I heard so much about Kyochon when I was planning for my trip, and it did not occur to me till much later that it’s actually the same brand as Bonchon everywhere else in the world! I LOVED Bonchon when we were in New York a few years back, and I was so excited to try the original version from Korea! While I didn’t like beer then, I quite enjoy Korean beer nowadays! (It’s pretty much the only kind of beer I like.) Tried CASS beer for the first time and went so well with the chicken! The thing about KFC (Korean Fried Chicken) is that they somehow manage to fry it such that the skin is somehow detached from the meat, which gives it a delightful crisp texture and amazing flavour, without it being too oily.
The two flavours that Kyochon shot to fame for was its signature Kyochon series, which is a soy garlic glazed flavour, and the Red series, which comes with a red-hot chilli pepper sauce. There are also a few other flavours, including the honey series which we wanted to try. The unfortunate thing is there is only one size that you can order, which presents a problem when it was just the two of us eating. There were We ordered the Half & Half Whole Chicken (17,000 KRW), which allowed us to try both the Kyochon and Red series, but this is the only combination available. You can also choose to have just drumsticks, or wings & drumlets, which I actually feel is worth the additional 2,000 KRW, because the “whole chicken” was really more like random, awkward bits of the chicken which did not have as much meat. Especially with the batter that made the piece look way bigger than it was, I was a little shocked at the lack of meat. Nevertheless, I’ve got no complaints because the skin was so scrumptious!!
And the portion was HUGE by the way. But the original soy garlic was just mind-blowingly yummy that we couldn’t resist it!!! The batter was crisp and light, almost airy, yet had a satisfying crunch. The marinade was amazingly tasty and addictive and we absolutely LOVED IT. The red hot flavour shocked us with its spicy kick, with a fieriness that grew in intensity and became unmanageable after two pieces.
So we gave up on it and…decided to order the Honey Whole Chicken (16,000 KRW) instead. Haha. It was definitely an overdose of chicken that day, and we couldn’t finish everything (obviously), but we really liked the honey flavour as well! The slightly sweet sauce on the signature batter was delicious and not too sweet. Though I’d still pick the original as my favourite for its addictive garlic flavour.
A point to note is that the waiting time for the wings is really, really long. Apparently it’s pretty well-known from all the reviews, but we had absolutely no clue! And our server didn’t inform us as well, so we kinda starved from a late lunch of 3pm all the way till nearly 4pm when we were finally served our food. *faints* It was worth the wait though!
Kyochon can be found in most of the main areas in Seoul, and we happened to chance upon it in the Sincheon area! I believe there is a delivery option as well if you like!
In fact, ordering KFC into our apartment was an experience that we really looked forward to on our trip to Seoul. Our Airbnb host was really the kindest host ever, and obliged to helping us place an order for KFC (because we couldn’t speak Korean). We ordered from BBQ Chicken where we had a mix of two flavours as well! The original crispy fried chicken was somewhat like KFC’s (as in Kentucky Fried Chicken) extra crispy chicken, and we also ordered the version with the sweet-spicy sauce. The chicken went well when washed down with Hite beer, which helped to cut through the greasiness and gave us a reason to finish up the lot.
It’s definitely an experience to have this when you’re in Seoul! Which is your favourite KFC brand? Let me know!