I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; K.F.C. is better than K.F.C… wait, what? You heard me, Korean Fried Chicken is better than K.F.C. Wherever it is in Montreal, I’ve had it. From my current favourite and gold standard Comon in Verdun, to the OG chicken spots Dawa and Mon Ami in NDG or Hoya in the Plateau and the new comers Olivia’s and Matjip, I’ve gone in deep. I think I’ve eaten my weight in Korean fried chicken in Montreal, all 185 pounds. Stop laughing. So you know I had to investigate when I got word that there was a new spot in the West Island for KFC. How could I say no? I had to. It’s my duty, for science… and safety. This week I visited Corrilla in Kirkland.
Corrilla is located in a small strip mall in Kirkland. Their menu is decent and consists of the greatest hits that most Korean restaurants feature. They have fried chicken, a variety of bibimbap, ramen, stews and snacks like pajeon (pancakes) and dumplings. You can order online or on location. The restaurant is spacious to make waiting for your order inside easy.
Pajeon – Vegetable Pancake
Pancakes rule and crêpes suck; they’re floppy, flacid, woogity, pudding skins without the deliciousness of pudding.
The fluffy eggy pajeon at Corrilla consisted of shredded carrots and scallions and was served with a salty soy dipping sauce. Each piece was supple and had a great chew to it. This was not the best I’ve ever had, but it does the trick as a standard side to any great Korean Meal.
In general There are different variations; vegetable, kimchi, cheese, seafood, cheesey-seafood. I’ve mentioned seafood pancakes in the past and the reaction I normally get is, “ew, a pancake with seafood? Ew.” First, you’ve got to unwrap your head around the breakfast pancake. Pancake is a descriptor of a starch-based batter cake cooked on a flat-top. Also, no one bats an eye at the mention of savoury crêpes. Which by the way, pancakes rule and crêpes suck. Crêpes are floppy, flacid, woogity, pudding skins without the deliciousness of pudding.
Pork Backbone Stew
I love Gamjatang (pork-bone stew). Corrilla’s version consists of a velvety boiled potato and two huge Flintstone sized neck-bones meaty enough to make Fred drool. Part of the fun in eating this dish is getting into the nooks and crannies between the bones to fish out all that tender meat and crunchy cartilage.
I love Gamjatang (pork-bone stew). Corrilla’s version consists of a velvety boiled potato and two huge Flintstone sized neck-bones meaty enough to make Fred drool.
The soup itself was flavourful and spicy. The stew was rather light compared to the gamjatang I’ve had in the past where they were more stewy – packed with bean sprouts and vegetables. This one was more like a soup than an actual stew. Nonetheless, when you scrape the meat off the bones and mash up the potato then ladle it over the accompanying rice, it still makes a very substantial meal.
K.F.C. (Korean Fried Chicken)
Corrilla has two chicken options; a whole order (12 pieces) and half (six pieces). The chicken is also offered plain or tossed in either a sweet and spicy or soy and garlic sauces. As I’ve taught you in the past, the pro move is to always order plain and get the sauces on the side. This way you can try all the sauces without dedicating an entire order of chicken to one sauce that you may not even like.
As much as I like crispy batter as the next guy, I still like to get a bite of meat when I’m chomping down on the piece of chicken and not just rip up the inside of my mouth with jagged batter shards.
As much as I like crispy batter as the next guy, I still like to get a bite of meat when I’m chomping down on the piece of chicken and not just rip up the inside of my mouth with jagged batter shards. The chicken itself was moist and subtly seasoned. It’s great that it has flavour on its own and then doesn’t become overly salty when mixed with the sauces. So kids, this is why it’s key to get the sauces on the side. I can imagine the sweet and spicy sauce becoming overwhelmingly cloying after a few bites. That’s when you hit your piece of chicken with the salty garlic-soy and bring it back down a notch and vice-versa.
The stew came with an order of rice and a negligible portion of kimchi. Coleslaw replaced what would normally be pickled radishes which is used as a palate cleanser to break up and neutralize the sweet and saltiness with a sharp hit of acid. The coleslaw was dry and forgettable. I do however appreciate when the place tells you they’re serving 12 pieces for a full order – that means you’re getting a whole chicken.
Corrilla has a good thing going on here; serving some legit Korean fried chicken with a handful of respectable menu items, this is a welcomed addition to the neighbourhood. 2021 is a new year and the West Island seems to be establishing itself as a food destination. Good job Kirkland, I might even say I’m impressed.
Corrilla Korean Fries & Grills
3697 Saint-Charles Blvd, Kirkland, Quebec H9H 4M2