food truck quick bite: kokio republic....it's a chicken thing
Fort Mason on the weekends can be a bustling place. On a clear day, it's a pretty good spot to get some shots of Alcatraz and that Golden Gate Bridge thing. Plus, there always seems to be some event showcasing something going on at one of the pavilions. While the events mostly hold no interest for me, they usually bring along a handful of food trucks to feed the attending masses. This particular weekend was no different and of the 4 there, 2 I had not tried. One was a French crepe I was in the mood for. The other was Kokio Republic--Korean chicken and fried balls. Yes, that's what I'm having.
Evidently, kokio means cock-a-doodle-do in Korean, thus they do chicken--get it? It's a compact and very specific menu of fried chicken, fries and deep fried balls. I like that as you don't have to struggle over what to get. Your only choices come down to type of sauce and what kind of ball you want. Things come in combos of chicken plus fries or balls. Like I'm gonna pass up deep fried balls! I get the chicken with hot and sweet sauce and kimchi balls for $13.
The combo comes with two balls and I ordered the kimchi ones. They also have tofu ones and I asked if I could get one of each since they come with 2 and I was met with a "resounding no." That's a bummer, they should really rethink that non-option from a sales and customer service standpoint. Anyway, the balls are a mix of kimchi, rice, bacon, onions and breading covered in parmesan, sour cream and a creamy sriracha sauce.
They are pretty big, hearty and definitely filling. They had a nice crispy, golden crust and weren't overly greasy. You can definitely taste the onion and a slight smoky bacon flavor. There are bits of kimchi mixed in, but I think since it is the main description for the ball needs to be upped portion wise to get more of its flavor. As is, you can sort of taste it but mostly you get fried rice ball with hints of kimchi. Still, the sriracha gave it some kick and for the most part I did actually like it. But let's be serious, the description had deep fried with bacon in it, it would of had to been really, really bad for me not to like this. Instead, it was pretty good and worth trying.
Now for the main course, the fried chicken with a hot and sweet sauce. Fortunately, the chicken came out hot and crispy like the kimchi balls. It is always a good thing when food like this is made to order, it can help the flavor. It was a 5 piece mix of chicken wing pieces and chicken tenders. It's a nice hefty portion of chicken and when you add in the balls, there is plenty to share for 2 folks. It was nicely cooked, tender chicken and the sauce didn't keep it from being crispy. The sauce was good, though you should note, it was more hot than sweet. Hot of the make your nose run variety. I was fine as it was a good heat for me, but for some it could be a bit much. Just something to keep in mind. For spicy fried chicken, it was tasty and hit the spot.
While I think they could add in some more kimchi, overall, I quite enjoyed the chicken and deep fried balls I had from Kokio Republic. For a food truck, it checks off the pluses that catch my eye--good food and decent portion sizes to match the price they are charging--something not every food truck can do. Next time you get a hankering for some spicy fried chicken pieces and a couple of deep fried balls, you now know where you can get 'em.