Gdous on Bloor
Gdous loosely translates to “juicy fried chicken,” which is what this Taiwanese chain serves. Their specialty is humongous fried chicken steaks.
This is the second-ever location overseas for the brand (the first located in Chinatown), with many more in Taiwan.
It’s located in the same space as a Tea Shop 168, and comes equipped with WiFi and 14 seats for dining in.
Apparently the recipes are old family secrets, chicken that’s never frozen marinated for hours and fried to order.
The crispy chicken steak is only $9.99 for a portion I struggle to lift with two hands, making it a pretty awesome deal, especially if you’re sharing.
You'll need to watch out for small bones inside, but most of the interior of the steak is gleaming, moist white breast meat. The exterior is extremely oily and greasy with a sort of warm, sweet maltiness to the seasoning.
Special ingredients are massaged into all fried items, and all items have a distinctly different flavouring to them due to different proportions of around 30 all-natural ingredients that might include ginger powder, cloves, chili pepper and star anise.
Popcorn chicken ($7.59) comes in a decent-sized portion, the meat inside juicy and the exterior very thick and crunchy. Sweet and sour dipping sauce adds moisture to the starchiness and brings a little heat.
Drumsticks are $5.59 for a two-piece and $9.59 for a four-piece. These are obviously easier to eat, though the flavour has perhaps a little less warmth than the steak.
There are also fried king oyster mushrooms ($5.99), enjoyable whether or not you eat meat. Soft and not at all slimy, the mushrooms of varying sizes have a thick, fluffy, slightly sweet coating.
Sides include calamari ($7.59), sweet potato fries ($3.99) and regular fries ($2.99), though you probably wouldn’t be missing out if you skipped any of these: it’s all about the chicken here.
Make anything a combo with a drink and fries or salad, usually for about a four dollar upcharge. This place is great for its large format “Gathering Time” menu, with 60-piece orders of popcorn chicken and 16-piece orders of drumsticks. Gdous offers takeout through various apps, as well.