When it comes to fried chicken, Koreans do it best. For those who are unfamiliar with Korean fried chicken, they use a twice deep frying technique that renders out the fat leaving the outer exterior of the batter to be thinner and crispier compared to American-style fried chicken. American-style fried chicken involves coating the meat with buttermilk and seasoned flour resulting the skin to be thicker and crunchier when deep fried. Ajuker is a family-owned Korean establishment in small run down strip plaza just off of Burquitlam Station in Port Moody. If your friends are willing to make the trek to the Tri-Cities for fried chicken, it must be pretty darn good fried chicken!
The moment I walked in, I was asked by the waitress if I had made a reservation. It didn’t hit me to make a reservation because I didn’t think it was necessary. I guess they get quite a few reservations throughout the day! Luckily, the place wasn’t packed and I snagged a spacious table for 5. They have a pretty simple layout on the inside with wooden tables and chairs nicely spaced out from one another.
Since the menu here is catered to family style, we decided to order two large orders of fried chicken, spicy rice cakes, and drinks to share.
Complimentary Picked Radish
Fried Chicken Served with Sweet Soy Sauce (Small: $11.99; Large $19.99) Crispy pieces of fried chicken covered in a sweet and savoury soy-based sauce.
The fried chicken was subtly coated in a sweet soy sauce glaze and came out nice and crispy. I had anticipated the sauce to be wet and sticky but the coating was relatively dry. After the first few bites, my friends thought we were accidentally given the original fried chicken instead due to the lack of sauce. Despite this, I thought the chicken had great flavour and I enjoyed the contrast of sweet and savoury between bites.
Fried Boneless Chicken with Green Onion ($23.99) Crispy bite-sized pieces of fried chicken covered with shredded green onions. This came with sauce on the side. When Korean-fried chicken is done properly, the sauce is absorbed into the crust due to its thin batter while retaining its texture. I’m not too sure if this is their rendition of padak as the sauce provided had a creamy horseradish base opposed to the standard asian mustard dressing. The chicken tasted rather bland without the sauce and green onion.
Close up of the sauce for the fried boneless chicken wings
Pan-Fried Spicy Rice Cake with Vegetables ($7.95) Portion size was pretty decent for the price. Rice cakes were nice and chewy but I wasn’t a fan of the sauce. The sauce tasted more sweet than spicy in my opinion. My preference still goes to Kimbab Cheonguk for their spicy rice cakes. For the same price, you get fish cake and noodles too!
As for service, it was pretty lackluster. We had trouble flagging people down to get our water and radish refilled. I guess it’s pretty typical for Korean run establishments to leave you hanging after you receive your order…
101-508 Clarke Rd
Contact: (604) 936-5527