Bonchon Fried Chicken:
Unique Taste of Korean Street-side Dishes
By Angela Tsang
K-pop music, spicy fried chicken, and beer, Bonchon adds Korean elements into its place, making it a trendy and stylish restaurant/bar with relaxing atmosphere. Launched in 2006 in New Jersey, Bonchon hit New York City in 2007 and it now has 3 branches on Manhattan and 1 in Queens. Stepping into the one in Midtown East on Fifth Avenue, I feel relaxed with low-tone interior and moderate lights with projected screen playing Korean songs and MVs. It seems to be a wonderful place to have a drink or chat with friends.
The menu is a combination of Korean cuisine and other Asian dishes. The house special is their authentic Korean style fried chicken. Fried chicken is a street-side dish in South Korea, a typical kind of food that can represent Koreans’ common lives. The founder, Jinduk Seh, decided to share this original snack with America, and thus traveled all the way here, finally arrived New York, and found the restaurant.
It may seem common as other kinds of fried chicken; however, Bonchon fried chicken adopts original Korean taste with special sauces of soy garlic and “gochugaru” (literally “pepper powder”), spicy sauce made of red chilies. When I visited, I chose the mix of fried wings and drums with both sauces. Wings and drums are cooked properly with the combination of thin yet crispy skin and moist and soft meat inside. While soy garlic ones tasted sweet and sour, it is actually the flaming hot ones that drew my attention. At the first bite, I did not feel hot; it was until the meat ran through my throat then I started to feel numbing spicy at the top of my tongue. Later, my throat felt the hotness as well; it is not spicy at the moment you take the bite, but after you swallow it you can feel the hot flavor. It is unique taste of fried chicken that Americans seldom have at other places.
Apart from its house special, Bonchon presents other Korean dishes like Seafood Scallion Pancakes, Bibimbob (Korean mixed rice bowl), and Fried Rice Cakes and many others. Not in the mood for Asian food? Bonchon also provides side dishes like salads and French fries for you to enjoy here.
No matter you want to experience Korean atmosphere here with popular songs from Korean singers, or you just want to relax with friends, Bonchon is a comfortable place for New Yorkers to go. Two branches in Midtown and one in lower Manhattan, people can try its mouth-watering fried chicken and release pressures whenever they feel like to.
l Midtown East/32nd St & 5th Ave: 325 5th Ave New York, NY 10016
TEL : 212.686.8282
l Midtown/38th St & 7th Ave: 207 W 38th St, New York NY 10018
TEL : 212.221.3339
l Lower Manhattan/John St: 104 John St, New York NY 10038
TEL : 646.692.4660