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korean fried chicken

Just in case people on chowhound don't know, there is now bon chon chicken available in Boston. For reference, here is an old-ish article in the NYTimes about bon chon chicken:


It is gooooooood stuff. You can order it at Privus on Brighton Ave. Also there is a competing Korean fried chicken place on Comm Ave, by Marty's, but I don't remember the name.

Just fyi.

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  1. The Korean restaurants on Harvard between Brighton and Commonwealth have been serving it for years.

    4 Replies
    1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

      Really? Do you mean Ganpoongki (chicken stir fried with veggies and a sauce) or the fried chicken written about in the NYT article? I don't recall ever seeing the latter in Boston but I don't get over to Allston nearly as much as I'd like these days (I stick with Buk Kyung Somerville or Chung Ki Wa). If it's true BFP, which ones have you had it at?

      I know the chef at Privus is Korean, so I am not surprised to hear that bit of news. I'll have to check it out! Thanks amatto!

      1. re: digga

        I'm talking about the fried chicken written about in the Times' article.

        1. re: amatto

          I know, amatto. Sorry, I was posing the question to BFP.

      2. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

        I think you are referring to Color's version of Korean Fried Chicken; I kind of think comparing Color to Bon Chon is like comparing Domino's to Pizzeria Regina pizza..it is really a different animal. Don't get me wrong, I like Color, but they don't focus on fried chicken the way Bon Chon (or Cheogajip) does.

        Privus started serving Bon Chon chicken back in Dec 2008. Cheogajip Chicken on Comm Ave between Roggie's and Marty's opened sometime before that..maybe a year?..not sure.

        I found a posting in chowhound comparing Bon Chon w/Cheogajip when they both opened Spring 2006 in Flushing, New York.


        Some friends who've been to the NY Bon Chon confirm that Privus' Bon Chon does the chicken w/pretty much the same texture and taste.

      3. My friends and I got BonChon for the Superbowl. Honey cow. I am extremely particular about chicken... I never eat chicken on the bone, and only eat chicken breast. However, BonChon is an exception tot he rule. This stuff is ridiculous.

        3 Replies
        1. re: SaraASR

          Sara - At which place did you get yours? Thanks.

          1. re: fredid

            Privus. And the pickled radishes that come with it (maybe it's kidn of like the celery/carrot sticks with American buffalo wings?) are awesome!

            Oh and PS, all of our drumbsticks were HUGE drumsticks.

          2. re: SaraASR

            I'd love to try take out, but I'm not particularly close to Privus, so I'd love to know how this stuff fairs after a 40-60min commute via T back home. I love wings, and I'm more than willing to break my diet/health kick to try these.

          3. Great, I have a totally new craving now. I can imagine myself imploding in trying to decide whether I wanted to go to Gitlo's or Privus across the street. Thanks for the reviews everyone.

            1. I knew it would just be a matter of time before the word got out about Bon Chon @ privus - they finally put up the Bon Chon letters next to the privus sign outside the week of the Super Bowl. Hopefully, this does not introduce ridiculous wait times to get food. I waited 2 hours on Super Bowl Sunday, granted, I ordered 120 wings and 40 drumsticks but that's not the point here...

              Bon Chon's kfc travels extremely well in or out of refrigeration, the fried shell remains crispy though the chicken meat tends to deteriorate - I had 40 wings leftover from Super Bowl Sunday that I just finished this past Saturday. Crispy to the last bite. In the past when there was no Bon Chon here in Boston, my friends and I would bring it back from NYC and leave it in the trunk so the smell would not force us to pull over and eat it before we got back to Boston. If you are taking it on the T, you should be more worried about getting mugged for the chicken and not so much about the chicken losing its texture or flavor - all takeout is packed in paper boxes and put into a paper shopping bag equivalent to the kind you might get at BR or J. Crew. I assume this is to allow heat/steam to evaporate instead of condensing into water and then making the food soggy.

              The place on Comm Ave, on the carriage road, that serves Cheogajip-branded kfc is Roppongi. Their sushi is subpar but their korean dishes are decent. That place has an affinity for large groups of caucasian college students packing it in to do sake bombs on Friday and Saturday nights. Also, they offer a 1.5L bottle of sake for $40 which is an amazing deal considering that they charge $10 for maybe 8oz of their house sake.

              13 Replies
              1. re: avial

                that's funny about the place being packed with caucasian college kids. i was there around 8:30 pm last fri and almost everyone around me were korean kids from korea(not american born) with their stylish black clothes. everyone was speaking korean except me, my dining companion, and two indian guys sitting next to us. made me feel like i was in some secret korean hotspot that no one else knows. :)

                the place on comm ave is confusing name wise b/c on the outside it looks like two totally separate places, but it's really one place when you step inside. on one side it says "my favorite cheogajip chicken". on another sign next door it says "sushi" and when you get the bill it says "roppongi inc".

                cheogajip means "my mother in law'" in korean, by the way. so essentially cheogajip chicken= mother in law's chicken.

                i ordered pork bulgogi along with a small popcorn kfc and boy, it was a large serving for a small size! the bulgogi had a bunch of fresh,colorful veggies lightly stir fried with the pork. it's a healthy version. no bits of fat hanging onto the pork and not very oily.

                now that i've tried both cheogajip and bon chon, i like them both, even though they do the chicken differently. the back room at cheogajip's atmosphere reminiscent of the old days of maluken and kapow. karaoke, big screen tvs, and lots of tables. however, cheogajip has way better food than both. also couldn't get over the front deli cases stacked with plenty of beer and ready to go chilled mugs.

                glad i didn't go there later in the evening. maybe i would've witnessed what you did.

                1. re: digitalk

                  I've been to Roppongi 4 or 5 times late last fall, 3 of those occasions were on Friday or Saturday around 7 or 8pm and every single time without fail, 2 large groups of college students would march on in - they get seated at the tables against the back and side wall and about 45 minutes after they've been seated, you hear this deafening ruckus of those little sake glasses dropping into the big beer mugs. Eventually, I learned to anticipate the noise by looking for the wait staff carrying the tray of beer mugs and sake shots.

                  1. re: avial

                    i must've gone on "b.u. korean nite". no other way to explain the packed house full of korean kids when i went. also i sat in the front room close to the doors and avoided that back room. must make mental note that if i ever go there again, i will go for an early dinner or on a weeknite. thanks for the tip.

                  2. re: digitalk

                    Does Roppongi do take out as well, or only dine-in?

                  3. re: avial

                    I finally got to Privus last night and the chicken was unbelievably good. The crust is thin and ultra crispy, it’s almost like a chicken skin shell. You bite through the delicious crust and you get a mouthful of tender, moist succulent chicken. The wings are lightly glazed, almost painted on, so that the crust doesn’t get soggy from a thick, gloppy sauce. The hot wings were too hot for me, but the garlic soy glaze was delicious; the perfect balance of sweet and savory. The drumsticks were gynormous. The wings came with a bowl of picked daikon. It was a good foil to the uber-spicy chicken.


                    1. re: gltsoi

                      oh my, food porn writing at its finest.

                            1. re: ScubaSteve

                              is this really the place? after reading all the posts here I didn't expect Privus to be so "clubby". Plus I don't see the fried chicken anywhere on the menu?

                              1. re: rebs

                                yah, it's the place. i was by there on Friday and they even have a sign that announces the Bon Chon Chicken.

                                1. re: rebs

                                  Privus is a bit clubby (with giant monitors displaying fashion runway shows and all), but it is indeed the place. If you're looking on the online menu, it's not listed. It's not even on the main take-out menu, as the Bon Chon chicken has a take-out menu of its own. But it's the right place!

                        1. is there a menu on line anywhere for bon chon at Privus?

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Gordough

                            I haven't seen one but basically the chicken comes in 3 forms:

                            wings/drumsticks combo

                            They come in 3 sizes - regular, large and XL which have price points of $18, $25 and $32 I think. The pieces count for wings is 20, 30, 40. For drumsticks, you get half the count. For a combo, it's in between I believe.

                          2. I am very suggestible ;-)

                            In response to this thread I could not resist and I hit Roppongi near the intersection of Comm. and Harvard just a bit further Outbound then Marty's. I had the 8 wing app plate.

                            Darned if that was not some of the better fried chicken I have ever eaten. Perfect fry job. Delicious.

                            Will have to hit Privus/BonChon next time to compare.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: StriperGuy

                              You are in for quite the treat. Start at Color with some of their chicken, move to Roppongi and then finish at Bon Chon. The only downside to Bon Chon is that you cannot get a whole chicken there like you can at Color(actually, no wings or drumsticks) and at Roppongi (I think).

                            2. After reading this, I am going to Privus next weekend!

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: eowynnie

                                Well, enjoy! I trekked all the way today from Quincy, and the wings still tasted great when I got home on the T. I was so tempted to make a pit stop at 88's Food Court just to polish them off hot, but it was getting late...wish Privus had some earlier hours rather than the 5pm start.

                                They come with sides of pickled daikon, which is somehow perfect between bites of the chicken.

                                1. re: kobuta

                                  I went on Friday after work and got a medium combo to go. Very tasty. I walked home with my bonchon bag in one hand and some Gitlo's dumplings and buns in the other. It was pretty cold out and the wind was whipping (I too thought about stopping at the 88 food court to eat the wings hot) but 30 minutes later when I finally got home I was shocked that the wings were still warm. I did have to re-steam the dumpings...

                                  I usually like spicy food but I enjoyed the garlic soy wings/ drumsticks more than the hot. I will definitely be back there. Maybe in the for an early dinner... Privus was not quite my style, but if I was tucked into one of those booths, I'm sure those delicious wings would make me forget where I was.

                                  1. re: kobuta

                                    Wanted to report back - It was worth the trek to Allston for these! Delicious! The wings were still hot when I got back. I preferred the wings to the giant drumsticks because the flavour of the crispy outside melded with the meat inside. On the drumsticks, because they were so big, you couldn't necessarily get those nice bits of glaze or whatever they put on the outside with every bite. I also tried their avocado salad and I'd have to give that a thumbs up as well.

                                2. I found a menu flyer that I brought home that has the proper pricing and sizes:

                                  The pricing for the four sizes are the same regardless if you get wings, drums or combo:
                                  s/m/L/XL: $10.95, 18.95, $26.95, $31.95

                                  Combo (s/m/L/XL): 6 wings/3 drums. 10/5, 15/8, 20/10
                                  Drums: 5, 10, 15, 20
                                  Wings: 10, 20, 30, 40

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: avial

                                    Finally tried the bon chon chicen at Privus and they are soooo good. I also ordered a scorpion roll and 12 pieces of scottish salmon belly sushi; they were very good and comparable to Oishii. I will definitely return.

                                    1. re: joebloe

                                      I too tried the chicken. Had it about 2 weeks ago and took it to go (20 min ride home). The chicken was still hot when I got it home and it was unreal! Really hard to describe. try it for yourself. Be warned though it took about 30 min for my take out order to be ready.

                                      1. re: Gordough

                                        The Wall Street Journal reported today that California Pizza Kitchen is now testing korean fried chicken salad.

                                  2. Just adding a link for more Roppongi reports, for both chicken and other dishes: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/596211

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: fredid

                                      went to Roppongi/Bada or whatever the name of the place is on Monday. We started with a Spicy pork and potato soup which was awesome. Pork neck bones with some meat on them, lots of kimchee, scallions and korean chili paste. Great broth that was topped with mint and a lot of tiny sesame seeds. This soup was absolutely delicious and a perfect starter while waiting for the chicken.

                                      The chicken is as good as everyone here mentions. We had the hot,sweet and spicy version and it came out with skin as crispy as glass, tender meat and the sauce was sweet chili like with lots of garlic in it. This will definitely be in the regular rotation. WOW

                                      1. re: Wursthof

                                        Waht's the adress for Roppongi/Bada?

                                    2. We went to Roppongi last night and I must say we were dissapointed. While the fried chicken was OK it was nothing at all to write home about -- I found the sauces to be lackluster and the service to be poor. My DC ordered soup and sushi and while it was fine again nothing at all worth driving from Medford to Allston for.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: marlin22

                                        I went to Roppongi too... I ordered the fried chicken wings, french fries and veg tempura to go. First complaint....I ordered some sashimi to eat while I waited. I've had better sushi at lots of places. The person making it started a conversation with me as he pointed to the tv which was broadcasting an Asian station. He told me how much better Asian tv was than American. He then went into a mini lecture at how America wasn't #1 anymore..."you're just a big country. " I didn't reply to his ranting. Within a 5 minute period, he must have said America wasn't number 1 at least 10 times. Is that what brainwashing is like? That alone left a bad taste, The chicken was alright. it was very crispy, but I found it to be very fatty. It reminded me of my mother and grandmother frying chicken skin and onions to make chicken fat. It had the same taste(without the onion) as the fried chicken skin and was just as greasy. The veg tempura was 4 huge veg pieces that were too big to eat as finger food. Nothing special. The fries were battered. I've never had them battered before and didin't care for them. It was overkill. Even if I had liked it, that sushi chef's attitude would keep me away.

                                      2. I think the advice one should glean from this thread is:

                                        Bon Chon: has the better chicken
                                        Roppongi: skip the Japanese dishes, go for the real Korean dishes, chicken is OK.

                                        At least, that's what I would glean from this thread.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: avial

                                          BTW, our chowdown - posted above - had ten eaters, and we all (I think) were very happy with Roppongi's chicken...YMMV!

                                        2. Is the bon chon at privus a takeout thing only? I can't quite figure that out from the responses. I would rather just eat there if I were to end up out in Allston.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. What are their hours for chicken? Is it sit down or take out? They were not open yesterday afternoon.

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: robertlf

                                              i don't think they open until 4-5pm. you can eat there or take away.

                                              1. re: robertlf

                                                1243 Commonwealth Ave
                                                Allston, MA 02134
                                                (617) 787-2400

                                                161 Brighton Ave
                                                Allston, MA‎
                                                (617) 787-7483‎