NeNe Chicken | 246 Lorne Street, Auckland CBD
Korean cuisine is very popular in Auckland at the moment, especially Korean Fried Chicken. It’s made its mark in New Zealand with restaurants popping up left right and centre. With K-culture gaining more popularity by the day, so has Korean Fried Chicken and with good reason too - it’s delicious with a variety of different flavours catering to every taste bud.
NeNe Chicken, a famous and authentic Korean Fried Chicken chain store that holds history of being open since 1999 with over 1600 stores worldwide, has now opened in New Zealand and they’ve created a real hype as soon as they had opened, even to the point where in the first week, they had to close early as they had run out of chicken! They have 7 delicious chicken flavours to choose from; Original, Swicy, Bulgogi, Garlic, Snowing Vegetable, Snowing Cheese, Freaking Hot and I was lucky enough to try them all.
My personal favourite was the Freaking Hot Chicken - be warned though, it’s really hot bringing heavy water works but oddly addictive. They also have burgers, snacks and sides as well. The Tornado Potato, which is just fried potato chips on a stick, actually first originated from NeNe Chicken. It’s sold at Auckland Night Markets too but the OG is from NeNe Chicken which I feel not many people know about. They also sell anju (안주), which are basically food served with alcohol like the Army Soup (부대찌개). Why would they sell anju at a chicken restaurant you ask? NeNe Chicken is bringing the OG Chimaek culture from Korea to New Zealand, meaning they also sell alcohol too!
Heart of Auckland City
Chimaek culture has been mentioned before throughout many of our TMI artices, but it’s a real thing in Korea. Chi is short for Chicken, Maek is short for maekju (맥주) which means beer. NeNe Chicken sells not only beer but also soju and more. The culture started back in history, during the Korean War days when the American soldiers would have chicken and beer. The culture soon picked up amongst Koreans and they made it into their own. Since then, it has become common in Korea for colleagues to hang out and drink after work, enjoying the Chimaek combo.
So the biggest question would be, is NeNe Chicken authentic Korean Fried Chicken in my perspective? Yes - it has all the elements to what Korean Fried Chicken is famous for! They’re crunchy on the outside, moist and juicy on the inside and never too greasy. NeNe chicken provides all the variations of Korean fried chicken flavours as well so it’s a “ne ne” (네네), meaning “yes yes" from me!