“Stomach rumbling, mouth-watering and lip-licking: this is the NeNe effect.”
So says Canberra’s newest NeNe Chicken franchisee owner, Shaw Zhu.
NeNe simply means yes, yes in Korean and Mr Zhu is thrilled to be joining the network of NeNe stores serving authentic Korean fried chicken since 1999.
“It is with great excitement and joy that the first NeNe Chicken store has arrived in Canberra located in Gungahlin Village Shopping Centre,” he says.
“Be it dine-in or takeaway, NeNe Chicken strives to offer the freshest and tastiest chicken for you to leave with a happy spirit.”
Mr Zhu is also the owner of Zhangliang Malatang Canberra, where you hand-pick all your favourites from a wide range of vegetables, meats, seafood and then take your selection to the team who freshly cook the noodles with your choice of soup base.
NeNe is a completely different offering. Featuring brightly coloured red and yellow signage with a festive balloon arch, you can’t miss Gungahlin Village’s newest addition to fast food.
Manager Boya Zheng is warm and welcoming.
“The district has Korean restaurants but no Korean street food,” he says. “Shaw Zhu and I saw a gap in the foodie market and jumped at the opportunity to join with over 30 NeNe Chicken stores in Australia serving the secret marinade and batter mix recipe.”
The franchise lays claim to a unique batter mix coated on always fresh chicken and says the variety of directly imported authentic Korean flavours ensures NeNe Chicken is always tender and juicy. It’s fried at a sizzling 175 degrees for a perfect crispy skin.
NeNe Chicken delivers to all five senses by serving authentic Korean fried chicken that satisfies.
I was in heaven as I looked at the choices on offer, taking in the smells of garlic, chilli and spices. A devout fried chicken lover, my eyes widened with the option of a burger, fusion taco, wingettes or wraps.
With my eyes bigger than my tummy, I narrowed down my menu selection and started with the Classic Range Chicken.
Patiently waiting while my chicken was freshly coated and cooked to order, my mouth salivated in anticipation – and oh yes it did deliver! Super crunchy chicken coating on a soft milk bun with crispy red onion and shredded lettuce and just the right amount of drizzled ranch sauce.
A garlic fiend, I couldn’t leave without a take-away option for myself to taste test later and ordered both the Garlic Chicken and The Snowing Cheese pieces – lightly coloured with a feathery dusting and an interesting flavour of chicken and cheese that pleasantly surprised.
With growing twin teenage boys at home who like their food hot, “freaking hot”, I ordered a take home treat – the Freaking Hot wingettes and drumettes combo.
My spice-loving, chilli-chomping boys devoured their first Freaking Hot wingette, quickly followed by a Korean pickled radish side and a glass of cold milk. One commented: “Mum are you trying to kill me?”. But with the chicken’s addictive flavours and his desire for heat, eyes watering and lips burning he went back for more.
NeNe Chicken Gungahlin opened its doors to the public on 17 September and is offering three weeks of grand opening specials. It’s a must-visit for those wanting to experience deliciously marinated, moist on the inside and crunchy on the outside pieces of chicken with a choice of sides and secret recipe sauces
Hosting a private function? NeNe Chicken cater too. The venue is centrally located at Shop 12C, Gungahlin Village, 46-50 Hibberson Street, on the tram line in Gungahlin.