Kyochon Chicken – Namyangju, KOR


Kyochon Chicken
Namyangju, KOR

After a busy day this past summer checking out various tourist sights in Seoul, I hopped back onto a train back to the suburbs to where I was spending some nights sleeping early on in my journey.   On the short walk back to the residence from the station, I noticed a boisterous establishment that seemingly was a pub/fried chicken kind of joint. I suggested to my travel mate that we go check it out – despite having finished eating a hearty dinner an hour before – but was told there was a better place they knew about, and the family I was staying with vouched for it. Sounded good to me.  It allowed some more time to digest our dinner and was really convenient too, as all it required was a phone call, as they delivered!   A change into some more comfortable clothes later and soon enough the door bell was ringing.

Reportedly there is an outpost of this popular Korean-style fried chicken known as Kyochon Chicken in Koreatown (Los Angeles) as well, but its the first I’d heard of it.  Not being able to read anything around me probably had something to do with it.  The logo I’d seen before though around the Korean capital city.  It seems to be mainly a delivery/takeaway kind of business model.  I think the places that serve Korean chicken that I’ve seen here in the GVRD are kind of like that (lots of “to-go” orders), but have seating areas as well where the beer (that goes so well with these things) flow freely.  As this was a second dinner, I just asked that we get a dozen or so and I wanted to try the original flavor, so not enhanced with the sweet-spicy sauce that really makes Korean-style chicken so yummy.

Some dipping sauces (a mustard-like one, and I think the others were mayonnaise-like and also a red spicy kind) came with the order.  And of course, the fresh, crunchy, tart cubes of daikon.  This is to help cut the oiliness of fried chicken and works wonders for the palate.  Mass produced, sure.  But with some short best before dates on the label, it seemed they must have high turnover.

Now the main event.  As you can see, no added sauce coated the fried goodies.  Straight-up, original flavor.  The coating was light and airy, and the color a nice golden brown. And there was some separation if you will between the chicken meat underneath and the skin/crust layer with many pieces in the box.  So the breading  wasn’t clumpy or densely coated at all, superb.  They must use some kind of carbonated liquid to make the batter in order to get it this particular texture.  Seasoning was light to my surprise, but I guess when you get the other flavors that have a notable coating of sauce and/or use the side dips, this helps to bolster the taste profile.

Inside, the drummete meat was nice and juicy and cooked perfectly through.  No annoying sinew and surprisingly lean for thigh meat I thought.  My hosts had won me over with their choice.  Kyochon does it right!

I can’t believe how many of these I ate at this late hour, and also the leftover (and cold) pieces the following morning.  I must have really liked them. 🙂

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