Yardbird is a modern-izakaya style restaurant that has been opened for 4 years in Hong Kong now. Perhaps it was the walking distance from the MTR station that prevented me from going all these years but it was about time I went to try them out. Priding themselves on their fresh ingredients and savoury yakitori, Yardbird grills their chicken over the traditional binchotan charcoal. Their menu also provides many other delicious options such as fried rice and other small bites that are not chicken.
When we got there at around 7:45pm, there was already a waiting line in front of us. We waited for about 30 minutes until it was our turn but since PMQ was nearby, we killed time and they called us when there was a table ready.
You would think that this stood for Kentucky Fried Chicken but KFC at Yardbird actually means Korean Fried Cauliflower.
The cauliflower is actually covered by a spicy and sweet coating with sesame seeds sprinkled on top. The shell was scrumptious with hints of sweetness and a sudden kick of spiciness. At first, it tasted like candy but the aftertaste was burning hot.
For those who got through the layer of spiciness, the cauliflower inside was actually barely seasoned. It tasted like a normal boiled cauliflower so it helped to tone down the hotness.
When we ordered this, we thought it would be an oyster wrapped with chicken. I know it’s a bit embarrassing but even the table next to us thought it was a similar concept too. We kept biting into it and when we were done, my friend and I looked at each other and asked “where’s the oyster?”.
The chicken oyster is a very unique part of a chicken. The meat is shaped like an oyster and it’s a piece of dark meat located on either sides of a chicken’s backbone. It’s an incredibly tender part of a chicken and it would taste like a piece of chicken thigh at first bite.
With a crispy and charred skin on the outside, the inside of the chicken was extremely tender and juicy. I know it’s easy to think that this is a piece of chicken thigh but it’s even juicier. I don’t think this was heavily seasoned so I really got to taste the fresh flavours.
I’ve never had anything remotely similar to Yardbird’s tempura corn at any restaurant and this quickly became the highlight of my dinner.
The entire tempura was crispy, fluffy and airy. When I bit into it, the kernels of corn fell apart and crumbled down revealing more corn inside. The outer shell of the tempura was crisp with minimal seasoning while the inside was warm and soft corn. I loved eating this because not only was it incredibly tasty but the eating part was fun and unique.
The fried chicken definitely needed more seasoning and crunch on the outside. Even with lemon juice, the taste was still pretty bland. The good side is that the fried chicken is served with a small plate of creamy spicy mayo on the side so since I needed that flavour, I double dipped multiple times.
These rice cakes are unlike any rice cakes I have ever had. They tasted like candy with a crispy, sweet and caramelized outer with a soft and chewy inner.
The rice cakes were covered in dry seasoning made from dried fish, seaweed and sesame seeds that enhanced both the taste and texture. Give me a bowl of this and I’ll be done in 10 minutes or less.
Duck Fried Rice
Yardbird has special items on their menu and one of their popular ones on the night was their duck fried rice. My friend and I were worried that yakitori wouldn’t be enough for us so we decided to order carbs to fill us up.
The rice was fried with herbs, sesame seeds and seaweed which made it taste very fresh and “natural”. I couldn’t really figure out the duck taste because of all that seasoning.