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The place everyone’s clucking about

30th September, 2017


KOTA KINABALU: With bold flavours and clever new dishes, Korean food is appearing everywhere right now as more tourists from Korea have started to come to Sabah.

The recent boosts to tourism in Sabah has not only attracted tourists from all over the world, but also opened up a flourish of new restaurant opportunities.

Chicken Clinic, a Korean fusion restaurant, appears to have found itself the centre of Korean-food-lover attention. The restaurant highlights fried chicken – their main attraction.

Managing director of the restaurant, Stephanie Lee, also one of the co-owners of the restaurant stresses it as “healthy fried chicken”.

Chicken Clinic, as its name suggests is a hospital-themed eatery specialising in Korean fried chicken. Their restaurant in Sabah is their second branch and the first branch here in Malaysia after Singapore.

The restaurant cleverly stands out from its competitors with its Korean fusion food, but more importantly the unique presentation the restaurant uses.

Syringes, metal trays and medical tweezers have replaced the typical and mundane cutlery all too common at other establishments.

Located in Plaza 333, 17-minute drive from Kota Kinabalu, Chicken Clinic held their grand opening on 23 September. Stephanie Lee, expressed confidence that the restaurant stands out from other traditional Korean restaurants.

“We are totally different from other Korean restaurants, because we lean more towards fusion rather than the traditional.

“We call ourselves a Korean fusion café and right now it is the trend for Korean food fans,” she said. She also hopes to franchise the Chicken Clinic and plans to open more branches here in Kota Kinabalu depending on the response.

Which so far has been quite favourable.

“We hope to have one to five branches here in Kota Kinabalu and we’d like to expand further, covering the whole of Malaysia, but also Korea as well as China,” she added.

Stephanie Lee is originally from Sandakan. However she has spent a good 34 years overseas. “For years I travelled a lot. When I was young I studied in Taiwan and then after that I went to France, then Hong Kong, and after that, Singapore”.

“KK is number one to me. Though I have been to many places worldwide, KK is the only place that I find is so much more different from anywhere else. The large population of Korean and Chinese speaking people here also helps.” Stephanie said when asked to comment on why she chose to open Chicken Clinic here in Kota Kinabalu.

Meanwhile Louie Seo, head chef and co-owner of the restaurant said that he wants people to enjoy his food in comfort, have it healthy, and have a good time.

“Our fried chicken is much healthier than other fried chicken out there, because we remove the skin and also the fat, and spend a lot of time on preparation. Our in-house sauce also uses no oil,” he said.

The Korean born chef worked in hotel management, for 11 years as a bartender, general manager, and frontdesk manager in Korea before deciding to become a chef.

Commenting on what triggered the desire to become a chef, “Two years ago I was thinking, I want a change in my life, I want to pursue my dream where I have my own shop or restaurant, without foregoing the ability to further enjoy life”.

His journey in pursuit of his passion to become a chef was not easy.

After quitting his old job, he sold his house, his car and everything he had to go to Singapore to fulfill his dream. During his work as a bartender, F&B and Hotel Manager he acquired his skills – from basic cutting, and preparation, right down to the finer details of cooking – through the many different chefs he met. Chicken Clinic is no stranger to variety.

Items on the menu include; CC Fried Chicken fried with special powder, Nanban Chicken (fried chicken dipped in chili soy sauce), Seasoned Spicy Chicken dipped in Korean sweet chili sauce, Black Sesame Chicken – healthy Korean style fried chicken dipped in black sesame sauce, Cream Cheesy Chicken (fried chicken dipped in cream and cheese sauce, the Hot Spicy Dak Gang Jeong – chicken fried in a spicy chili sauce, and for the more extreme, its more robust older brother, the Super Spicy Dak Gang Jeong.

All their fried chicken dishes come served on metal tray more akin to the operating pans seen in most surgical procedures, complete with fries, pickles and salad all in their own mini metal pans.

The entire novelty of it all is sure to entertain customers, be they new or repeat.

For the extra kick, diners can inject spicier chili sauces into their meals from the syringes provided. With spiciness ranging for level 1 to level 3, choose with care as there are no actual doctors at this clinic.

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