This is the story of Funky Chicken. Not to disappoint you from the get-go or anything but, apart from the cheerful music pouring out gently from its speakers, there is absolutely nothing funky about the new counter-service fried chicken spot located at 181 Heights Boulevard.
The beige bio-degradable bamboo trays and dishes that the food fare is served in are practically the opposite of funky, actually. They’ll take you back to the unglamorous era of cafeteria lunches, in which you pushed your plastic tray through a line to be served mystery meat and sides by older ladies wearing hairnets.
Fortunately, mystery meats are absent at Funky Chicken. As you might imagine, good ol’ chicken — of the free-range variety — is the “star” meat at this casual restaurant. And the high-quality meat goes under some high-quality treatments before making its way to diners’ plates. The chicken first bathes in brine for the purpose of making the meat more moist and tasty. It’s then coated with a mixture of rice flour, tapioca starch, and cornstarch, after which it’s fried — twice. Post the double-frying, Funky Chicken seasons their goods with onion powder, garlic powder, sumac, cayenne, and paprika. Moist chicken with a thin, super crispy coating, and just the right amount of seasoning is the palate-pleasing end result.
Although the funky fried chicken leaves no traces of grease, it’s obvious that it has a lot of grease in it, thus qualifying it as proper, heart-warming comfort food. It is damn good. The same can be said of all the sinfully rich sides that are offered.
The biscuits are dreamy, doughy bites of buttery fluffiness. Should you so choose to drizzle — or drown them — in Funky Chicken’s thick, creamy gravy, you’ll be delighted to find generous chunks of chicken enhancing the already rich gravy. Gobs and gobs of melted yellow cheese cover al dente noodles to form a satisfying macaroni and cheese that could be a meal in its own. The potato salad, which has not an excessive amount of mayonnaise in it, is given an extra crunch with bits of celery. Each of these aforementioned accompaniments could easily be placed in the Comfort Food Hall of Fame.
Some greener sides include flash-fried Brussels sprouts similar in taste to those at Uchi –- savory and sweet with a hint of char — along with a killer quinoa salad that combines the grain with spinach, golden raisins, and sliced toasted almonds. Eating the latter two sides almost…almost…makes up for the comfort food binge you’ll undoubtedly experience (and love) at Funky Chicken. Then again, some sins need no absolving. Eating comfort food definitely falls under that category. So, don’t be ashamed…run, don’t walk over to Funky Kitchen to indulge.
181 Heights Blvd
Houston, TX 77007
Urban Swank did receive a complimentary tasting, but the opinions expressed are our own.