Chicken Up (Tanjong Pagar)

Tanjong Pagar teems with casual places of the Korean chicken wing variety. But nowhere gets a queue like Chicken Up. At dinner time, you’re looking at a 45-minute wait before you speak to a human: there’s a touchscreen podium to get in line and you get a text when your table is ready. (To be fair, the humans do a valiant job once you’re actually seated.) If you are willing to go to these lengths for a food fetish, read on. The grub is technically sound: the meat is allegedly marinated for twelve hours and then cooked using the venerated Korean double-fry method. The exterior is crunchy, the inside moist, pleasantly juicy; and it’s not overly sauced. The sauces themselves are not much to write home about, though. But if you think you have more discerning taste buds than us after a deceptively light watermelon soju punchbowl ($30)—or if you’re a small group—get the buffet ($25 per person) where they bring out a piece each of three varieties such as YangNyum (coated with a sweet-spicy sauce and sprinkled with sesame seeds) and soya. Avoid the forgettable non-essential dishes like the starchy Andong chicken stew (comes with the buffet or $48 for two people) and the tofu salad ($12). All in all, fried chicken nerds and large, drunken groups will enjoy this place. We might just be getting too old for the whole clucking circus.