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Chicken burger or sandwich? I try Chick-fil-A to see if it's worth the hype

Chicken burger or sandwich? I try Chick-fil-A to see if it's worth the hype
The Esplanade Mall is where its at for Chick-fil-A's pop-up event from June 26 to 28.
PHOTO: AsiaOne/Amierul Rashid

What do you get when you stuff a slab of chicken breast between two buns? Sandwich or burger?

That's been the great debate over Chick-fil-A's signature offering and now that the American fast food chain is in town for a three-day pop-up event, Singaporeans will have a chance to weigh in.

The pop-up will run from June 26 to 28 at The Esplanade Mall. 

After learning that this will be Chick-fil-A's first foray into Asia, I could not wait to get my hands on its iconic Chicken Sandwich. I had high hopes for it and could not care less whether it is referred to as a burger or sandwich. 

Bun, chicken, pickle

The Original Chick-fil-A Chicken Sandwich is no-frills - two toasted buttery buns, two dill pickle chips and a piece of freshly breaded boneless chicken breast pressure-cooked in 100 per cent refined peanut oil are all you get.

I was taken aback by just how simple it is. This has been the brand's original recipe for almost 60 years and it is still going strong, so something's obviously working.

Appearance-wise, this sandwich would not bowl anyone over. It reminded me of the Popeyes Classic Chicken Sandwich and McDonald's McSpicy chicken burger.

But looks can be deceiving, right?

When it comes to burgers and sandwiches, there can be a tendency for them to be overflowing with sauces or overstuffed with fillings.

But in Chick-fil-A's case, keeping it simple helps accentuate the flavour of each ingredient.

The chicken breast was juicy while the dill pickle chips added a nice tang.

I gobbled up the sandwich in about 15 minutes. It was certainly a more than decent chicken sandwich.

Chick-fil-A spokespersons told me that in the US, there is actually a spicy version.

I was slightly disappointed that the Singapore pop-up would not be offering that. Given the country's love for spice, it would likely be a hit here.

Dip or no dip?

So, the burger won me over. What about the side and condiments?

The Waffle Potato Fries are great on their own - crisp on the outside and tender inside.

The fries came with four sauces - Chick-fil-A Sauce, Honey Mustard Sauce, Garden Herb Ranch Sauce, and Sweet & Spicy Sriracha Sauce.

I'm not the biggest fan of sweet sauces, so I was never going to like Honey Mustard and Sweet & Spicy Sriracha.

But boy, the other two sauces were addictive and I had to stop myself from asking for another tub or two.

After finishing my meal, I realised that I won't be digging into Chick-fil-A again any time soon.

While the brand has over 3,000 outlets across the US, there are currently none in Asia.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Chick-fil-A is looking to expand worldwide with locations in five international markets by 2030.

In September 2023, it announced plans to launch in the UK in early 2025, marking its first permanent store outside of North America.

From the conversations I had at the pop-up event, it seems like there are no plans for a Singapore outpost for now.

But choosing Singapore as the host for the brand's first pop-up event in Asia might be a good indicator of things to come.

For those heading to the pop-up, note that you don't have to pay for the meal. 

Instead, Chick-fil-A is asking diners to donate $10 to Community Chest, the philanthropy and engagement arm of National Council of Social Service. All donations will be matched dollar-for-dollar by Chick-fil-A.

Address: 8 Raffles Avenue, #01-13C, The Esplanade Mall, Singapore 039802
Opening hours: June 26 to June 28, 11am to 2pm and 3pm to 7pm

ALSO READ: US fast-food chain Chick-fil-A in Singapore this June for a 3-day pop-up

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