Existing just as a fried chicken conduit, Furai Chicken, housed in Irvine’s Zion Market has big flavors for a small location.
With a passion for the Korean variety of fried chicken, the menu of Furai’s delivery-only and take-out outpost comprises halved and whole fried chicken. It has the products served in many different styles alongside different spices and sauces.
Tommy Kim, a chef from Orange County, owns Furai Chicken. Kim also operates Costa Mesa’s Mokkoji Shabu Shabu. Miguel Elizalde, its Irvine Boulevard location manager, says that Furai Chicken started in 2017 as a small venture. Elizalde also said that paying attention to a one-of-a-kind niche means that the location typically has a product line that starts early.
Elizalde told Irvine Weekly that it is a conventional fried chicken made from Korean ingredients with Korean recipes. Furai Chicken sells the product in two parts, the half one and the full one. The former consists of five pieces, comprising a chicken leg, breast cut into half, wing, and thigh. On the other hand, the latter has ten pieces.
The Furai menu contains chicken wings, too, served in one variant of styles that come in 10 increments.
By including an array of frying styles, the menu is adorned with chicken prepared in many different renditions of sweetness, spice and crispiness. It may be small, but the menu has an impressive variety with dishes that offer a nod to conventional Korean cooking.
Elizalde said that Original will be Furai’s crispy and conventional fried chicken option, and that customers can pick from 10 different sauce options to have with it. The product varies with regard to sweetness and spices. The chicken that is more like rotisserie in style is the Furai Old-Fashioned, which is not cut in pieces. Instead of doing so, Furai Chicken batters and deep-fries it; the location cuts the product in half and serves it in the whole form. The product is named thus since it is an old-school way of consuming chicken in South Korea.
Elizalde also said that some Furai products are served in pre-sauced forms. When it comes to popularity, the spicy and sweet, Kang Jung and soy garlic are all top options for people who like to get their fingers covered with sauce.
Are you looking forward to enjoying the sauce so much that you forget everything else? If yes, Furai’s compilation of homemade sauces may satisfy you. The sauce list includes a standard spicy ranch, lemon garlic, smoke soy, garlic jam, conventional Kang Jung, and spicy ‘volcano’ varieties. That means Furai is passionate about chicken and sauce to the same extent.
Your average KFC connoisseurs are sure to appreciate or notice the essence of the fried, Korean-style chicken menu. Anyhow, the takeout-only location concept is conceived to let grocery shoppers order food items, collect grocery products in the Irvine market, and collect their orders after the shopping process. As for some industry experts, that is another thing that makes the location fascinating.
While every order takes about 15 minutes, Elizalde said that what Furai Chicken offers are ‘cooked-to-order’ products. That means the cooking process starts after the customer makes their order, which results in fresh chicken daily. On the odd weekend, Furai often sells out as it tries to keep the consistency of chicken freshness. Customers have the option to make their chicken orders and then shop for grocery products in the market. As for Elizalde, the whole concept means that albeit Furai Chicken takes 30 to 40 minutes or so, it is good as an idea.
Furai Chicken in this market is its lone occasion in California’s Orange County. Elizalde emphasized the point that while it started small, it is growing. It has one location each in Los Angeles County and Riverside County.
In the event of planning to go there, do not forget to try the pre-sauced variety of Furai’s conventional Korean dish named ‘Kang Jang’.
As for the location manager, mild Korean-style sauce that has a hint of cinnamon and ginger is a more accurate description of Kang Jung. Furai Chicken cooks the dish with a spicy, Korean chili powder too. According to the location manager, it is a good dish not just to look at but also taste.