Chicken Kitchen is a Scarborough born fast food joint with not much else besides halal fried chicken coming out of its kitchen.
The first quick service restaurant opened in the Skyland Food Court back in 2016 and now there are four locations for the crispy, fresh chicken spread across the eastern end of Toronto.
The one at Warden and Lawrence is squished between several other longtime tenants and small businesses of the self-effacing strip plaza known as Wexford Plaza, which has an indie movie named after it.
Grade A poultry is local and completely HMA certified. It's also cut by hand and marinated for around eight hours before being twice-coated fresh per order in a signature breading seasoned with a range of herbs.
In order to achieve crispy, golden standards of perfection the blanketed chicken goes on to cook in bubbling, trans fat free Canola oil.
The moist meat ends up being surrounded by a breading that doesn't fall short on either flavour or crunch. You can order anywhere from two ($5.29) to 20 ($37.99) pieces of the fried chicken and making it a combo will get you Popeye's-style biscuits, a side, and a drink in some cases.
Cajun fries, mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, coleslaw and onion rings are all on offer when it comes to sides.
The chicken gets placed between a diamond ciabatta bun with lettuce, tomato, onions and your choice of regular or spicy mayo for the chicken sandwich ($6.49 or $11.99 for a combo).
The bun is fresh and floury while a slather of spicy mayo brings the sandwich a surprising kick. Although a good size, it's far from the best chicken sandwich in the city and onions feel out of place.
Yet another way to eat the halal chicken is in long strips (5 pieces: $9.29 and $11.99 for a combo) with seemingly even more crunchy breading and a longlist of Olde Style dipping sauces.
Speaking of sauce, chicken wings (10 pieces: $9.89 and $12.99 with a combo) come in a generous drenching of hot buffalo, BBQ, honey garlic or hot BBQ for a sweet heat that builds with every bite.
There are a few seafood options also on the menu like buttermilk shrimp ($6.99 or $9.29 with a combo), which are truly superior to the older menu item of popcorn shrimp.
An easy favourite is the chicken poutine ($7.29), a combo in-and-of-itself. A bed of cajun spiced fries is layered with cheese curds, chunks of fried chicken, and a light turkey gravy.
No matter the day of the week you pop in, expect a daily deal that'll get you one of the menu items for $6 or less.