Over the last couple of years we (ie. us small island folk) have gotten exposed to more and more traditional and interesting Asian cuisine. We’ve gone from deep fried “chicken” smothered in a sweet and sour sauce guaranteed to give half your street diabetes to some genuinely authentic offerings from all corners of Asia. A particular dish that’s got all us in the Gidma Gidma household in a frenzy is Korean fried chicken. We drool over pictures of it online, imagining how it could be different to the KFC and Southern Fried Chicken we’re used to. So when we came across Fried Chicken on the menu of DOMA we had it ordered for delivery quicker than you can say….anything really.
Korean Fried Chicken? What’s The Difference?
My expectation for Korean Fried Chicken is surprisingly specific. Firstly, I imagine the chicken to be smaller in size than what you’d get at KFC, and more of a chicken nugget than a drumstick. Secondly, I imagine this being quite dense. Not fluffy and light chicken, but a heavy dense bite. Thirdly, I imagine sauce, and a lot of it. It’s not just fried and dried, but it’s given what I’ve read is, and imagine to be, a sweet but spicy glaze.
More or less that! The chicken pieces are large but deeply fried to form a thick, heavy, and crispy crust around the chicken that gets into all of the nooks and crannies. It’s also quite a different crispy to what I’m used. If KFC crispy could be liked to, say, biting into a prawn cracker, DOMA’s crispiness is more akin to biting into a shortbread biscuit. Still crispy, but where one is light and crackly the other is heavy and thick.
Every bite is an absolute joy. The crispiness is fantastic, and the glaze is just out of this world. It’s sweet but also tart, with just enough heat to put some colour into your cheeks but not enough to make a lightweight like me go running for a glass of milk. It’s more interesting that then barbecue sauce you’d initially pair with something like this, and it plays well with the crust and the chicken. The chicken itself is juicy and fresh, and after eating a while main course portion of this I didn’t have that oily aftertaste regular fried chicken leaves me with.
This fried chicken had me feeling a way I haven’t felt in quite some time. When I first opened the box my stomach grew a tad concerned.
“Is there enough?” it wondered.
Halfway through that concern changed focus. “This is too much.”
But rarely is my last though, having finished the dish, that despite being quite full and unable to eat another bite I needed more.
Why I’m Always Hesitant About Delivery
I’m a firm believer that food is best enjoyed at the restaurant, and besides a few exceptions, is rarely as good when it’s delivered. This is for a number of reasons. Firstly, as restaurants try to optimize their delivery routes your food gets bundled with the orders of a few others, and not necessarily all of them in the same street. Your order may be the first to the completed but take a while to actually leave the kitchen and get into the car, and even then it might be a while before it gets delivered as other orders may be closer to the restaurant than your address.
All this time means that this food, in either an aluminium tub or a waxed cardboard box, spends nearly an hour (if not more) turning soft and mushy in its own steam. Think of how disappointing fried tend to be when they’re delivered vs when eaten fresh. Except for pizza I try to pick the food up myself to ensure minimal time in packaging, but I just couldn’t be arsed this evening.
And DOMA’s delivery?
So while the DOMA order took a tad longer than we were expecting to be delivered, the actual food blew all my expectations out of the water. It was still hot and steaming, but no dishes had turned to mush, and the presentation of the food itself was on point and pleasant.
Ultimately, no matter if it’s getting delivered or being eaten in, my next default Korean restaurant is Doma, and it’s definitely a top 3 Asian restaurant. And it’s going to take a much better dish to keep me from ordering this chicken every time I’m eating at DOMA.
Disclaimer: this food was paid for in full by the writer and no commission or agreement was reached with the restaurant or locations featured in this article.