Arisun Express, Sydney

Arisun Express Sydney

Sticky sweet and spicy with its residual crunch of deep fried batter,
this style of Korean fried chicken have jostled its way into Sydney’s young hearts.

~~~~~~~~O~~~~~~~

Apart from vegetarians and perhaps older folks, I sometimes wonder if there is anyone who doesn’t like fried chicken.

Best known for founding the world’s most successful fried chicken franchise in North Corbin, Kentucky back during the Great Depression in 1930, Harland Sanders’ KFC outlets now span every foreseeable corner of the globe. But KFC in Sydney has taken on a new meaning in recent years.

Restaurants serving Korean fried chicken have sprouted out like wild mushrooms in strategic locations all over the city. Its variations from spicy sweet, soy and garlic to original have captured the tastebuds of Sydney’s young and transient. They are usually on skateboards wearing baseball caps back to front and enjoy hanging out all day around the southern end of Sydney for no good reason. Well, perhaps they do have a good reason now.

I have not bothered with Korean fried chicken as Colonel’s Sanders eleven secret herbs and spices have done it for me for so long. But with an invitation from The PR Partnership, I am here to check out one of Sydney’s newest KFC joints.

Arisun Express at World Square, Sydney

Owner James Sun and guests at Arisun Express, Sydney

Owner James Sun and guests at Arisun Express, Sydney

Located near the corner of Liverpool and George streets, Arisun Express is the little sister of Arisun Beer House made famous by its Korean fried chicken.

Contrary to what its name suggest, Arisun Express has a few eat-in seats downstairs while this upstairs space where we are at today can squeeze up to sixty diners. Azoto, Sydney’s newest nitrogen ice cream joint is part of the establishment and is located next door at ground level.

It’s a bloggers event on this sunny Saturday and Mysaucepan and I are having lunch with, among others, PR executives from The PR partnership and esteemed fellow food bloggers ~ Jugernauts, Gourmantic and The Food Diary.

Pork dumplings

Pork dumplings (Tasting portion, menu price $13)

Pork dumplings (Tasting portion, menu price $13)

Would rectangular pot stickers still be considered dumplings?

Dry seared on a pot, the skin on these  pork dumplings is crisp. Filled with pork, cabbage, ginger and chives, dunk them into a side of garlic soy for a savoury hit.

Korean style meatballs

Korean style meatballs (Tasting portion, menu price $18)

Korean style meatballs (Tasting portion, menu price $18)

Korean style meatballs is a mixture of pork, beef and seafood.

Deep fried to golden brown with succulent and piping hot innards, these meatballs are drizzled with a honey mustard and sweet soy dressing that comes across too sweet for my savoury taste buds.

Frozen beer $8

Frozen beer $8

When I am in hot, humid and tropical Asia, my chilled beer mug is filled to the brim with ice cubes. Beer is then added and gulped down in one go to prevent minimum dilution as it remains icy cold.

Frozen beer in Arisun comes with a slushy head that tastes like beer slurpee designed  to keep the beer cold for up to thirty minutes.

Thirty minutes as in three, zero as in 30. Now why would I want my beer to remain cold for thirty minutes when I can drink three cold beers in that time?

So the only time I can think of having one of these alcoholic slurpee is on a stinker 40 degree summer day.

Stir fried soy seafood noodles

Stir fried soy seafood noodles $13

Stir fried soy seafood noodles $13

Stir fried soy seafood noodles are made of potato starch and take on a chewy, al dente texture.

There is generous chunks of fish, prawn and squid tossed with onion slices and topped with shredded nori.

Is this Korean, Japanese, Chinese or some half baked hybrid that was dreamed up after four or five frozen beers? Rather than savoury, this plate of mumbo jumbo has a sweetish tinge that gets an outright fail in my books.

Sun’s original fried chicken

Sun's original fried chicken, Half $17 Full $32

Sun's original fried chicken, Half $17 Full $32

Sun’s original fried chicken comes in boneless, bite-sized nuggets.

Batter is crisp without being overly greasy though I prefer fried chicken with the bone in and this option is also available upon request.

Sun’s sweet and spicy fried chicken

Sun's sweet and spicy fried chicken, Half $17 Full $32

Sun's sweet and spicy fried chicken, Half $17 Full $32

I can appreciate why fried chicken lovers have been hooked by the spicy sweet style of Korean fried chicken.

These fried nuggets are slathered in a sticky sweet spicy sauce with a good level of spicy heat though still mild since my spice tolerance can go up to “burning hell hot”. The sweet balance is good and this kind of sticky sweet taste can be addictive if you’re a fan of sweet and sour pork and like beer to go with your snacks.

For me, nothing beats the “original” style of fried chicken with its earth-shattering crisp batter when cooked well.

Azoto at World Square, Sydney

James making ice cream

James Sun making nitrogen ice cream

The craze for liquid nitrogen ice cream in Sydney continues with owner James Sun demostrating how this concoction is made to the delight of a cute little girl and her dad next to him.

Bounty & Co 

Coconut ice cream with chocolate syrup

Bounty & Co $8

Bounty & Co is one of many flavours from Azoto ~ coconut ice cream with dark chocolate syrup injected from a syringe served in a half coconut shell.

I passed on this dessert as I’m not a sweet tooth fairy.

Now, where’s that pesky alcoholic slurpee?

Arisun Express, Sydney

Arisun Express, Sydney

So dear readers, what is your favourite style of fried chicken?

ChopinandMysaucepan dined courtesy of The PR Partnership and Arisun Express. All prices are included for readers’ information. All views and opinions on this blog post are our own.

Arisun Express & Azoto
(World Square)
680 George street
Sydney, New South Wales

Tel: +61 2 8540 2903

Arisun Express on Urbanspoon

Azoto on Urbanspoon

Opening hours: Monday to Saturday 11am – 2am, Sunday 11am – 11pm

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7 Responses to Arisun Express, Sydney

  1. Juliana says:

    I have eaten rectangular dumpling…the sides were kind of open…I would love to try the ice cream that you passed :)
    Enjoy the rest of your week!

  2. ChopinandMySaucepan, I’ve been through Corbin, Kentucky and said a prayer of thanks for Harland Sanders following his dream. Original is my favorite, too! I’m tempted by the Korean version though, especially the hot kind with a cold beer… but not a beer slurpy. (Maybe because it’s freezing cold here today… I’ll rethink that this summer when frosted mugs reign.) Excellent, objective write up!

  3. Asking me what my favourite fried chicken is is like asking someone to choose their favourite child.

    I must admit….I too have a weakness for KFC….is it wrong to admit that? OK, here’s my answer. My favourite fried chicken is southern fried chicken…no wait, it’s karaage…no wait, it’s ayam goreng….no, actually, Korean…..Chinese salt and pepper wings….buffalo…..schnitzel….

    Oh, one more to add onto the list. Spice Temple’s chilli wings. Just die, every time I have them. And I always order takeaway too (they think I am so weird!!)

    OK, I give up. I can’t pick.

  4. Oh, I love Korean food and this Sweet and Spicy Fried Chicken looks excellent – I am sure it is way better than the Colonel’s – I have got to say I would not have eaten KFC for at least 30 years – reading what you and others are saying maybe I should give it another try! I do have these thoughts sometimes of trying food from fast food chains!

  5. Raymund says:

    Any fried chicken will do for me but definitely something hot, spicy and crunchy will be the first choice

  6. lovin this kind of comforting and fun restaurant!!!
    damn i love nitrogen ice cream too….

  7. Fried chicken is everything, and that fried chicken looks mighty fine!

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