When you mention the words, Korean Chicken, most people will immediately think of fried chicken. Roasted BBQ chicken? Probably not so much. Standing out from the usual Korean Fried Chicken places in Singapore is Firewood Chicken.
Korean Firewood Chicken in Singapore
The Korean-owned chicken restaurant uses actual firewood to roast their chickens, which help give it a nice burnt flavour and extra crispiness. The place is really popular among Koreans as some of their dishes remind them of home.
The place uses quite a lot of wood elements in its interior, probably as a way to further emphasize the use of firewood in the restaurant. You can choose to dine outdoors or indoors (first floor and second floor both available).
The restaurant used to sell bagels during lunch, but they stopped selling it due to their new operating hours.
Menu at Firewood Chicken Katong
The restaurant sells a variety of Tongdak (통닭), which is a whole chicken that’s either been roasted or fried. The fried version is pretty popular in Korean traditional markets, while the roasted version can sometimes be found along streets, sold by food trucks.
They also have fried chicken, stews, and sides such as fries, popcorn chicken and sotteok (sausage and rice cakes).
Roasted Ginseng Chicken
The signature of Firewood Chicken Restaurant is the Roasted Ginseng Chicken ($28). The Korean name for this dish included the word Nurungji (누룽지), which can be translated to scorched rice.
We were informed that the minimum waiting time for this dish was 30 mins. During that period, they served some side dishes such as kimchi and radish cubes. The roasted ginseng chicken also came with a free bowl of odeng (fish cake) soup.
After around 40 mins, the chicken was served to us, piping hot and steaming, over a bed of rice. Cutting into the chicken revealed a rather crispy exterior. While the drumsticks and thigh were really juicy, we found the chicken breast rather dry.
The highlight of this dish was the bed of rice below the chicken, with each bite exploding with flavours. You can spot dates and ginseng in the rice, which gave it a nice invigorating herbal aroma. While its texture was nothing like scorched rice, it was one of the best things we’ve had at a chicken place by far.
Charcoal BBQ Chicken
We also tried their Charcoal BBQ Chicken ($35) with the Sweet Spicy sauce. It also comes in Hot Spicy and Garlic Soy versions.
The Charcoal BBQ Chicken leaned towards the sweeter side, with a tinge of spiciness. Unlike your usual Yangnyeom chicken which has a stronger red pepper spiciness, the sauce here had a prominent black pepper spiciness towards the end.
There are also pieces of chewy cheese rice cakes which were a delight to have with the sweet and spicy sauce.
Our Korean friend said this tasted remarkably similar to a Korean chicken brand called Gcova.
Golbaengi-muchim (골뱅이 무침) is a spicy whelk salad served with noodles. The crunch from the julienned onions, cucumbers, and carrots paired well with the chewy texture of the sea whelks. A nice refreshing dish that cleans away any greasiness from the chicken.
The Jumokbap is a DIY dish where you get to mix and shape the ingredients into rice balls. The result is a savoury, umami burst of flavours from the tuna, seaweed flakes and mayonnaise.
We like to dip the rice balls into any remaining sauce from the chicken for an extra kick.
Korean Craft Beers
Instead of the usual Chimaek, you can now pair your chicken with craft beers! Firewood Chicken serves a variety of Korean craft beers from Kabrew, ARK and Jeju. These might look familiar as they were also featured in our 82 Place article.
A Different Perception of Korean Chicken
While Korean Fried Chicken is delicious, BBQ Roasted Korean Chicken can be equally delicious as well. With unique menu items such as their roasted ginseng chicken and more classic offerings like Tongdak, it’s no wonder Koreans flock to Firewood Chicken for a taste of home.
Firewood Chicken Restaurant
43 E Coast Rd, Singapore 428764
*This is an independent review by MiddleClass.sg