Sunday, June 15, 2014

Two Wings - Where One Chicken Wing is Twice as Delicious

Deep fried chicken is the ultimate southern American comfort food, and when done right, it is just an utter gastronomic delight. Conversely, when done badly, it can be ghastly.

For years, we have been brought up on KFC, and many families still patronize the numerous KFC outlets here. But for decades, there has been another name that has been synonymous with deep fried chicken in Singapore, and that name is Carona.

Carona started out small, but would eventually be sold from the family reins to become an islandwide franchise. However, after some time, the franchise did not take off and today, the Carona name has all but disappeared.

Thankfully, there is a new deep fried chicken wing place that has come up in the last half year, and today, situated at Bukit Merah, Two Wings is hoping to continue the family legacy of the original founder of Carona chicken.

Jeremy, the Next Generation

Jeremy runs this new outlet that sells all variants of fried chicken. From wings to parts to cutlets to spring chickens. Jeremy also happens to be the grand nephew of the original man behind the secret family recipe.

It is understood that before Carona even existed, there was this popular fried chicken stall in Toa Payoh called Chicken Delights (or similar), and it was Jeremy's grand uncle that started this whole fried chicken business. Carona was actually started by another family member whom Jeremy's grand uncle taught his skills to.

As for the other Carona related place in Jalan Besar, that is also another disciple of Jeremy's grand uncle, and also happens to be a member of Jeremy's extended family.

As for Jeremy himself, he took six months to learn from his grand uncle how to make the original fried chicken, and under his tutelage, he is confident that he has come close to replicating that original chicken from decades ago.

Chicken Wings

Personally, I cannot remember if I have tasted the original Carona chicken, though I do remember having some form of Carona franchised chicken before. As for Two Wings, the chicken wings that they serve at here are huge and cooked to a rich golden brown crisp.

The first thing that impressed me was the lack of grease on the outer layer of the skin. Biting into it, the crispy and flaky nature of the beautifully fried skin was evident, and the seasoning was a simple salt and pepper combination, and that was enough.

The chicken meat within was incredibly moist and juicy, and retained a good amount of the chicken flavors. Dipped into a homemade garlic chilli sauce, the chilli hit gave it a nice bit of sharpness to cut through some of the richness. The wings were really amazing.

Chicken Cutlet

While it might not look like it, their chicken cutlet was an even better dish. The cut was again very generous, and the seasoning was even more flavorful and pronounced than the one used for the wings.

Cutting through the cutlet, we had all thought it looked a little dry. But lo and behold, it was again, superbly succulent and tender, and full of texture too. This probably ranks as my favorite chicken cutlet for classic western stalls so far.

Homemade Achar

You can order a variety of sides to go along, and I would highly recommend their homemade achar to go along with it. Full of acidity, sweetness, spice and crunch, it was the perfect way to balance some of the deep fried richness of the cutlet.

They also make their own mashed potatoes, and it is done the way my dad used to make it. More grainy, mixed with cucumbers and carrots to give it a little burst of color and textures, it was very old school but very old school good too.

Fried Chicken Parts

Jeremy disclosed that his grand uncle only sold chicken wings during his tenure as he felt that his customers did not favor the other parts of a chicken. At Two Wings, Jeremy is also selling drumsticks and other parts as well.

Using the same marinade and cooking techniques, the various chicken parts were all very large and had the same flavorful and crisp skins and juicy meat.

Cheese French Fries

Another favorite of mine here was this simple cheese fries. The fries were nicely done, and drizzled with a combination of cheese and mayo, I like the fact that they topped it off with spring onions to give it a nice sharp and sweetness at the end.

Jeremy is just in his mid thirties, and he grew up eating his grand uncle's chicken wings, never realizing that it was somehow related to the famous Carona chicken wings. But he harbored his dream of running his own business, and when he finally discovered his grand uncle's true legacy, it was only natural for him to want to continue his family's heritage.

Now in his 80s, his grand uncle was also very strict with him during the early days of his training, and would come by everyday just to ensure that the fried chicken was cooked to his standard.

Looking and tasting the chicken served at Two Wings, it is no wonder that Jeremy has such pride today. He is also very eager to listen to feedback and hoping to improve on his menu and cooking. As a young hawker, he is definitely the epitome of what our next generation of food makers should be.

And yes, I doubt that one chicken will be enough for you, and it is also more than twice the flavors you will get elsewhere.

Two Wings
119 Bukit Merah Lane 1

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