Taiwanese fried chicken is a staple snack, popular in the night markets of the nation′s capital Taipei. These are usually made of chicken fillet slices or one large chicken fillet sliced butterfly-style, then fried twice—the first to seal in the flavor, and the second to cook it to the proper doneness. The chicken pieces get sprinkled with a mixture of salt, pepper, and chili powder for a hint of taste plus an extra kick. Usually, this is eaten alone with an accompaniment of gravy—but this specialty hailing from the Republic of China is also an excellent viand in itself, best with a cup of rice.
Hot Star Large Fried Chicken is among the Taiwanese fried chicken joints emerging here in the Philippines. Hot Star prides itself as the creator of the XXXL fried chicken, since its inception in 1992. This restaurant already had an established presence in major cities around the world—like Australia, Singapore, and the United States. Its first foray into local shores started in 2014, with a branch at the Blue Bay Walk in Pasay City. Since then, it has expanded to a few more branches—such as F. Dela Rosa Street (near Katipunan Avenue), P. Tuazon Boulevard (a few steps from SM Cubao and Ali Mall), Banawe, and Eastwood City. CJ and I have been to the Eastwood branch last year, and I wasn′t able to return until recently – which is timely. Well, what do you know…I′m back in Libis!
Here′s a random piece of trivia: this Hot Star branch used to be the Eastwood City Walk branch of the Station 168 internet cafe. This computer shop, which served as a sort of predecessor to the Mineski internet cafe chain of today, mainly catered to a South Korean clientele. It occupied this spot until 2013, when it closed down due to lack of customers. Why, you might ask? With an hourly rate hailing from the early 2000s—P60 an hour—some people found it too expensive. Internet shops had a pricing like that during the time when DSL internet was just being introduced! Okay, moving on – expensive and slow internet is for another day.
An unforgettable scent of freshly fried chicken and spices instantly captures one the moment he or she enters Hot Star. One or two dining tables are present at the ground floor, but the upper level has more dining space—a feature retained from its former iteration. There is a function room beside this upper area but it′s mostly closed. Hot Star′s signature unlimited gravy is present, but you have to go down to the lower level to get refills. It uses the ordering system found in most milk tea shops: place your order, they give you an RFID coaster, and then claim your order once the coaster vibrates. Their rice costs P20 per extra order, so it′s best to get extra rice early on if you′re a heavy eater.
As usual, below are some pictures of Hot Star′s Eastwood City Branch. Do check out their official website, Facebook page, Twitter profile, and Instagram profile to stay connected and be updated with their latest promotions. Until the next review, bon appetit!
Hot Star Large Fried Chicken
Units 2B and 2C, Eastwood City Walk 2,
Eastwood City, Bagumbayan,
Libis, Quezon City 1110