Nene Chicken (Auckland CBD, New Zealand)

So, we ventured into the world of NeNe Chicken, the Korean sensation that’s been creating quite a buzz. With over 1,100 outlets across South Korea, this renowned chicken franchise has landed in New Zealand, promising a fusion of bold flavours, farm-fresh chicken, and a vibrant Korean culture.

We decided to beat the queues and arrived early, around 11:45. Surprisingly, we were fourth in line, which was a good start. The place exuded a modern, well-decorated, mildly funky vibe, a testament to its well-developed brand.

Our original plan was to savory their classic range, but alas, they were out of order. The same fate befell our hopes for corn cheese. Instead, we pondered a 30-piece chicken wing order, but there was a catch – we had to split it into two orders of 12 pieces so we can get the four flavours we wanted which was not possible on the 30 piece lot. It left us wondering, why?

So, here’s what we ordered:

  • 2x 12 pieces of Wingettes, with a half-and-half flavor combination. We opted for Original and Swicy for the first dozen and Garlic and Snowing Cheese for the next.
  • A couple of Sure Crisp chips
  • Coleslaw
  • Several drinks to wash it all down

The chicken arrived promptly after a 10-minute wait, which was reasonable. However, we noticed that the line at the counter began to pile up. As we dug into our chicken, we realized the chips hadn’t made their appearance yet. We followed up, and after an additional 5-minute wait, they finally arrived.

Now, let’s talk about the chicken. It was okay, not something that would make you rave about it. Trust me, KFC wicked wings are tastier, crunchier, and juicier. What did stand out were the flavours of garlic and snowing cheese, which were quite good. However, if you know where these powdered flavourings come from, putting them on a KFC chicken wing would yield even better results. NeNe’s chicken wasn’t bad, but there are other Korean Fried Chicken places in the area that definitely do better, like Chimaek and Obar.

On the other hand, the fries were cooked well, with a nice crispy texture on the outside and a soft, fluffy inside. However, they were surprisingly tasteless, with no salt available in a condiment area.

Half of the drinks weren’t served cold either. While Coke came from the pantry, the Sprite and L&P came from the fridge. We complained, and they offered ice instead.

Lastly, our never coleslaw arrived at all, but we were no longer in the mood to wait. Our chicken was already finished, and coleslaw without chicken just wouldn’t do.

In summary:

  • Not worth the hype
  • Poor and slow service
  • The chicken wasn’t as crispy as expected for Korean fried chicken
  • Staff seemed to be in training mode, and it was understaffed
  • Price was on the expensive side, with 12 pieces of chicken costing NZ$32.90, large chips at NZ$7.00, and a large coleslaw at NZ$7.90

All in all, your money and time are definitely better spent at KFC. It’s safe to say that NeNe Chicken didn’t live up to the high expectations set by its brand story on their site, which speaks of Korean Excellence and Commitment to Quality.

Nene Chicken
Address: 246 Queen Street, Auckland CBD, Auckland 1010, New Zealand


3 Responses

  1. Not my kind of food…I guess that’s probably because I am never a fan of any fast food. Always afraid the oil they use to fry foods..

  2. Hannah says:

    How disappointing! It does look good, at least. Bummed to hear that the taste didn’t measure up.

  3. suituapui says:

    We had Nene Chicken here once, closed down now. There is Pelicana still though, another Korean fried chicken franchise.

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