REVIEW: Arisun Express / Azoto

Originally published by Two Thousand in 2014

Arisun in Chinatown is a place you can spend three hours in. Eating fried chicken, drinking jugs of beer, arguing with the staff before walking out exclaiming “don’t change a thing!” and genuinely meaning it. It’s a perfect venue, far more entertaining than the Entertainment Centre around the corner. A drunk uncle of a restaurant that you can’t wait to visit again, even though he never remembers your name.

For me, Arisun is a commitment. One does not simply order half a chicken and call it a night. I’m in it for the long haul – ordering their biggest, coldest jug from the get go and then upgrading to a ridiculous beer tower within twenty minutes and demanding they fill another tower with fried chicken. My favourite style of Arisun chicken is the one that comes with a three day hangover, but I can’t eat it as much as I used to. I’m a father now. I need something a little less encouraging.

Enter Arisun Express, Arisun’s hopefully extremely successful attempt at toppling the Colonel’s KFC empire. Here you can order a whole Korean fried bird – or popcorn chicken style, small pieces of deep fried Arisun nuggets in a variety of glazes. Arisun veterans will be happy to know that the classic soy glaze is as good here as it is down the road, but the sweet and spicy glaze might have it beat, with a double crunch from the batter and bright red sugar that candy coats each bite sized bit.

There’s more in their cups than just chicken – this is Arisun after all, home to a lovely selection of joyously drinkable Korean lagers, best served as cold as possible. In fact, you can get your Hite served frozen! Your schooner comes topped with a cute spurt of beer slushie. On its own, the frozen beer will make you recall that time you left that six-pack of Carlton Colds in the freezer too long, but tilt your glass towards you and drink your beer through the icy froth for a wave of frostiness. Very cool.

In Arisun’s same little box of World Square real estate is Azoto, Chinatown’s second liquid nitrogen based gelato bar – something we clearly needed two of. While the fun desserts look great, the ice cream itself isn’t as good as it is at N2 and when there’s frozen beer on the menu, why would you order ice cream?

Arisun Express is an awesome addition to Liverpool street. At best it’s a quick and easy alternative to a weekend killing Arisun bender on a Friday afternoon, at worst it’s a cup of fried chicken that you can eat on the walk to Arisun, a warm up for the real thing.


  1. […] with Korean and the new KFC has taken over. The original classic Arisun’s has started to expand, and Chinatown now comes close to rivalling Strathfield with its growing population of KFC […]

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