Buddy Chicken and Boba has over 500 outlets in China & Taiwan, with a location at the food court in the Outlets of Orange. I stopped here on a Friday night, and was amazed at how tiny it was. There were 5 or 6 tables inside, and 4 patio tables outside. With real estate being at a premium, I was surprised the owner of the place took up a table by the window at the peak time of 6:00 pm.
The menu is pretty simple. You can get fried chicken “steak” which is basically a pounded chicken cutlet served over rice, salad or with fries (regular or sweet potato), or you can get popcorn chicken with the same option. In addition you can order green or black tea, or other asian style teas made as a slush, with milk, and with/ without boba.
I decided on the popcorn chicken (regularly $6.99 a la carte) and the girl said I could get it as the Buddy Chicken Meal for $5.99, which is a chicken cup served with fries or sweet potato, which is a $5 savings. The portion was quite generous, and so was the bag of sweet potato fries. Unfortunately I was not given or offered any sauce for the chicken or fries, and ate it plain.
Karen chose the Chicken Rice bowl, original flavor, which is the chicken “steak” served over rice, and comes with a salad for $5.99. The chicken and the rice came sprinkled with some sort of powder, which tasted like cinnamon or maybe anise. Her salad had no dressing. Another customer went up to the counter to ask for dressing for her chicken wings, and the girl said they were out. She even told the owner (who sat behind me) and he didn’t do anything to fix the problem. How this can occur on a Friday night at peak dinner time is beyond comprehensible.
We ordered 2 iced green teas, and asked if they were “super sweet”. The girl said yes, and she could make it half sweet. It was still super sweet, so I had to ask her to dilute it with ice and unsweetened green tea. It was priced right at $1.50, but I did not enjoy the overly sweet tea with my salty chicken.
Overall it was just ok. A meal for 2 came to just over $16. It’s a Taiwanese snack joint, so you’re not expecting gourmet food. It fits the bill for mall food, which is just average, overpriced food. I can check off “Buddy” chicken and move on.