Kyochon Chicken is a Korean fried chicken joint that apparently has gained some following in the U.S., if our brother’s yelps of glee when he discovered the outlet in Pudong’s Thumb Plaza this summer were any indication. While our subsequent visits to the joint still didn’t help us understand exactly what he was getting so ecstatic over, we have to admit – it does serve some damn fine fried chicken.
For those that don’t know, Korean fried chicken is slightly different from the type you’d get from KFC. Instead of heavy batter, the skin seems almost painted on and then caramelized. It’s done through a frying technique that “renders out the fat in the skin, transforming it into a thin, crackly and almost transparent crust,” according to the New York Times.
But we’re only mildly interested in how it’s made… for the purposes of this post, we’d rather talk about how it tastes.
There are several types of fried chicken to choose from at the Shanghai location. You can get the Original, made from a sweet soy sauce; the Redhot, which actually did set our mouths on fire; and the Honey, which the younger kids in our party loved. For us, it was hard to pick a favorite – each had us scarfing them down faster than the waiters could keep up with our new orders. We’d say maybe hold yourself back a little on the Redhots though, they weren’t joking around when they named it that.
All are 18RMB for four pieces, but the price per piece gets progressively lower the more of the same type you buy. For 20RMB, you can also try four of the Grilled chicken, which… isn’t fried. It was tasty, but we weren’t quite sure why it was worth 2RMB more. Perceived health benefits?
Other things on the menu included a decent set of chicken sandwiches that go 38RMB a pop and a to die for “Crispy rice chicken strip” platter – a mound of strips deep fried in batter and crunchy rice flakes (70RMB).
Unfortunately, they didn’t provide much to go with the chicken besides a bowl of pickled radishes and free Cokes. Maybe its our own weird quirk, but we felt that some white rice would’ve complimented the crispy chicken perfectly. Also unfortunate is its location, which is damn far from where we normally reside. Open a location in Puxi sometime soon, please?
Kyochon Chicken is located in Pudong’s Thumb Plaza, Store 11, 199 Fangdian Lu near Dingxiang Lu. 芳甸路199弄 11号 大拇指广场, 近丁香路 Tel: 50338396