For over 40 years, locals have considered Ji Guang Xiang Xiang (继光香香鸡), also known as J&G Chicken, to have the best fried chicken in Taipei.
Since opening in Taichung in 1973, J&G Chicken, or Ji Guang Delicious Fried Chicken, has become a household name. Over the years, the restaurant has continued to expand across Taiwan and currently has international branches in China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Singapore.
J&G Chicken was located in a prime location at the entrance of Ximending just outside exit 6 of Taipei’s Ximen Station. The moment I exited the station, I could see the line extending into the street.
I was told that there is always a line out front. The restaurant, more of a street food stall built into a building, has gained a loyal following with locals, tourists, and foodies.
While I was waiting in line, I took a peek into the small kitchen. In the kitchen, workers dressed in red shirts and visors were preparing, breading, frying, and serving fresh chicken.
Bite-sized pieces of chicken breast were coated in a flour and spice mixture and tossed in hot oil. The chicken was fried to order, ensuring a fresh and crispy chicken.
After 10 minutes, I made it to the front of the line. After paying, I was handed a white bag full of bite-sized popcorn fried chicken along with a toothpick for eating.
There were no tables or seats. Everyone was eating in the street out front of the restaurant.
With the name Ji Guang Delicious Fried Chicken, I was expecting the popcorn fried chicken to be nothing but delicious.
Since this was my first time eating here, I thought I’d go for the most popular item on the menu, a small order of the No. 1 Popcorn Chicken (75 TWD or about $2.54). There was also a larger option for 120 TWD or about $4.08.
As mentioned before, all chicken was fried to order. This ensured that the golden brown breading was crispy and crunchy. Since chicken breast is easy to overcook, I was worried the chicken would be dry. Fortunately, the chicken was cooked well, but not as juicy as Hot-Star Large Fried Chicken just down the street.
I really enjoyed the seasoning the chicken was tossed in. It was different than fried chicken found back at home in California.
The flavors were sweet, salty, and spicy with a rather rich taste. After being pulled from the fryer, I was given the option to add spicy chili powder. I thought the chili powder was quite mild. The sweetness stood out, most likely from star anise. I was told the chicken was seasoned with 10 different spices, but exactly what was a closely guarded secret.
Not much else to it. Use the toothpick to eat each piece of chicken and watch out for bones. The popcorn chicken was not boneless so be careful. The bones will sneak up on you.
- Chicken was fried and seasoned well
- Chicken breast was not overcooked or dry
- Watch out for bones in the chicken
- Chili powder could be spicier
For over 40 years, Ji Guang Xiang Xiang Ji has been serving delicious popcorn fried chicken. The chicken was simple but executed well. Juicy on the inside and crispy on the outside with a salty, sweet, and spicy seasoning.
Hot-Star Large Fried Chicken will always be my favorite fried chicken shop in Taipei, but J&G Chicken is a solid contender that should be at the top of any list of must eat foods in Taipei.
Open daily from 11:30 AM to 11:00 PM
No. 121-1, Hanzhong Street, Wanhua District, Taipei, Taiwan
GPS Coordinates: 25.042944,121.507673