Cult Korean fried chicken joint, NeNe Chicken, swans into town.
Cult Korean fried chicken joint, NeNe Chicken, swans into town.
Freshly baked bread, molten hot cinnamon donuts freshly tossed in sugar, sizzling bacon… in the definitive snack ranking of ‘most enchanting aroma’, hot crispy fried chicken, would easily earn itself a nom in the ‘elite’ category, hands down. So if you’ve been wandering through the Pacific Fair in recent weeks, and suddenly found yourself wondering ‘what smells so good?’… the answer is likely newcomer Korean-style fried chicken joint, NeNe Chicken.
With a name that translates to ‘yes! yes!’ – the famed, fried chicken franchise originating in South Korea has had fans in a flap for its golden, crunchy goodness since 1999. The now 40-strong expansion Down Under spans across (almost) every state (sorry Tassie, no soup chicken for you). Each new outlet is commonly welcomed with queues of devotees and peckish punters eager to find out what all the fuss is about.
If you’re yet to experience the hype first-hand, the second most googled query about Korean Fried Chicken is ‘How is it SO crispy’ #whatisthiswitchcraft?! The super-crunch secret lies not in sorcery or some hush-hush spice recipe, but in the addition of potato starch to the unique batter mix and twice-fried cooking methods. See ya later, sog-town breaded chicken.
The NeNe offering of classic Korean chicken comes in nine different varieties, ranging from the OG, Sweet-Spicy (Swicy) and Bulgolgi, right through to Freaking Hot, for the daring. All of which you can opt to devour as classic tenders, wingettes, drummettes, or in wrap or burger form.
Owned by Zhiyu Hao, the newest NeNe outlet is strategically situated on Pac Fair’s Boulevard, just off the Resort precinct, following in the footsteps of Queensland’s first location, Myer Centre Uptown (old habits die hard) and ahead of a forthcoming Australia Fair location… (so, get excited northern GC gang).
The NeNe Chicken tagline is Happy Choice and the interior reflects that, with pops of bright yellow and a giant neon sign. But LBH, we’re here to smash wings like it’s feeding time on Tiger Island, so the cheerful shop fit-out is just an added bonus.
The menu revolves around succulent pieces of authentic chicken served in their signature crunchy coating, and tossed in sticky Korean sauce, should you so wish.
The sides offer a choice between Korean Salad, Cheesy Sticks, and potato in various forms, such as Chips (with or without Cheesy Mayo) or the Tornado Potato – and who among us is not a sucker for a chippie served on a stick, school fete style?
And if you find you can’t stand the heat (maybe it was a little ambitious opting for the ‘Snowing Chilli’ marinade) – cool off those tastebuds with a Black Sesame or Matcha soft-serve cone. Sweet relief, indeed!
Where: Pacific Fair, Shop 1606/07, 2/32 Hooker Blvd, Broadbeach
When: Monday – Sunday 11am – 9pm
Words by Kellie Leader.
Think you’ve seen and done absolutely every attraction under the sun here on the GC? Oh contraire, fun seekers – because House Down Under, a brand new, brain-bending funhouse has come to town, flipping our fun prospects on their head entirely.
Australia’s favourite inverted house photo experience, House Down Under, has just landed in Broadbeach – and quite precariously so, we might add. If the surreal sight of an about-face abode, perilously teetering on its rooftop just outside of Pacific Fair had you doing a double take in recent weeks – no, your eyes do not deceive you.
Well, until you step inside, that is.
The two story, interactive experience offers a dizzying array of quirky installations for families and photo op seekers to explore, with the totally flipped rooms providing plenty of one-of-a-kind backdrops to commemorate the whacky and whimsical experience.
Consider this your reminder to finally deal with those pesky full phone storage alerts – you’ll need it as you get snap-happy striking enough poses to make a surly teen mutter something about being ‘cringe’ (as is the prerogative of parents everywhere).
Create and capture unforgettable memories navigating your way through the perplexing perspectives of a flipped kid’s room, entryway, lounge room, bedroom and kitchen area… and hold the ‘throne’ – there’s even an upside-down loo bringing a whole new meaning to toilet humour.
Like scenes straight from a fever dream, it’s House Down Under’s realistic finishes and attention to detail that really seal the deal. With plenty of fun, interactive props so you can ham it up with all the hilarity of a Thank God You’re Here ep along the way.
The only limit is your imagination as you venture through this curious chalet – defy gravity as you strike a pose jumping off the ceiling, or perhaps appear as if you’re levitating, sci-fi style. Make the most of the experience, the HDU team is on hand to help and provide plenty of perspective-bending pointers – so no worries about nailing those mind-boggling shots, y’all. Finally, our chance to live out those Next Top Model fantasies.
Our favourite part? With no limit to how long you can spend inside the house, there’s absolutely no rush to get *the* perfect pic for the ’gram.
Centrally positioned in the heart of Broadbeach, the oh-so-convenient Pacific Fair location is coupled with extended opening hours running from 10am through to 6pm daily. Running out of the Purple Carpark (near 7-Eleven), the sky (or the ceiling-turned-floor) truly is the limit on the fun to be had at this topsy-turvy encounter.
From aspiring influencers on the hunt for scroll-stopping content, to absolutely anyone looking for some good old-fashioned family fun, with the many jaw-dropping photo ops on offer – the fantastical House Down Under experience is not one you’ll soon forget.
The unexpected and unique experience will appeal to everyone from aspiring influencers to those looking to share some fantastical antics with their crew. Grab your tickets here.
Words by Kellie Leader
STORY SPONSORED BY HOUSE DOWN UNDER.
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Is it a username belonging to some rando causing a ruckus in the comment section? No, it’s Hwaro92 – a brand new, Korean BBQ flavour sensation – the latest to join Robina Town Centre’s ranks amid its elevated The Kitchens precinct.
Serving authentic flavours designed to transport you to the streets of Seoul, Hwaro92 delivers the traditional, Korean style of barbecue. A hands-on – and addictive – experience, where, with your choice of high-quality cuts at the ready, you converge with your crew around a glowing grill to char your mouth-watering selections to perfection (and attempt to keep the salivation levels in check).
Also known as “Gogi-gui”, the classic Korean method of cooking is complemented by a selection of specialty dishes from the kitchen such as tender and sweet beef Bulgogi Bibimbap, Kimchi Fried Rice and Spicy Soft Tofu Soup. So, yep, there’s plenty worth getting fired up over, here folks.
And if there’s one thing that’s guaranteed to take food to a whole new level of delectable, it’s some smoky, barbecue goodness. Sear-iously – we challenge you to come up with even one ingredient that doesn’t benefit from being slapped across smoking hot grill.
So, whether you’re an old hand at the art of self-seared, melt-in-your-mouth meats, or totally new to the tantalising wonders of Korean fare, Hwaro92 should have the ‘ole tastebud alarms well and truly sounding.
Owner Allan Park can certainly stand the heat in this kitchen – his experience doling out East Asian eats already extends to two venues, including Chermside’s Bulgogi Bros. A grill-focused venture has been a long-term goal driven by Allan’s enthusiasm for carnivorous eats, ‘I love to handle and eat meats’ – and hey, who doesn’t – adding, ‘I’m always buying big cuts of meat… trimming and boning it to get a better cut and different texture’.
Of course, at a venue like Hwaro92 it’s the kitchen crew doing all the heavy lifting – so we can swan in and take all the grill glory, Steven Bradbury style. Enlisting the expert skills of Sangbong Seo, a gun, Korean culinary graduate head chef with whom Allan shares a lengthy hospo history. Diners are in excellent hands here.
With a fit-out flanked by the ubiquitous sight of grill-adorned tables throughout, the roomy 80 seater is more than equipped to handle the onslaught of flame-licked fare fans. Bedecked in classic black marble and oak finishes, the space – delivered by Yura Choi and Yoon Kang – also includes a 12 pax private area for those looking to gather a group for a delicious, grill-studded celebration.
So whatddya say, Gold Coast? Time to get in on some mouth-wateringly good GIY (grill it yourself) action? We thought so.
Whether you’re not yet familiar with the flame-kissed wonders of Korean BBQ or a keen connoisseur of the trademark, melt-in-your-mouth marinated meats – it’s high time we all met Hwaro92.
One bird evokes a strong reaction from us all and no, we’re not talking about a female or the polarising bin chicken. We’re referring to the actual chicken, AKA the universal palette pleaser. Fry it, roast it, grill it, boil it, whatevs – we love it all.the.ways, but are particularly partial to a charcoal chook. So when word spread about Bird Royale, a charcoal chicken slinging newbie set to open at Brickworks Ferry Road this Friday 2nd December, it really ‘beaked‘ our interest. But this isn’t just any run-of-the-mill chicken joint, it‘s a high-end, fancy-pants version! Set to be the most hensome of its kind, we have big eggs-pectations and cannot wait to chick it out!
The latest brainchild from Dave Galvin and SITE Hospitality, Bird Royale joins an exciting (h)ensemble of the company’s eats offerings, including northern watering-hole fave Crafty’s Sports Bar and the brand spanking new MOZZA MOZZA Italian noshery at Southport Sharks. To ensure this bougie chookery keeps the Galvin/SITE names in high regards, renowned Group Executive Chef Nic Wood is on board, and has created a clucking awesome menu. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner (with vegetarian options to boot), they’ve taken it one-step further and offer kerbside collection from 5pm via the open-air chicken shop window. And the plot chickens, coz they also deliver and cater for functions and srsly, genius mode is officially activated!
Let’s start with the signature dish which is obvs the whole or half charcoal chicken. Cooked to juicy perfection with just the right amount of charcoal charm courtesy of the custom-built charcoal rotisserie, it’s a winner winner chicken dinner. To elevate the flavour another notch, choose from the original house sumac seasoning or the signature miso and chilli spiced variety, and throw in a seasonal salad, roasted vegetables or a vegetable bake.
If you’re trying to give those love handles the ‘ole heave-ho, how about a fresh wholesome salad packed with locally sourced produce? Or if you couldn’t give two tosses about the kg coz duh, it’s the silly season, have a go of the crispy gluten-free fried chicken range, served by the box (five pieces) or bucket (10 pieces) with pickles and hot sauce. Seasoned with secret spices and a combination of rice, potato and corn flours, just add a salad, side of chips, or potato tots dusted in Old Bay seasoning, and can someone pls pass a hanky coz we’re drooling.
There are also made-to-order burgers including the Classic Bird (fried chicken breast, lettuce, aioli, pickles), fresh sangas like the Super Fly Roll with charcoal chicken pieces, house-made chicken gravy and smoked butter on a crusty white roll, and a special menu for the kiddos.
The brekky set can start their day with the likes of the Ultimate Breakfast Sandwich, featuring a sausage patty, crispy bacon, fried egg, cheese, and ketchup in a milk bun. Or nom something from the grab-and-go cabinet, choccas all-day-long with snacks like fruit salads, chia puddings with caramelised pineapple and coconut, a selection of breakfast wraps, and roast chicken and salad rolls to name a few. And let’s not forget the sips, with coffee by popular Melbourne roaster ST. Ali, house-made iced tea in rotating flavours, cold-pressed juices by The Fix, Liberty kombuchas, soft drinks, and non-alcoholic beers by UPFLOW Brewing Co.
So folks, from this Friday make sure you eggs-it stage left to Bird Royale for the ultimate fancy chick fest (in more ways than one, given the Brickworks location wink wink).
Words by Bianca Trathen.
Images by Brittany Kreskas.