Buttermilk fried chicken is just the start of what makes this new fast food joint so wonderful.

On 29 May, Royal Holdings, which operates big-name restaurants like Shakey’s and Saizeria in Japan, opened a new store called Lucky Rocky Chicken in Musashi Koyama, Tokyo.

This new fast food outlet specialises in buttermilk fried chicken, and is located at the eastern end of Musashi Koyama’s Palm Shopping Street, which is known for being the longest covered arcade in the capital.

▼ Conveniently located a five-minute walk from Musashi Koyama Station on the Tokyu Meguro Line.

This new addition to Tokyo’s fast-food fried chicken scene has become a hot topic online, so our food-loving reporter Mr Sato paid them a visit to see if their new offerings lived up to the hype. Looking at the menu, he found there was quite a bit to choose from, ranging from burgers to fried chicken salad and pieces of fried chicken, sold individually and in sets.

Mr Sato decided to try the original hamburger set for 800 yen (US$7.30), which includes a regular-sized drink and French fries. He also ordered a single piece of fried chicken for 300 yen, to check the taste of the chicken on its own.

While the store offers delivery and takeout options, they also have a small eat-in area too. As there were no other diners inside, Mr Sato decided to dine-in, where he could take some photos of his delicious tray of food.

Before tucking in to his feast of fried chicken, Mr Sato took a sip of his drink, which was the staff-recommended original craft cola. Served in an eco-friendly paper cup, the craft cola contains nine different spices and three kinds of citrus fruits, and it’s an absolute treat for the taste buds. It was refreshing and slightly sweet, and the heady notes of aromatic cinnamon were a fantastic addition to the drink.

▼ The perfect drink for summer.

Next, it was time to try the chicken. While buttermilk fried chicken might be well-known in places like the U.S., here in Japan it’s still hard to come by, and this was actually Mr Sato’s first time trying it. Lucky Rocky Chicken soaks their domestically-sourced chicken breasts in buttermilk overnight and fries them up in a batter containing 12 herbs and spices.

As Mr Sato took a bite out of this one, the fried batter succumbed to his jaws with an oh-so-satisfying crunch. Compared to KFC’s original chicken, Lucky Rocky’s fried coating has a much crunchier texture, and the meat inside is much more tender and juicy thanks to the buttermilk, which helps the chicken retain its moisture while tenderising the meat.

At 300 yen, this was slightly more expensive than a piece of KFC chicken, which retails for 250 yen, but for those wanting a more premium fried chicken experience, the extra cost is definitely worth it.

Now we come to the moment Mr Sato had been waiting for — the fried chicken sandwich. Unlike a lot of burgers on the market, which add lettuce or tomatoes to the filling, this burger contains a mound of shredded cabbage beneath a hunk of chunky fried chicken.

As Mr Sato sank his teeth into the burger, he was able to enjoy the chewiness of the bread and the crunch of the cabbage and fried chicken together, which immediately had him salivating. The cabbage salad contained a delicious vinaigrette dressing, and had bits of coriander throughout, which was great for our coriander-loving Mr Sato, who loves the herb so much he once downed a giant 2-kilo (4.4-pound) topping of coriander with three of his workmates at a Thai restaurant in Tokyo.

There was a lot more cabbage than chicken in the sandwich, but the cabbage-to-chicken ratio was spot-on for cutting through the fattiness of the meat and leaving you with a refreshing aftertaste. Mr Sato fell head-over-heels in love with this fried chicken burger, and highly recommends giving it a try.

According to Royal Holdings, the company plans to open five to 10 Lucky Rocky Chicken outlets in Japan by the end of the year, so there should be plenty more opportunities to try them soon at a location closer to you. With fried chicken this good, there’s a good chance Lucky Rocky Chicken might soon become a home-grown rival strong enough to take on fried chicken juggernaut KFC, with or without their Kentadon rice bowls!

Store information
Lucky Rocky Chicken / ラッキーロッキーチキン
Address:Tokyo-to, Shinagawa-ku, Ebara 3-6-6
Hours: 10:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m.(last order 7:45 p.m.)

Images: ©SoraNews24
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