4 Fingers Crispy Chicken is one of the first Korean-style fried chicken joints to set up here in Singapore, way back in 2009. The 4 Fingers refers to four Singaporean friends who got the idea from some Korean fried chicken shops in New York City and decided to bring that taste to Singapore and Southeast Asia. Yes, while 4 Fingers is a Korean fried chicken shop, it is created entirely by Singaporeans with no corporate links to Korea.
The original owners have since sold the brand and the new owner is very intent on expanding 4 Fingers. Since taking over they have added six outlets in Singapore and one overseas outlet in Kuala Lumpur, and they have also hired an ambitious Danish expatriate as their CEO.
Service and Ordering
The 4 Fingers ordering system is similar to the one you will find at Toast Box. You make an order at the cashier and make payment. They will give you a beeper and you can proceed to the collection point to collect your food when the beeper sounds. The place was full on a weekday night but you could find a seat without much difficulty if you’re willing to share a table with others.
The overhead menu really looks so delicious. I have a ton of things that I still want to order from that delicious looking menu (in particular their rice box selections). Perhaps McDonald’s and the other fast food joints in Singapore could learn a thing or two from 4 Fingers about their overhead menu presentation.
4 Fingers Crispy Chicken – Signature Wingettes & Drumettes
Alright, these are just chicken wings with fancy sounding names. The key to success with food seems to be not just a delicious dish, but an attention grabbing name for the dish. As with any visit to 4 Fingers, you must have an order of their signature ‘Wingettes & Drumettes’. Which flavour? You have a choice between soy garlic or hot or mixed. Personally we found the hot flavour superior, but you should order the mixed version to have a try of both flavours. The hot flavour is a superior version of KFC’s crispy chicken wings that is wetter and less flaky and the soy garlic gives a delicious savoury taste. The wet sauce traces on the chicken wings really enhances the taste. Mixing the soy garlic chicken wings with the hot chicken wings gives an interesting result too, the hot flavour lingers in your mouth and goes very well with your next soy garlic chicken wing. We note that while the amount of crispiness was great, it was a little off the optimum as it was slightly harder than we would have liked.
Also, we were a bit disappointed with the serving temperature. We ordered a number of items, and it was clear that a couple of chicken wings were not served at their piping hot optimum temperature, despite us having to wait for them. We had initially put it down to us taking too long with the photographs, but some pieces were still nice and hot, while others had already cooled down to room temperature. Also, one set of fries was hot while the other had cooled down. Perhaps this was unavoidable given the peak hour queues and the pressures on the kitchen, but it seriously detracted from the culinary experience. Nonetheless, we give their hot flavoured chicken wings 4/5, and their soy garlic chicken wings 3.8/5. You can get a combo set of 6 pieces with a drink and fries for S$10.95, or a 12-piece combo set with two drinks and two fries for S$20.45.
These are not your regular-sized drumsticks, but more like enlarged ‘drumettes’. They are not very big, but these taste really delicious. These drumsticks were more tender than their signature chicken wings. Also given the copious amounts of skin on the chicken at 4 Fingers Crispy Chicken, we think that the drumsticks have a better meat to skin ratio. We pause to note that our judgment may have been affected as all the drumsticks were served piping hot unlike their chicken wing counterparts. We rate these drumsticks 4.1/5. Their 3-piece combo set with one drink and fries goes for S$11.95 while their 6-piece combo set with two drinks and two fries goes for S$22.95.
Seaweed and Kimchi Skinny Fries
These are definitely very good attempts at skinny fries. They are head and shoulders above other fast food brands like Burger King and KFC. However, their seaweed skinny fries fall pretty short when compared to McDonald’s seaweed shaker fries. I guess that there is only so much you can do without MSG and preservatives. Their kimchi fries were much better though, the powder flavour had just the right amount of kimchi taste and it went very well with the skinny fries. We note that the portion sizes of the fries were really small as can be seen from the pictures. We rate the seaweed fries 3.8/5 and their kimchi fries 4/5. You can get the small sized fries a la carte at S$2.50 or their regular sizes ones at S$3.50.
It is very difficult to place 4 Fingers Crispy Chicken. They are priced above the regular fast food restaurants and they offer slightly smaller portions. This is sustainable for now as they still have a novel and delicious Korean-style taste on their chicken. However, with all the new Korean fried chicken imports opening over the past year, it remains to be seen whether they will still be able to sit comfortably at this dominant position.
We also note that we were not able to spot any signs at their store reiterating their commitment to no MSG and preservatives, unlike their Facebook and Twitter pages. We find this quite odd as the no MSG and preservatives tag is supposed to attract customers… or does it not anymore?