Fried chicken. Tell me I’m not the only one who has a soft spot for some juicy fried chicken. Imagine having that fried chicken then drenched in sweet chilli sauce, served with a side of chips that are so moreish, you can’t stop popping it into your mouth! That’s how I would define the food at Gami Chicken & Beer.
I’ve heard about this place a few times now, but haven’t bothered to try until we happened to chance upon the opening over at Hawthorn. That’s sort of the new “date night” joint for both Mr. C and I. For now at least. The place was packed and because we hadn’t made a booking, we decided to take a rain check and try their wares another week. Which we did the week after. I think that was about a month ago.
Gami started in 2006, thanks to the founder Rio Yoon who wanted to focus on perfecting a recipe for fried chicken and at the same time sharing one of Korea’s favourite foods to the world – fried chicken. What began in Carnegie, Victoria, now has eight different stores with one of them being in Perth. Their secret? Well, it’s still a secret of course! But, mainly it’s their “golden ratio” of 17 herbs-mixed seasoning. By the way, if you’re wondering how I know all these? Well, it’s on their website and I’ve just sort of summarised the important bits.
How does it work?
Ever wondered why these chicken places have their own way of making it more than it really is? Just fried chicken? I mean look at my last post on Belle’s Hot Chicken! So, likewise, there are a few steps to note when ordering at Gami. That’s if you’re going for their “Fry To Heaven” option, which really is a whole chicken, that is usually enough for a family of 4 (we had to order extras when we had our whole brood), or good for a couple but you’ll be left with extras to take home for lunch the following day.
Choose either a whole chicken that will be cut up into 17 pieces or boneless chicken, which is a mix of breast and thigh fillet.
Choose either 1 flavour or 2 ( half & half) from four flavours: Original, sweet chili, soy garlic or spicy
That’s the chicken part of the deal. They’ve of course got other options like chicken wings, just boneless chicken, chicken spare ribs. All of their chicken orders come with 2 sides – pickled radish and cabbage salad.
They’ve got quite a number of sides to choose from and all with their own unique take of Korean style food.
What we had
The first time we were at their Hawthorn branch, we kept it safe and went with the 1/2 chicken and in original fried seasoning. For our side, we had their seafood pancake. I didn’t mind their original flavoured chicken on my first try, but the seafood pancake was a little bit of a disappointment. There wasn’t much seafood in the pancake, and I would’ve rather gone to a Korean restaurant to get that.
The second time, we decided to bring the kids for lunch over to their Acland Street store. We ordered their whole chicken and had the 1/2 and 1/2 – 1/2 original, 1/2 sweet chili – another 8 pieces of original wings and the corn cheese for our sides.
Gami original flavour wings
Their sweet chili version were finger lickin’ good, as it had a lovely mix of sweet chili, some ginger I believe, in the ingredients. The corn cheese wasn’t what we expected. If you’re hoping for it to be like the grilled Mexican corn with cheese… Well, it’s more corn kernels off the cob with melted cheese. I didn’t mind that, Mr. C found it a bit weird. The kids LOVED the chicken – both sweet chili and original, and for Master 10, it was as if he had died and gone to heaven. He’s a huge fan of chicken, which was why it was no surprise to find him hankering for more!
Gami sweet chili
Needless to say, we managed to head to Gami for the third time for one of our recent date nights. This time we had their full chicken in sweet chili flavour with a serving of their Gami chips. The chips were to-die-for. Well, at least according to me it was. Apparently their chips have been made via the sous-vide method. Wondering what that means? Don’t worry, I did some research (thanks Google!) and it’s really cooking the cut potatoes in a sealed bag and immersed in a water bath for a long time. This ensures that the potatoes are cooked evenly throughout while still retaining the moisture. The chips are then fried then frozen and fried again of course, for a few minutes for that yummy, crunchy on the outside yet soft on the inside texture. They are served with a sprinkling of salt and sugar (yes, sugar!) and a side of mayonnaise (I think?).
Personally, I preferred the original to the sweet chili. Having said that, I thought the sweet chili chicken sure did make a great Korean style lunch the next day. We packed the leftovers from our third visit there for our date night and I heated that up, served with rice, fried egg and grated carrots for lunch the next day.
While we’ve taken a break from having too much fried chicken, Gami is definitely a place I won’t mind going back to again. If you’re wondering which one to venture, I’d say go to the one on Acland Street. It’s usually not as busy as the ones in the city and in Hawthorn.
Gami Chicken & Beer
78A Acland Street