Monday, March 15, 2010

Kyochon Review

After being away for a few days, my first meal back in New York City of course had to come from the newly opened Kyochon. Judging by the line out the door, it seemed many other people had the same idea, even late in the evening. The wait was for the upstairs dining room. So we opted for takeout, where the wait was only as long as it took for our order to be filled. In a walk-by at lunchtime today, the takeout line was nearing the door. Eater has gathered the early reactions from around the Web. And my experience was not too much different.

 Everything inside was bright and shiny and the employees were eager. As we waited, we were offered a sample of the chicken breast sandwich served on some sort of flatbread. It was tasty and the chicken was tender.

There were bins at the counter already filled with chicken here and while I didn't see our order being filled from them, the temperature of our food would suggest otherwise.

We unpacked our takeout and discovered that it included a kit for eating the chicken. Chopsticks, a wet wipe, napkins and ... a giant plastic glove?

Here's the broccoli salad. This struck me as somewhat random, but hey, it's always good to get your veggies in. Except maybe when it's covered in a creamy dressing.

The radishes that typically accompany Korean fried chicken were in novel form: paper-thin round slices folded over themselves rather than the more common crunchy cubes. We got an extra order that was helpful to temper the heat of the hot and spicy drumsticks. In addition to those, our bounty included four soy garlic drumsticks and the sal sal chicken strips.

The sal sal chicken strips were fried sticks covered in rice puffs; one dining companion noted (not in a disappointed way) that you couldn't even tell you were eating chicken. The drumsticks had great flavor, but were not as crunchy or hot as they should have been. Overall the food seemed expensive and not filling enough. In comparing it to Bon Chon chicken, it doesn't live up to expectations. Maybe it's too early to tell, but Kyochon had better straighten things out soon; it's got more competition right on its heels.

The big surprise upon my return: Bon Chon chicken, the Korean fried chicken restaurant that was located on the southeast corner of 32nd and Fifth, but became Mad for Chicken, is now opening a new branch just a few doors down from Kyochon, replacing a generic Midtown deli. Let the fried chicken wars begin!

No comments:

Post a Comment