NYC’s beloved fried chicken chain wows in Bur Dubai 6 Reviews
In New York, Bon Chon Chicken is an established star. It is one of several South Korean fried chicken joints and, following the craze for cupcakes and frozen yoghurt, it has captured the Big Apple’s imagination. The chicken wing specialist has just launched its first Middle Eastern branch on Trade Centre Road in Bur Dubai, tucked next door to a KFC (which, we suspect, will start to lose business).
For a fast-food chain, the venue is spacious, colourful and clean. Tables are bright and well scrubbed, and the walls boast a handful of media clippings extolling the brand, as well as a number of doting Post-It notes from a growing local fan base. The menu is limited: there are chicken wings, drumsticks and fillets, which each come in either a spicy or soy garlic marinade.
What distinguishes Bon Chon’s chicken – and Korean fried chicken in general – is the method. Unlike KFC, these pieces aren’t breaded, but I didn’t miss it one bit: the skin has such a glorious crunch, with nooks full of sweet, luscious marinade. Supposedly it’s the method of double-frying these babies over low temperatures with trans-fat-free oil that gives the delicious texture (in NYC, trans-fats are banned). The soy garlic versions have a trace of sweetness and an addictive tar-like stickiness, while the hot ones start off mild and spread like a naughty grin.
There are several less classical sides to choose from. In place of mashed potato is a cold potato salad (basically mashed with pickled corn and courgette, it seems). While a standard coleslaw is available, so too is a kimchi version, guaranteeing a fierce kick. Sour radish comes complimentary, and while this may seem like a strange sidekick to hot wings, it actually makes a lot of sense. After downing several fiery bites, I was craving the accoutrement as a means of cooling my mouth.
There were no desserts on offer, but I didn’t mind: I was happy enough to polish off extra wings in place of a pudding. So, in answer to the question, is Bon Chon’s chicken worth the hype? The answer: yes – a resounding yes.
The bill (for two)
1x Drumstick value meal Dhs20
1x Wings value meal Dhs20
Total (excluding service) Dhs40
Time Out Dubai,
Time Out reviews restaurants anonymously and pays for meals. Of course, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or independence of user reviews.