Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Tenderfresh Classic - Better Than KFC, By Lots

I really cannot stomach KFC's chicken these days. Mainly because of the choice of chicken used. Darkened bones, flavourless meat and inconsistent batter and frying standards.

Therefore, it was such a respite to find Tenderfresh's own version of fried chicken to be such a better, healthier alternative. These guys have been around for awhile, but it has only gotten through my attention during our collaboration during the Ultimate Hawke Fest 2014.

They started from a small shop at Whitley Road, and have expanded to a number of outlets over the years. Most recently, I was at their latest eatery that has just opened at the equally new OneKM mall near Paya Lebar MRT.

This new establishment can be found alongside a handful of other small eateries in the basement of the mall, and despite the rather compact space, it is probably appropriate for a fast food concept to have simply just rows of seating space to accommodate a quick and easy dining experience.

Signature Fried Chicken

Their ever popular fried chicken lived up its reputation. The batter was well done and fried to a golden crisp, and without any of that messy grease that you get with the Colonel's chicken. The meat, thankfully, was equally satisfying.

Biting into the crispy outer skin, the succulent meat within was both juicy and more flavourful. I was told by the owners that they use a better quality of chicken and that was clearly evident in every bite. Served with some forgettable fries and coleslaw, the latter was more memorable as the slaw was entirely made by their central kitchen and though simple, it was appropriately appetising as an accompaniment.

Sambal Fried Chicken

What was even more memorable was their sambal version of the fried chicken. Everything was essentially the same as the fried version, except that they have a tasty samba sauce drenched over the fried chicken.

Initially, I had thought that this would result in a soggy skin. Surprisingly, the crispiness still held together despite being barraged by the sambal and when eaten collectively, it was a winning combination. A touch of sweet and spicy, and flavoured with the salted crispy skin, everything just seemed to come together really well.

Onion Blossom

They also had this visually stunning looking Onion Blossom dish. It is a new take on the classic onion rings. From the picture, it looked like an onion that has self imploded in a deep fryer, and it probably was.

Despite the pretty look, it had a less crisp texture but what I enjoyed was the fact that you can taste the sweetness of the onion flesh much better this way. And when combined with the french mustard dip, it can be quite addictive.

Laksa Spaghetti

The guys here have also tried to introduce some fusion fare and one of their most popular dishes is this Laksa Spaghetti. Despite my reservations, it turned out to be another pleasant dish.

Though the laksa paste bordered on the sweet side, the combination of pasta and well cooked prawns made for a familiar and comforting plate of noodles. And certainly, much better than your standard cafe pasta fare.

Tenderfresh may be fast food at its core, but the owners have a sense of adventure and even responsibility in making more than decent fast food fare. The samba chicken, in particular, stands out and when you consider the fact that you are paying just as much for the Sanders chicken, Tenderfresh makes for a much better alternative.

By a lot.

Tenderfresh Classic
11 Tanjong Katong Road
OneKM Mall

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