NYC! Day 4: Bonchon Chicken


What? Bonchon Chicken for fried chicken!
Where? 104 John st (New York)
Price? $10-$25
The skinny: In Korea, fried chicken has a cult following, I’m talking shops all over South Korea and their style of fried chicken has migrated back to the States. Bonchon is one of the Korean-style chicken chains that churns out those characteristically crunchy, moist drumsticks and wings. :D

So you’re wondering, “Carmen, seriously?! Still on the NYC posts?!” Yeah, I’ve been really busy with school so posts have only been slowly getting written. Plus, we really did hit up a lot of places during our 5-day trip. It was insanity of the best kind. :) 

Here’s the New York stock exchange!! Yep, that famous bull…it’s in the movie Hitch. I hear that you can touch it's ahem..."brass balls" (think Glengarry Glen Ross) for good luck. Interesting. Would you do that? Just know that many people have! And a random but supposedly also famous dude with his snake. He's just chilling with his snake, chatting on the phone.

Okay, so what’s this talk about “Korean-style fried chicken”? The special technique originates from Kyochon, a massively popular chain in Korea. According to an article I read in the New York Times, they use the same concept as an Asian frying technique (aka I should know this…) where fat in the skin is rendered out and the chicken is fried in two stages. It’s actually really interesting, you should check out the article
 Anyways, we came here for a very late lunch, which turned into dinner as well. $3 beer?! Not bad at all! Then I remembered that I’m not legal in the States yet haha

It was pretty empty…but not surprising considering it was smack in the middle of the day, around 3 o’clock. It’s quite clean so that was good. Keeping in mind that Bonchon Chicken is a franchise restaurant, don’t let my experience colour your opinion. (Yeah, the service was pretty terrible).

We knew about the “supposedly amazingly crispy” chicken beforehand but didn’t know that it takes 30 minutes to prepare. Our server didn’t specify why there was such a long wait time until we found some posters in the back by the washrooms that cleared up the confusion. So we started off with one of the “deals”. 

“Large Combo” ($18.99)
4 Drumsticks + 15 Wings. It was at this time that I pulled out my remaining half of my Katz’s pastrami sandwich to finish. Yeah I know it’s meat that I didn’t reheat but I wanted to eat it! Back to the chicken, it was glistening and beckoning to me, even though I was enjoying my sandwich. 
They came in two plates since one is spicy and the other is honey garlic flavoured. :D

The others were smacking their lips and really liking it so I gave one a try. MMM! The skin is so crispy! As you can see in the photo, with the fat rendered from the skin, it crisped up so beautifully and the meat inside is cooked all the way through but still moist. So tasty!

By this point, it was around 4:30pm. Why am I being so specific? Well, there are daily deals and today’s, the Sunday deal included a pitcher of beer and about 20 drumsticks/wings. We totally chatted and laughed for 30 minutes (burning some calories along the way ;D) just to order this…as dinner. 

Same idea. Cripsy, light, moist pieces of fried chicken!!! Best I’ve had? Yeppers. I mean all the fried chicken I’ve had in the past were at most “okay” because it’d be moist but the skin isn’t crispy enough or dry and overcooked. This was the perfect balance. “Asian frying technique” you say? I’m hoping it’s in my blood because I wouldn’t mind whipping up a batch of perfectly fried chicken. :D 

We also got an order of fries because I mean, you need some veggies too! haha They weren’t very memorable. Just regular fries. At least they were nicely deep fried! 

I think this is the cheapest meal we’ve had yet. Make that a certainty. We did combine a super late lunch and awkwardly early dinner together!

Verdict? Although the wait is a minimum 30 minutes, the chicken is really worth it! It’s rather cheap too so if you ever go to NYC and are able to fit Bonchon Chicken into your schedule, go for it! (Although service here was super iffy and slow but it wasn’t too bad since we weren’t in any hurry to leave).

4 out of 5 NOMs
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