I’m sure most of you are already wondering why I’m writing about KFC and you’re probably getting ready to exit out of this tab, but before you do so, let me explain that the KFC I’m talking about is Korean Fried Chicken and not ol Colonel Sanders’ “chicken” that you may have grown up eating.
Situated in-between a strip of random shops and a reflexology foot massage parlor, Cockatoo’s Chicken Restaurant in Federal Way is another one of those places where you would drive past for years without knowing about the great food you had been missing out on. As you walk in, you will probably be given a once over by the regulars inside. Don’t be alarmed- everyone is friendly, just go check in with the lady at the bar, grab a booth and enjoy your complimentary popcorn and sunny side up egg appetizer. Yes, you read that right. Popcorn and sunny side up eggs to munch on while you wait for your chicken wings to come out.
Order a pitcher of ice cold Hite Korean beer and an order of Korean Pear flavored soju– also known as Korean Vodka, which is distilled rice liquor commonly combined with other ingredients such as wheat, barley, or sweet potatoes. The flavored soju at Cockatoo’s uses fresh fruit- always a plus to offset any liver damage. Once the drinks start to settle in, you may begin to notice the Korean pop music (aka K-Pop) blaring through the speakers and you might even feel the urge to throw in a couple two step dance moves that you learned from your days admiring Nick Lachey of 98 Degrees…when you were a lot younger of course.
Now, on to the chicken wings- I always order the sweet and spicy (Dak-nal-gae). It comes out extremely hot, fresh out of the fryer but I still tempt 1st degree burns to my mouth by trying to take a bite as soon as the chicken hits the table. You can cool it down with the pickled daikon radishes, and cold cabbage salad that are served on the side, or gulp down the tasty Hite lager that pairs well with the sweet and spicy fried chicken.
You almost have to be “in the know” or have Korean friends to have gone to Cockatoo’s. A few weeks ago, Kellen and I stopped by Pho Orale in White Center to grab one of their tasty banh mi sandwiches, one of the owners, Young, was excitedly telling us about the upcoming additions to their menu which included a KFC banh mi. I immediately blurted out Cockatoo’s in Federal Way which Young seemed impressed by because he, too, loved him some KFC from Cockatoo’s. Young went on to explain that for some reason, nobody ever knew what he was talking about when he mentioned Cockatoo’s to them. Sometimes this is a good thing, because you don’t want hipsters taking over your local favorites but Cockatoo’s has gone under the radar for long enough and needs to be shared.
Cockatoo’s KFC is truly finger lickin’ good…