Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Bon Chon Chicken (Midtown)

Hey all!

Last week, one of my friends from Australia introduced me to her favorite food in NYC. She's here on exchange for the spring semester, and has tried out countless places downtown because she conveniently has an internship right near Herald Square. So when she told me about her obsession with Bon Chon Chicken, I knew I had to try it.

We went to the shop in Koreatown, on 5th Avenue between 32nd and 33rd street. It was a small and dimly lit place, but with good ambiance, mainstream music videos playing on flat screen TVs in the wall.

The menu was a lot shorter than I expected, giving us a few different combinations of wings/drumsticks/tenders to choose from, and a small list of sides. We decided to order the combo soy garlic fried chicken along with a side of bulgogi beef, veggies, and rice.

At this point I was pretty much starving, after having commuted down from Morningside Heights after work and walking in circles through Sephora (how can a girl resist?), so I was happy to find that the service was speedy. The bulgogi looked tremendously appetizing, and the taste did not disappoint.

Slightly sweet and very tender, it went perfectly with the rice. Or, as the Chinese would say, "xia fan" (my parents would be proud). Veggies were bland, but what can you really expect from a few stalks of steamed broccoli and carrots?

The famous Korean fried chicken came on a plate of six wings and two drumsticks, perfect for two, but turned out to be a bit of a let down. I admit I'm not much of a fried chicken person in the first place, but I was expecting something different from your typical American KFC type of food. It was definitely more savory, but the taste fell somewhat flat. Aside from a slight garlicky note, the crispy layer tasted primarily like plain old soy sauce. If the chicken itself were juicy, I might have liked it more, but there wasn't a substantial amount of meat on the bones. After finishing the bon chon, my passiveness towards fried chicken still remains.

My friend did say that this Bon Chon was not nearly as good as the one in St. Mark's Place, where the menu has a lot more variety and the chicken is better overall. I do want to check it out sometime, perhaps for the non-fried-chicken items. Korean food is awesome, in my opinion, but I have to say I'm more of a fan of the healthier and more traditional options (ie kimchee and bibimbap). In terms of atmosphere, though, Bon Chon is pretty good if you want to have a chill place to hang out with a couple friends and nosh on some chicken, and perhaps even hit up a karaoke bar afterwards :)



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