Indomitable Jollibee from the Philippines needs no introduction. Its eponymous mascot, a bright red grinning bee, has been instantly recognisable for half a century now.
The fast food chain serves up signature American-style fare with a distinctly local twist at more than 1,500 locations across markets as diverse as the Middle East and the US, in the process becoming the largest fast food chain in Asia.
Of course, it is back home in the Philippines that Jollibee is most beloved, with the delicious Chickenjoy meal being one of its bestsellers.
2. 4Fingers Crispy Chicken
A relative newcomer in a crowded field of top-notch cluckers, Singapore’s 4Fingers has gone from strength to strength, with the chain now spanning over 50 locations in Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei.
The brand’s “chicken revolution” began when its founders made a life-changing visit to New York’s Koreatown in the late Noughties, where they sampled Korean-style fried chicken for the first time.
Inspired by the flavourful chicken with its crackly crust, they opened their first 4Fingers outlet on bustling Orchard Road in 2009, where their Hot and Spicy fried chicken became an instant hit.
Today, their menu has grown to include offerings like rice boxes to cater to local taste buds, but wingettes and drumettes remain the top choices.
Taking a cue from the OG soya sauce-infused Koreatown staple, 4Fingers’ signature fried chicken comes glazed in naturally fermented soya sauce, a unique blend that keeps diehard fans coming back for more.
3. Lucky Burger
Not long after Cambodia embraced market reforms in the early 1990s, a humble enterprise by the name of Lucky Burger opened its doors in the capital Phnom Penh, and locals were instantly enthralled.
Serving up fuss-free burgers and tasty fried chicken, the chain introduced Cambodians to affordable, Western-style fast food.
A dozen more stores would open over the years, with outlets in tourist hotspot Siem Reap and Battambang.
And today, Lucky Burger is synonymous with celebrations and gatherings, with long lines at their outlets a common sight during the holidays.
Indulge in a serving of fresh hot wings or try their Fried Chicken & Fries meal – a bona fide classic – for something more filling.
Large pieces of chicken drumsticks and thighs lightly coated in Lucky Burger’s secret batter offer a flaky and crunchy bite that gives way to tender, juicy flesh.
Best of all, a set meal here won’t set you back much, just $2 to $5, so you can have your fill of golden deliciousness.
4. Richeese Factory
Success depends on uniqueness, and Richeese Factory has nailed this. Starting in 2011 with a single restaurant in Bandung, this Indonesian chain’s offerings are typically accompanied with cheese, be it cheese sauce, cream cheese or shaved cheese bits.
The chicken here is more attuned to local taste buds. Its fiery barbecue sauce-like glaze comes with customisable levels of heat to accommodate everyone, from novices to spice fiends.
Richeese Factory is now ubiquitous in Java, with over 130 outlets in prominent locations across Bogor, Tangerang, Jakarta and Surabaya.
As for the food itself, their best-selling combo comes with a piece of chicken, accompanied by the aforementioned proprietary cheese sauce, as well as a side of rice – a must in Indonesia – and a cold drink.
Whether you take on the challenge of their Fire Chicken or opt for their original RiChicken flavour, you can expect cooked-through tenderness every time.
To wash down the heat, choose between two refreshing beverages – sweet, citrusy Fruitarian Tea or the signature Pink Lava, a milky, rose syrup-infused treat.
The pride of Malaysia, Marrybrown is a fast food brand that wears its origins on its sleeve, successfully exporting local delicacies such as nasi lemak and nasi ayam (chicken rice) across the region.
Over 40 years ago, Marrybrown started out in a small shop lot in downtown Johor Bahru. Back then, the founders decided to adapt Western takeaway food for a Malaysian audience, introducing inexpensive alternatives.
After the success of this initial foray, they franchised their business across the region and worldwide, becoming one of the first fast food chains to serve rice on their menu. The popularity of this once unthinkable move has seen the big boys following suit.
According to airasia.com