Cross-posted from Calgary is Awesome.
A couple weeks ago, while we were still in the midst of Stampede, B. wanted to eat something “Stampede-ish” without going to the grounds. Since I hadn’t remembered the last time I’ve eaten fried chicken, we decided to head down to Olive Chicken to give their “KFC” (Korean Fried Chicken) a try.
The tiny restaurant is located at the corner of a Korean strip mall on 10th Ave, next to Community Natural Foods. There are a few tables available, but they mostly do take-out. Everything is fried to order in olive oil, hence the name.
While the chicken is obviously the star of the show, Olive Chicken has obviously been trying to expand its menu, offering poutine, fried vegetables, rice, salad and pickled daikon in addition to its signature dish.
We decided to maximize the amount of food we tried by ordering a small Half & Half ($11.50), which had three pieces of their Crispy Fried Chicken and two pieces of their Hot & Sweet Sauce Chicken.
The Crispy Fried Chicken lived up to its name – the skin was well-seasoned and crispy, while the meat was hot and moist. The chicken wasn’t greasy at all, and despite olive oil’s strong flavour, you couldn’t really taste it in the chicken.
The Hot & Sweet Sauce Chicken is the same fried chicken slathered with what tastes like Thai Sweet Chili sauce. The sticky, sweet and spicy chicken provides a nice flavour contrast from the plain Crispy Fried Chicken, but I think I prefer the crispier skin of the latter.
We also tried the Fried Veggies/Veggie Fries ($4.99), which included battered carrots, kabocha squash, broccoli and onion rings.
Since I’m already a fan of broccoli tempura when I go out for Japanese, the deep fried broccoli was an instant favourite – I love how the batter gets tucked into each of the little bittersweet florets, adding a burst of crunch and salt. B. voted the kabocha squash as his favourite – the light crispy batter giving way to the soft and sweet vegetable. In the end though, having fried chicken and fried vegetables was a little heavy for us – we’ll probably opt for the salad next time.
Last but not least, we grabbed a side of Pickled Daikon ($1 or free with all large chicken orders) to help lighten things up and cool things down.
This simple little bowl of cubed pickled daikon was such a good idea. It was cool, sweet with just a bit of tang, the perfect complement to a deep fried meal.
All in all, I really enjoyed my trip to Olive Chicken – the food is cheap, good and the service is very friendly (I believe it is family-run). Unfortunately, fried chicken is not something I eat a lot of, so it will probably have to be a trip I make only once or twice a year!