Major Joy Flavoured Chicken – Fried, Grilled, & Sandwiched!
Major Joy is doing a unique take on all things chicken by fusing traditional Indian flavours with a decidedly Western fried chicken joint atmosphere. They’re also conscious in their endeavours, using only locally-sourced chicken, gluten-free batter, (mostly) environment-friendly packaging, and zero refined sugars for a relatively guilt-free dining experience.
We’ll skip straight to the dessert, as I was sippin on these sweet surpy treats throughout the meal. Be sure to grab one off their Milkshake menu! Your mouth will thank you later when it’s time to cool down from the more savoury flavours to come.
The Real Mango Milkshake pairs well with the Indian spices, working like a thick mango lassi topped with fresh finely diced straw-suckable mango. The Kulfi Cream Nut Shake ($5.99 each) sported a generous layer of ground spiced pistachio on top. If you aren’t familiar with kulfi think eggnog but with an Indian spice profile in this shake format. Rich, creamy deliciousness.
Okay, let’s get down to business: clockwise from top left we have Lemon Pepper, Major Hot, Fresh Chilli Mint, and Tandoori Fried Chicken.
Each 2 Piece Chicken Combo ($8.99) from Major Joy comes with one dark and one white piece, 1 side and a drink, or you can upgrade to a Major Combo ($10.99) which comes with 2 sides or 1 Major side and a drink (more on the sides to come). Major Joy has combo sizes up to 12 piece available, as well as grilled versions of the flavours.
Fresh Chilli Mint jumped out at me with its green-brown hue and crispy, chunky-looking batter. This one was spicier than expected, with small hits of salt spaced out on the crust in balance with a slight tang which was increased by dipping in the cool mint yogurt accompaniment. The skin retained a perfectly crisp mouth-feel even after sitting in the box for some time while I snapped my pics.
The Tandoori chicken had the expected musky flavour to the dry rub with a contrasted spicy/cool yogurt dipping sauce full of turmeric taste. Each of these dry rubs would be a hit on their own but with the sauces on top it’s pure perfection on a plate!
Major Joy’s Lemon Pepper on its own was closest to a Western-style fried chicken with its bright lemon zing. When dipped in the tangy sauce it takes on a new dimension and more complex Indian flavour profile with tamarind and spice and everything nice.
Major Hot chicken has an alluring sweet and oh-so-spicy hit that will keep you coming back for more like a whip-trained masochist doing their Master’s bidding. There’s pleasure to be had in all that pain once the endorphins kick in. If you’ve had Kurkure’s Masala Munch snacks you’ll recognize the tamarind chili taste especially in the dry rub, but here it’s amped up to ten! And if you’ve ever wished standard samosa dipping sauce was spicier then you have got to try Major Joy’s dip.
The Tandoori Grilled Chicken Sandwich ($9.99 for a basic combo or $11.99 for a Major combo for all sandwiches) had all the pungent spice of the fried chicken pieces, with the addition of a cabbage and lettuce slaw. The chicken was lovingly cushioned between a succulently soft brioche bun pillow that soaked up so much sauce by the last bite that each of these burgers left a lasting impression, making me crave another. Thankfully there was three more to get through!
Ah yes, my sweet sadist returns to tease my tongue with its firey lashes and adds a smokey char from the grill for this go-round. Thankfully they slathered a generous layer of mayonnaise on each side of the bun to help douse the flames and keep me from using my safe word. Which just so happens to be “MAYO!!” anyway.
Major Joy’s Lemon Pepper Fried Chicken Sandwich takes us back into vanilla territory (and not a moment too soon! That last paragraph was getting a tad personal…). This is your best bet if you don’t fancy yourself the adventurous type. Still an excellent sandwich that would give any of the overhyped fast food “chicken wars” varieties a run for their money, but it felt like switching to the slow lane after all the high octane adventures preceding it.
This guy had a thicker chicken breast as it wasn’t pounded as flat as some of the others. That being said I enjoyed both styles equally. The fried batter had some interesting greenery and spices added to it. The rich butter chicken sauce made a solid impression here but really shined on the…
…Butter Chicken Poutine. Deftly balanced with just the right amount of sauce (the correct amount being “a buttload”), gooey cheese, and shredded chicken mixed in with the skin-on potato fries. Out of all the poutine variations I’ve tried both here at home and on my travels in La Belle Province, butter chicken beats em all. And Major Joy’s take, while nothing revolutionary at this point, is a winner.
That being said, it wasn’t all grits n’ gravy. The Major Joy Super Sides ($3.49 each or get them as part of a Major Combo) were all a bit of a let down. The only one I really couldn’t stomach was the Lime Chilli Corn, which had a chewy texture that didn’t sit well with me. Maybe I just got an off batch, or it was a result of the humidity softening the corn in the container during delivery, but if you can get this fresh and crisp the sauce at least was quite appealing.
The other two were just pretty bland, the Creamy Pasta coming at you like something you’re trailer trash mom would force down your gullet as a meatloaf side or you wouldn’t get no Jell-O puddin for dessert.
MJ Royal Chicken Stew was okay, but nothing more. Some caramelized onion atop what I would guess is a dahl-based broth due to its texture and colour. Fairly mild but still registering a blip on the Scoville scale with a pepper cumin flavour. Some shredded chicken mixed in for good measure.
If you play it safe you can’t go wrong with the Major Joy Regular Sides ($2.39 each or pick them with your combo). The yam fries go well with Major Joy’s Classic Garlic Sauce, a thick-ish dip with a light almost whipped texture. Mild in comparison to the other sauces, it’s not often you’d turn to garlic for a cool-down but such is the case at Major Joy’s Flavoured Chicken. Closest reference point would be tzatziki of the sort we had at Adana Grill.
Well after this feast I am definitely straight dundees bro and am now off to lapse into a chicken coma. I’ll probably be counting chicken burgers as I drift off. Say, those half-eaten brioche buns still sitting on my plate look like a mighty comfy place to rest my weary head…1…….2……….zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz