If Brisbane’s love affair with fried chicken ever has an endgame, this might be it.
KaiKai Chicken opened in St Lucia last week and locals and students have been crowding through the doors ever since. Why? First, there’s the unlimited Korean, American and South East Asian-style fried chicken. Then, the bottomless dirty fries. Also, the salad bar and hot station with never-ending pasta, pizza and dessert. It’s Sizzler, but good.
For a few extra dollars you can wash it all down with unlimited homemade iced tea (otherwise, there’s a clutch of imported beers from Korea, Japan and Thailand and the option to BYO wine).
Owners Phillip and Michael Tan are longtime Brisbane hospitality vets. Phillip says he and Michael put all of their accumulated experience into KaiKai. “The response from people has been really positive,” he says. “Social media has blown up.”
KaiKai came after the two brothers embarked on a lengthy holiday in South East Asia, tasting their way through the region. Phillip and Michael's trip, as well as a bit of inspiration from their partners who are from Japan and Korea respectively, informed what they wanted to do with their St Lucia restaurant: generous servings and big flavours in a casual environment.
It probably helps that KaiKai is part of the Hawken Drive shopping precinct, right next to the University of Queensland. The downstairs digs can seat more than 100 people, bright red booth-style seating offset by AstroTurf covered walls. Large flat-screen televisions play an endless rotation of K-pop to keep the giddy vibes going.
The Tan brothers aren’t done yet. “We’re bringing in an a la carte lunch menu, which will be Japanese-Korean influenced,” Phillip says. “Also [we’re adding an] unlimited ribs option to the buffet.”
1/225 Hawken Drive, St Lucia
0490 793 890
Wed to Mon 11.30am–2.30pm, 5.30–9.30pm