The name of this place is a bit of a misnomer as their specialty is Korean style fried chicken instead of BBQ. I would never have known about this place if Kelly of Kelly’s Culinary Adventures had not posted Instagram pictures of the fried chicken from Yum Yum BBQ last Saturday. It’s no secret that I’m a fiend for fried chicken, in particular spicy fried chicken. Strangely enough, it’s not that easy to find spicy fried chicken. My favourite has been the version from Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits in the US. When I learned that Yum Yum BBQ offered spicy fried chicken, I couldn’t contain my excitement and wanted to try it as soon as I could. I convinced my foodie pal foodkarma of Food Karma to go and check it out with me the very next day.
Having had my share of mediocre fried chicken, we decided to take the conservative approach and share a 3 piece Chicken Meal ($8.25) to start. This gave us an opportunity sample the various flavours so we could determine which ones we liked best. Yum Yum BBQ offers four varieties of fried chicken – regular Fried Chicken, Hot Fried Chicken, Yum Yum Chicken, and Shallot Chicken. We decided to try the Shallot Chicken, Yum Yum Chicken, and Hot Fried Chicken. The 3-piece Chicken Meal came with fries and a choice of soft drink. To our pleasant surprise, the fries were actually done quite well. They were crispy and not greasy at all. Since Yum Yum BBQ serves Korean style fried chicken, we initially just assumed the Yum Yum Chicken would be tossed in a gochujang sauce (a fermented red chili soybean paste often used in Korean cooking both as a marinate and as a condiment), similar to the version that Olive Chicken or Anju offers. To our surprise, the Yum Yum variety was not gochujang based at all. Instead, it was more similar to a honey garlic style of sauce but was mildly spiced with hints of cinnamon. Since I’m not usually a fan of stuff drenched in a sweet sauce, the Yum Yum variety ended up being my least favourite out of the three.
By far, my favourite was the Hot Fried Chicken. I ended up ordering a half order of the Hot Fried Chicken ($9.99 for half; $19.99 for full) to go. It was perfectly crispy and not greasy, which just the right amount of spicy kick to it. I was impressed that their style of batter was as crispy as the one from Popeyes Chicken and Biscuits, which I really love. I was actually pretty impressed at how well the chicken survived the trip home. By the time I got home, the chicken has just cooled enough but it was still very crispy and not soggy at all. I should mention everything is made fresh to order so there is a bit of a wait. Personally, I don’t mind and I actually prefer that everything is freshly fried to order. I can’t stand fried chicken that’s been sitting under a heat lamp for who knows how long. There is no doubt Yum Yum BBQ is now my go to place for fried chicken here in the Calgary area. To me, without question it definitely beats KFC and Chicken On The Way. I personally like it even more than Olive Chicken. And to date, they are the only ones I’m aware of that offer a spicy fried chicken that’s not tossed in sauce. My only quibble is that a few of the boneless white meat pieces were a touch dry. I would have preferred if they were bone-in, instead, which helps to keep in more moisture.
I also ended up getting a half order of the Shallot Chicken ($10.25 for half; $20.49 for full). This was actually my second favourite amongst the three. I mainly got the Shallot Chicken for my dining companions who can’t handle the spice. The Shallot version had salty sweet flavours with a hint of heat. It was tasty but if it were up to me, I’d stick with the Hot variety all the way.
The Hot Fried Chicken is definitely the best spicy fried chicken I can find in the Calgary area. While I think the spicy version from Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits in the US is my still favourite, this version from Yum Yum BBQ will more than adequately satisfy my fried chicken cravings. I just wish they would set up a location right in Calgary so that I wouldn’t have to trek so far to get my spicy fried chicken fix.
Yum Yum BBQ Korean Cuisine
3 Stone Gate Drive NW