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If you’ve ever asked yourself the question, “What do fried chicken and rainbows have in common?” and come up empty-handed (admittedly, the parallels aren’t that obvious), you’ll find the answer at Chickaron. This Taiwanese fast-food restaurant recently set up shop in Scarborough’s Sky City Shopping Centre.
The Toronto opening marks the brand’s North American debut. In Taiwan, Chickaron started as a humble fried chicken joint known for its juicy chicken cutlets and chicken fries, both coated in batter whose deafening crunch must to be heard to be believed. That the aforementioned batter comes in the most impossibly Technicolor hues imaginable ensured off-the-charts Instagrammability and a loyal cult following that led to its expansion within Taiwan and beyond its borders.
But as many of those who have swarmed the small Scarborough shop since its October opening have discovered, Chickaron’s chicken is more than just multi-coloured eye candy. The tender breasts used to make the cutlets and fries are sourced from local Canadian farms. Moreover, the crazily coloured coatings are all derived from all-natural ingredients that not only yield striking hues but rarefied flavours as well.
If you opt for the generously sized cutlets, you can choose between an octet of flavours and colours: turmeric (yellow), tomato (orange), gardenia (blue), matcha (green), roselle (pink), purple yam (violet), monascus (red) and cuttlefish (black).
However, if you’re feeling indecisive or greedily want to try all the colours of the rainbow at once, you can start out with a multi-hued melange of chicken fries, which allows you to test drive all the flavours before committing to a single-coloured cutlet.
Those in a more monochromatic state of mind needn’t feel neglected. A trio of classic (colour-less) cutlets includes the Original (coated in sweet potato powder), the Crunchy (coated in breadcrumbs and egg) and the Honey Special (drenched with a sweet-and-sticky house-made sauce). Similarly, in addition to the chicken fries, there are more neutrally shaded French fries and tamago tofu.
Beverages include standard soft drinks as well as house-made sodas made from pureed fruits such as mango, pineapple and peach.
At Chickaron, there’s no clucking around.
Chickaron is located at 3250 Midland Ave Unit G121, Scarborough. It’s open Sunday to Thursday from noon to 11 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from noon-midnight.