While Chris was driving us home after my birthday dinner, we passed through Crowfoot, a large area in North West Calgary full of shops, restaurants, and quite literally anything you can imagine. It’s a trending suburb, with plenty of new businesses opening to grapple for consumer attention.
I can only imagine what my face looked like when I was gazing out the window, ridiculously full from Teatro’s six-course meal and sleepy from a long night at the orchestra, when I saw it. There it was – a place so close to home, and so full of fried chicken.
Korean Fried Chicken.
So, if you’ve never had Korean fried chicken you will literally be at a loss for words when you try it. That KFC chain doesn’t hold anything to Korean Fried Chicken, not even a candle.
Korean fried chicken is nearly always (if you find a good place) perfectly crispy. Literally every bite is a balance of crispy, seasoned breading and flavourful chicken meat. Korean fried chicken is pure magic because the meat is always, and forever will be, juicy. Somehow, they’ve found a way to make the exterior deliciously fried, while maintaining all the flavour and succulence of the meat inside.
What’s even better about Korean fried chicken? The sauces and the choices. They take a piece of chicken, marinate it, fry it, and dunk the whole thing in different sauces.
You might wonder how the chicken can possibly be good after their sauce bath. Well, the skin is still ridiculously crispy, the sauce is sticky, but perfectly so, and the flavors all combine into a tour de force of sweet, savoury, spicy, salty – whichever sauce you choose.
Nestled in a small location beside Chianti’s, Crunchy House recently opened a couple weeks ago. It’s already busy with routine customers from Calgary’s North West district, but if I lived farther away, I would drive the extra minutes to eat at Crunchy House.
Chris and I bought six pieces of the Golden Crunch and six pieces of the Sweet and Spicy – a whole chicken, basically. Don’t worry, we didn’t eat all of the pieces in one sitting, but if we were really determined, we just might have.
The Golden Crunch choice had all of the aforementioned characteristics of good fried chicken. Crispy, but not overly greasy, the crust on this chicken was phenomenal. It certainly lives up to its name.
Not only that, but Crunchy House adds spices to their breading, something not many other Korean Fried Chicken places do. Each bite is thus tender and full of flavour. Really, what else can you ask for?
The Sweet and Spicy choice still retained all of Golden Crunch’s qualities (albeit slightly less crispy, but what do you really expect), and was drenched in a balanced sauce of – you guessed it, sweet and spicy. Initially, I thought that the sweetness might overwhelm the spiciness and leave us hungry for some chili oil, but the spice came through after a while. While I would say that it definitely borders more on the sweet side, you won’t be lacking the promised spice in the name.
Crunchy House is a must-try. I even returned less than a week later to try out their other menu items, which range between Korean and Vietnamese fare. Their bibimbap was stellar in flavour and ingredient quality, but lacking in that crispy rice that comes from a real stone bowl pot. Unfortunately, Crunchy House uses a plastic stone bowl for the aesthetic, but it certainly doesn’t mean I’ll stop eating the bibimbap!
Other menu items include hot pot, somewhat traditional Vietnamese subs (they use other ingredients, but can we really ever define ‘traditional’?), Korean bulgogi plates, and more. Everything on the menu is worthy of mention, but their menu is so large for such a small place that I can’t possibly list out all their items.
For the large amount of food they serve in each dish, the prices are relatively low, and the place is extremely casual. The sit down tables look like a fast food location, but it is so much more than a fast food location. Their ingredients are fresh, quality, and expertly cooked. I will definitely be coming to Crunchy House many more times – perhaps ending in a heart attack, but well worth it.
420, 20 Crowfoot Crescent NW, Calgary, AB T3G 3T2