Food - 9/10
Ambiance - 7/10
When we first heard about Olive Chicken we were a bit confused. Korean fried chicken? They eat fried chicken in Korea? Well the answer to that question is yes, they do eat fried chicken in Korea and they do it really well to boot. What sets this fried chicken joint apart from others is that the chicken is fried in olive oil and served alongside pickled daikon, a sort of Korean coleslaw. They also toss their chicken in what they call 'spicy sweet sauce' which as the name implies is both spicy and sweet, but what it also adds to the chicken is a really pleasing tanginess that cuts through the very rich flavours.
We ordered the half and half 10 piece combo for $20 (Pretty comparable to KFC) which comes with 5 pieces of the regular and 5 of the spicy sweet. We would recommend this combo as it can get pretty monotonous eating the same flavour piece after piece and alternating between them really wakes up your tastebuds allowing you to savour every piece.
The original recipe as I call it, was crispy with just the right amount of batter. I think the crispiness could have been better however if we ate it straight out of the frier, instead we opted for take-out so it was about 20 agonizing minutes before we could sink out teeth in to the chicken. Otherwise the chicken was moist and tender and of good quality (We could tell because unlike some other fried chicken fast food chains the bone's weren't shattered into hundreds of pieces- an exaggeration but you know what I mean)
The spicy sweet chicken was still quite crispy in spite of being soaked in sauce, and had a nice kick of spice that lived up to its name. The sweet, spicy and tangy flavours were quite strong though and I think it really would have been tough eating all ten pieces tossed in this sauce without some of the original recipe pieces in-between as a palate cleanser if you will.
The daikon had a subtly sweet and salty flavour, which along with the fresh vegetable crunch made you feel less guilty about eating so much fried chicken. In my opinion this is my new favourite side dish to pair with fried chicken.
In the end, if you fancy yourself a fried chicken aficionado you really have to give Olive Chicken a try. The chicken is crispy and flavourful and the pickled daikon is a simple but amazing side dish that tells you Koreans really understand their fried chicken. If you've been here too, let us know what you think!