The restaurant’s face is unassuming and easy to miss. There is a sign above the door reading “Uncle Chicken.” I just had to look up. I passed the restaurant a few times before noticing it.
I was greeted by one of the owners, Aiden. “We opened around four to five years ago,” he said, adding it was originally opened by his mother. Earlier in 2020, they opened a second location in Canada.
I followed him upstairs to my table.
The menu is in Korean and Chinese, but don’t worry, there are pictures for those who need them. Trusting Aiden’s judgment, I went for the chili chicken wings, spicy sausage soup and a new addition to the menu, tuna and seaweed rice balls. Looking around the restaurant, the word “comfortable” came to mind. It had the feeling of a family-owned establishment; pictures of K-pop groups line the walls with post-it notes written by past customers.
The new menu item, the tuna and seaweed rice balls came with eight rolled rice balls on a plate. They were slightly salty and packed with tuna chunks and topped with dried seaweed. The item worked well as an appetizer and was not overpowering in flavor.
Moving on to a dish the restaurant is known for, the chili chicken wings were deep-fried and covered in a sweet and spicy chili sauce which tricks the mouth. The first bite had a sweet homemade barbecue taste before quickly following with a lingering chili spice.
Luckily, it was raining that night, which created the perfect condition—or as close as you can get in Dongguan—for soup. The spicy sausage soup was a combination of simmering ramen, cabbage, sprouts, seafood, sausage, Spam, tofu and cheese. Aiden said this dish was a best seller, and I understood why. It was a combination of something for everyone, with the right amount of spice. However, personal setback for me was the sausage and Spam, which is surprisingly popular in Korean dishes.
Uncle Chicken is famous for its fried chicken, but do not hesitate to explore their homemade Korean options. For daring foodies, they even have pupae soup on the menu.