Chicken, noodles and other group feeds.
Hunkered down in little Korea town, Noodlies, Sydney food blog checks out this intriguing suburban KFC joint and live to tell the tale.
Yep, it looks like you’ve stepped into the DMZ zone. I’m tempted to break into a zig-zag sprint to duck North Korean bullets and rush to clear and claim my own protective wooden bunker. In reality, the carelessly named Noodle Chicken is a nod to a different Korean war influence.
Could it be, just like American ingredients such as spam, beans and sausage have become key in some Korean dishes, budae-jjigae (Army base soup) being one example, could it be that Korean fried chicken (KFC) is in fact also a legacy of the Korean War (1950-1953)?
And could it be, that like K-pop, the Koreans have taken a Western concept, refined it, and exported it back to the originators?
Whether it’s an influence from the American base or that Colonel Sanders, Korean fried chicken is a popular group feed in Korea, especially when downed with a cold jug of Korean beer.
Noodle Chicken is an independent eatery located in Lidcombe. While the CBD, Eastwood and Strathfield are known for great Korean feeds in Sydney, this south western suburb remains a hidden gem, quietly serving locals.
We order the half&half (above), an enormous plate, on special for a bargainous $23 (was $32). One half is original Korean fried chicken which is crunchy and powdery dry on the outside, yet pristine white and well cooked inside. It’s best with side salt and pepper. The other half is a choice of soy or chilli chicken made with gochujang (Korean chilli sauce). Of course, we go the chilli chook; it’s not as fiery as it looks and is also on the sweet side, the sauce makes it easy to swallow.
We’re a little keen on mandu (Korean dumplings) right now, a dish that’s said to have been introduced by the Mongolians in the 14th Century. The skin is typically al dente and can be a little tough around the edges, the filling is a dry mixture of minced meat, tofu and kim chi, and is best dipped into soy sauce. I couldn’t discern any distinctive kim chi flavour.
And after a few drinks, the noise the company will temporarily transport you to Seoul.
They have a decent selection of other Korean group feeds such as bulgogi, hot pot, panacke, bibimbap and noodle soups if KFC isn’t your thing.
Yep, the decor is a little disconcerting at first, but this is obviously a place for groups to eat, drink and be merry. Which explains the cone-of-silence bunker table layout. Zig-zag your way into this humble little eatery. There’s lots to like and if you’re not driving, lots of Korean beer to enjoy. And after a few drinks, the noise the company will temporarily transport you to Seoul.
30 Joseph St, Lidcombe
(02) 9646 4748