Good Ovening. How Much KFC Can They Serve?

Donald Kennedy at Good Ovening799 Fort St,
Victoria, BC

Hours: 11am to 3pm, 5pm to 11pm Daily
Phone: (778) 440-4343

ES: It’s hard to come up with a joke to say how Good Ovening is. This operation serves Korean Fried Chicken and other crispy delights all baked up instead of greased up, and all I have to say is that it’s about time! It’s not so much about cutting the grease out of my comfort food, but to be more mindful as I get older and wanting to cut down on that. What this diner offers isn’t about fusion dishes, either. They got the ultimate churros! They are fried up, but you wouldn’t know it!

DK: As Ed alludes to in his intro, Good Ovening has been marketing itself as a “healthy” Korean Fried Chicken option. Healthy because it is baked, not deep-fried. I’ll resist the urge to get punchable pedantic over the persuasiveness of this campaign, and focus on flavour instead. 

We started off our meal with some great butter garlic prawns. Perhaps the best Ed and I have had since we enjoyed Four Spice’s tandoori prawns many months ago.

The Smokiest Delicious Prawns You Can EatES: I can still savour the smoky flavour as those prawns took its time to tenderise in a very heavenly scented oven. Even the greens were imbued with some of that scent as I ate it all like a ravenous rabbit! And the starters didn’t end there, as Don and I opted for two appetisers before the main course of a whole lotta chicken would get served!

DK: After the prawns, our second appy was a bigger letdown than the current season of Party Down. Cheeseburger Spring Rolls had a brief brush with fame in the earlier part of the 21st century—including Page Six coverage in the New York Post. Prior to Good Ovening, I’d only ever encountered them at a festival in Toronto in 2010. Chef Susur Lee’s creation was fantastic, and has become enough of a legend of the city’s food scene that the recipe is easily found online. Good Ovening’s version is not nearly as memorable. Skip it and make your own at home.

ES: At least the chicken legs and parts of the breast fared better. Just how they taste depends on our ability to torture our taste buds. Were we ready for the volcano? We also wondered about the extra spice. A look at the five flavour profiles had us feeling indecisive, and we had to ask what the differences are. Well, I wimped out and ordered the basic brown rice. So the dish came with a coleslaw and mashed potatoes, but as the grains, where did they go? Did they cross the road instead?

Good Ovening Korean Baked Chicken!

DK: Following the recommendation of our server; I went for the garlic soy glaze. The chicken was cooked to a pleasant texture, with the flavour of the glaze on par with what you’d find at your neighbourhood pub’s wing night. 

I can’t shake the thought that Good Ovening is best described as Swiss Chalet for marginally more culinary adventurous seniors. But perhaps that’s just a bias created by the clientele that surrounded Ed and me on our visit (they were all old). Either way, I can see Good Ovening becoming a take-out staple for a certain segment of the population. Count me out.

Don’t get me wrong: Good Ovening is good. But with so many chicken options in town, you have to be excellent to warrant regular repeat visits. The $10 lunch special coleslaw/egg sandwich does look intriguing, though. . .

3½ Blokes out of 5


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