After it is deep fried, it is put in a paper bag just like how it is done in Taiwan.

Resembling a schnitzel, but much extravagant and larger in size, giving it that extra zing factor. It was piping hot from the fryer and getting a bite of it proved a bit difficult. The exterior was pleasantly crunchy and the spice gave it a nice flavour hit. The chicken inside was very moist, tender and oh so juicy. As we got to try the spicy option, I didn't find it overly spicy and I would say tolerable for those chilli lovers out there but if you aren't very tolerant to chilli then the original option may be a better choice. Tin Tin found her one to be very spicy and she is one with a low tolerance to chilli.

'Sweet Potato Fries ($3.90)' is surprisingly one of my favourites. The sweet potato fries are coated in a batter and seasoned with a plum seasoning. The outside is light and crispy and the sweet potato is so sweet without the addition of any additives. I was surprised to find that the sweetness of the potatoes was all natural. I found myself wanting to eat more of this as that seasoning is just so good.

The 'Mushrooms ($4.90)' aren't your regular everyday mushrooms you get at the supermarket. They use King Oyster Mushrooms which are coated in a light batter and then fried. The insides are still firm yet delicious. I'm not sure if we received an actual serving size but the portion was quite small for the price to be paid, but then again you might be paying for the quality ingredients that are used.

The 'Chicken Bites ($5.00)' is more like the large fried chicken chopped up into smaller pieces with the addition of basil leaves giving it an aromatic smell. The chicken was a bit on the dry side and reminded me very much of the Japanese Kara-age. I much preferred the large chicken over this but it was still very nice.

Do eat carefully and watch out for the bone and cartilage! It may look boneless but there is a bone inside to maintain the flavour as they say. As the sign reads 'real chicken, real bones'. Indeed.

So how did it rate compared to Taiwan you may ask? They follow the exact concept with the addition of a few extra menu items which I find much better as there is variety. In terms of taste and texture of the fried chicken, I would say its pretty much 99% the same with the exception of the part of the chicken that is used.

If you like deep fried chicken and in gigantic portions then do give this place a try. I definitely recommend Hot Star as the food is delicious, ingredients used are fresh and it's very affordable. The only item I didn't get to try was the Curly Fries ($3.90)' and I read that was a winner so it shall be next on my agenda. They are very serious about the quality of their products and this is definitely reflected in the quality of their food. As I mentioned before, it's not very healthy but then again if it is fried then it probably isn't but from looking at the oil residue left on the paper bags, it was very minimal as most items are air dried prior to serving so that's a plus.

Disclaimer: ilovemyfoodlots was invited as a guest of Hot Star. Jenny would like to thank Cassey and her team at Hot Star for their hospitality and Harvey Publicity for their invite. The review is based on my own opinion and has not been influenced by bias in anyway. 

96 Liverpool St
Sydney NSW 2000

Phone no: NA

Opening Hours
Sunday to Thursday
10am - 12am
Friday to Saturday
10am - 2am


Hot Star Large Fried Chicken on Urbanspoon


  1. So big and juicy! *ahem* And them mushrooms are tasty too - if you don't burn your tongue on them first!

    1. Haha! Nearly burnt my tongue from eating the fried chicken :P

  2. I'm going to have to try this place! I keep dismissing because a big slab of chicken doesn't seem special to me but it has rave reviews- plus those mushrooms look delish!

    1. Oh yes it was really good! Do give it a visit when you have the chance to.