Mr Ji Brings Spicy Taiwanese Fried Chicken To Soho
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Mention fried chicken to most people and their thoughts immediately go to the Southern US, primarily the state of Kentucky (the debate as to whether that counts as a Southern state is one for another day). It's proof that the marketing folk at KFC are doing a good job.
But how about Taiwanese Fried Chicken — ring any bells? Not for me either, so the prospect of sampling some 'TFC' at Mr Ji in Soho has me intrigued.
It's set up very much like a typical fried chicken restaurant with bright lights, and wooden stools and chairs that are designed for a quick bite — spend more than half an hour here and you'll get a very numb backside.
It's clear from the outset this is very different from the typical greasy chicken most of us are guilty of scoffing on the way home after a night out. The popcorn chicken and the half chicken breast are a lot drier and spicier than you might expect of fried chicken, and you'd do well to get some sauce to go with it.
The choice of five different coatings does give the place return value. We try the original spiced and the garlic and coatings — there are subtle differences in the flavours and I'm keen to come back and try the Korean barbecue and other powders.
While the popcorn chicken and breast are solid options, it's the bao that are the real stars of the show. Both sweet chilli and garlic and coriander are saucy delights that counter the dry nature of the chicken perfectly.
While I haven't been fully converted by Mr Ji, it's a place I would revisit, and all fried chicken fans should sample Taiwanese Fried Chicken at least once — it's a unique take on a familiar fast food.
Mr Ji, 72 Old Compton Street, Soho.
Last Updated 17 February 2020