Sunday, January 27, 2008

Bon Chon Chicken

Bon Chon Chicken [314 Fifth Avenue, New York; Menu]

First, I had to find the place. It's on the second floor of a small office building, a somewhat typical location in Koreatown, but unheard of anywhere else in New York. The space is far larger and more upscale than I expected. This is not a rival to KFC (although it does offer its own twist on that acronym), and this is evident from the moment you read about vitamins on the front door. But while I don't quite believe in the health benefits of Bon Chon's chicken, I do believe in the taste. The stuff is delicious. What's unique to me is the crispiness of the skin, coupled with the tenderness of the chicken inside. It's an excellent combination. Portions come with drumsticks and/or wings, and with a spicy sauce or a soy-garlic sauce. Crucially, neither sauce is slathered on, so the wings are far less messy than most, but they maintain a distinct flavor.

For two people, I strongly recommend a large portion of drumsticks and wings, half spicy, half soy-garlic. This will set you back $20, but should fill you up pretty well. For a little palate cleanser, try the radishes that come with the chicken. Other food options on the menu appear to be overpriced, and since they specialize in chicken here, I say stick to the good stuff. Also, the beer is unfortunately overpriced, because it would definitely go well with the chicken. It's $22 for a pitcher ($6 for pints/bottles)! Finally, whenever you go, make sure that you are not in a hurry, because the service is extremely slow.

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