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Jul 12, 2006 07:38 AM

Garlic Fried Chicken @ Jook N Fun, SF

On Monday my mom suggested won tons for lunch at Jook N Fun on Irving Street. The specials listed on one of the wall boards have been translated into English. The four season beans I liked so much last time are listed as dry sauteed string beans or something like that. Next on the list is garlic chicken. This is a whole chicken, albeit a small bird, cooked to order. You're warned that it takes 20 minutes. It's worth it though for the plate of hacked up, scalding hot, garlicky, tender bites with that gloriously crisp skin. A bit of maltose makes a nice crust and adds a touch of sweetness that catches the deep-fried garlic bits. Mom complained that the chicken was chopped rather unartfully with too many bone splinters. But the three of us ate nearly all of it except for few pieces of white meat after we gobbled up the skin, in addition to our two bowls of noodle soups. Priced less than $8 per order --- highly recommended.

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  1. This looks very much like the chicken served at Cantonese restaurants that refer to it as Dja Dzee Gai (which is a kind of fried chicken that looks like the picture you have, sans garlic and is much smaller than the usual Foster Farms kind used for other preps though not a game hen) though it resembles "Suen Heung Gai" a lot more (fragrant garlic chicken) which I think last time I had a rendition like this was the RIP Seafood Harbor in Millbrae (literally fried crispy goodness garlic smothered all over). This seems like a nice balance.

    1. The skin wasn't as crackly as dja dzee gai (or however you want to spell it). The size of this chicken was on the order of a poussin, which is larger than a game hen but smaller than a 3# fryer.

      1. Mayflower at the Great Mall does a "garlic sauce chicken" (there's actually no sauce): the chicken was merely good, but we all fought over the crispy garlic pieces. Krung Thai in San Jose has a fried beef dish with crispy garlic (the beef is always overcooked, but the garlic makes it worthwhile).

        1 Reply
        1. re: Claudette

          You sound like an excellent candidate to love Filipino garlic rice for breakfast. Skip the meats on those other dishes and get down to basics!

        2. You're right again, Melanie! My four basic food groups: garlic, rice, chocolate, and wine - but not always in that order.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Claudette

            Then we definitely need to hear more from you on your favorites!

          2. Melanie, you're seriously making my mouth water. Where on Irving is this place?