Taiwanese fried chicken chain TKK Fried Chicken celebrates the grand opening of its Quincy location (1 Beale St.) today, August 23, and throughout the weekend. It’s the second United States location for TKK, which operates 66 locations in Taiwan and two locations in Shanghai. Its other U.S. location is in New York City’s Flatiron District.
The brand new Quincy location, which once housed a Papa Gino’s, is a combined TKK Fried Chicken and Kung Fu Tea shop, a bubble tea chain that already has about a dozen Boston-area locations.
TKK Fried Chicken has its roots in the Wanhua District of Taipei, Taiwan, where it opened its first shop in 1974. The Quincy location isn’t the only American expansion in the works, per the TKK website — shops are apparently also planned for Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Cherry Hill, New Jersey; and Richardson, Texas.
TKK Fried Chicken specializes in — you guessed it — fried chicken, offering diners a choice between tenders, wings, breasts, thighs, drumsticks, and fried chicken sandwiches. Sides include mashed potatoes, coleslaw, curly fries, crunchy cheese curds, and shishito peppers. Unlike the location in New York, the Quincy location doesn’t have a liquor license.
The chicken comes in three different styles — original, crispy mild, and crispy hot. After a visit to the New York outpost, Eater NY critic Robert Sietsema wrote, “For god’s sake, get the crispy spicy!” He also noted that TKK has a “very good biscuit” and a “really, really good” kwa kwa bao, “an invention that’s become a signature of the chain.” The kwa kwa bao is a ball of sticky rice packed with mushrooms that is sealed in chicken skin and then fried.
TKK joins a whole host of other chicken-focused restaurants opening in the Boston area in the coming months (or recently opened). The folks behind Watertown’s Branch Line just opened Shy Bird, which focusses on rotisserie chicken but also features an excellent fried chicken sandwich on its menu, in Cambridge’s Kendall Square; the Oyster Club at the Heritage owner and longtime Greater Boston chef Chris Parsons is opening a pressure-fried chicken spot called Lily P’s in Cambridge later this year; the Moody’s Delicatessen team is on the verge of opening Pollo Club, which will serve fried chicken and vegan food, in the Waltham space once occupied by their taqueria El Rincon De Moody’s; and a team with members associated with Sportello, Charleys Philly Steaks, and Eventide Fenway will open a Nashville hot fried chicken restaurant called Hot Chix sometime in 2020. (Hot Chix is currently popping up around town with some frequency; keep an eye out for upcoming events at Bow Market’s Create Gallery & Cocktail Lounge and beyond.)
Head to Quincy today and see how TKK’s fried chicken sandwich stacks up to the others in the ongoing fried chicken sandwich wars.
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