Golden, crispy and juicy are all words that can be used to describe freshly deep-fried Korean style chicken.
It's exactly what Carlos Antonius, chief executive of Chatime Group, hopes people use to describe the Korean chicken at global restaurant chain Goobne that has been roasted instead.
Antonius claims that just like Korean fried chicken, otherwise commonly referred to as KFC, the chicken served at Goobne is crispy and well-seasoned - but contains fewer calories because it's cooked in the oven.
He tells SBS Food that the chooks are cooked without using a single drop of oil, rather, the kitchen uses a specialised oven, much like an air fryer.
"Our desire is to bring innovation into the local chicken category and capitalise on the growing Korean food trend by offering consumers an oven-roasted chicken product that is healthier than fried ones, with a range of flavour profiles and side dishes in a contemporary K-Pop environment," he says.
Located in Sydney's newest dining precinct in Darling Square, Goobne (which means oven-roasted in Korean) is the first outpost of the chain to open in Australia. The store joins a network of more than 1,000 Goobne restaurants that have opened across Asia, including Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Japan and Vietnam, since the first store opened its doors in Korea in 2005.
Like other Korean restaurants that specialise in chicken, Goobne serves its version coated in your choice of sauce: think original, fruity soy garlic, black pepper, volcano, deep cheese, crispy pepper and galbi.
"Wrapping stringy cheese around your chicken creates not only a fabulous visual experience and great theatre, but... more importantly it tastes amazing."
In addition, the restaurant offers chicken drumsticks with a sizzling dish of gooey cheese fondue in a dish that's called UFO fondue chicken.
Antonius says, "We take our oven-roasted chicken wings and serve it with a melted cheese mix. Wrapping stringy cheese around your chicken creates not only a fabulous visual experience and great theatre, but engagement with the food and more importantly it tastes amazing."
He says cheese has become one of the most popular ingredients used in modern Korean cooking.
"Cheese has transformed much of Korea's food landscape...new concept and infusion restaurants now offer main menus with melted cheese as a topping," says Antonius.
"As one of the most widely consumed foods in the country, melted cheese can now be found in many traditional foods, including cheese tteokbokki (spicy rice cakes), cheese dakgalbi (spicy chicken ribs) and bibimbap with cheese.
"It's the ingredient that has the ability to reduce the spicy taste in lots of Korean food."
Goobne also includes cheese in the filling of its special egg roll, alongside pickles, carrots, ham and seaweed, as well as in its volcanic rice cakes dish.
Antonius adds the restaurant prides itself on its "K-razy" cocktails. The Corona-Rita features tequila on the rocks with an upside-down bottle of Corona, and the Sharknado is a concoction of "blue tropical flavours with a bite" and includes a toy shark "splashing" out.
16E Tumbalong Blvd
Darling Square, Haymarket
Sun to Wed 11.30am – 11:00pm
Thu to Sat 11.30am – 1:00am
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