One of the most well-known streets food found at Taipei’s Ximending is Hot-Star Large Fried Chicken. This small restaurant, ironically located below KFC, has become famous for its large Taiwanese fried chicken.
The first Hot-Star Large Fried Chicken location opened at nearby Shilin Night Market. Today, the restaurant has chains across Taiwan and across the globe.
One thing I noticed about this restaurant was how busy it was, at all hours of the day. You could always find a line of people standing outside waiting to try one of the famous slabs of the juicy fried chicken breast.
Although Taipei has better food options, I can’t imagine visiting without eating at Hot-Star Large Fried Chicken.
If you are looking for more information about Taipei, I highly recommend you pick up a guidebook such as Lonely Planet Pocket Taipei
Hot-Star Large Fried Chicken Menu
The menu at Hot-Star Large Fried Chicken featured fried foods and more fried foods.
You had the large fried chicken along with a variety of fried goodies including seafood, vegetables, and potatoes.
According to the menu, the most popular items were the Shutter Bean Curd, Tempura, and Tainan Fried Shrimp Winding (all 60 TWD or about $2.03). In my opinion, the most popular item had to be the large fried chicken. Everyone was ordering it and this is what they were famous for.
There were two lines in front. On the left is where I paid for my order. Orders were picked up on the right.
After paying for my order, I received a receipt. The receipt, which was mostly in Chinese, had a number at the top. This number was my order number, which in my case was 527.
After about 10 minutes, my number, 527, was displayed on the board and my order was ready.
At Hot-Star Large Fried Chicken, there were no seats or tables. After I received my order, I did as everyone else did and ate my hot fried chicken in the streets of Ximending.
Hot-Star Large Fried Chicken
There was only one thing I wanted and that was the famous Hot-Star Large Fried Chicken (70 TWD or about $2.37).
Not surprising, the chicken was hot, large, and fried. The portion size was not just large, but humongous. The “mega-size” chicken breast, as they called it, was almost the size of my face. It was a full meal and could have easily fed two to three people.
The breading was fried to a perfect golden brown. It wasn’t too thick or thin and managed to stick to the chicken without falling apart. Each rich bite a perfect crispy and crunchy texture without being too greasy.
The breading was seasoned well with salt, star anise, and a smoky and spicy chili powder. The flavors were a perfect balance of salty, savory, and spicy. Though not as spicy as I would have preferred, the chili powder managed to add a hint of heat.
Since the chicken breast was pounded thin and then fried, I was expecting it to be anything but juicy. Chicken breast is easy to overcook making it tough and dry. This was not the case here. The smoking hot chicken was surprisingly juicy and moist after being taken out of the fryer just moments before.
Just watch out for bones. At first, I thought the chicken breast was boneless, but as I made my way down, I encountered some bones and cartilage.
Each time I find myself back in Taipei, I make it a priority to stop at Hot-Star Large Fried Chicken. I really enjoy a good fried chicken and no place does it better.
Not only was the chicken hot, large, and fried but it was juicy and tender with sweet, salty, and spicy flavors. For the price and amount of food you get, I can’t imagine a better place in Taipei.
- Chicken fried to perfection without being dry
- Huge portion size
- Sweet, savory, and spicy flavors
- Watch out for chicken bones
- Limited menu with fried foods only
- No seating
Early to late
1/F, No. 14-16, Emei Street, Wanhua District, Taipei City, Taiwan 108
GPS Coordinates: 25.043382,121.507131