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Korean Fried Chicken

There is a legit Korean Fried Chicken place now in Austin.

It is at Somunanjib next to the Karaoke place in the Han Yang shopping complex on Lamar and Justin.

They source their seasoning and batter from Korea. I think its $16 for 14 pieces or so, so enough for 3 hungry people or 4 regular people.

I only got the spicy version while I was there but it is garlicy, super spicy, with a faint sweetness, and super crisp.

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    1. re: amykragan

      yeah I believe so though I might not have remembered the exact lettering correctly.

      I think they also go by Austin BBQ or something like that. But its left of the Karaoke place.

    2. Together Restaurant has also been serving Korean Fried Chicken for a while. They have no sauce, and sweet/spicy sauced versions. You get a whole chicken for about $12 - 15. Plus the banchan. They have very good banchan. Haven't been in a while, but the place should still be open. Its next to where the Mongolian BBQ on North Lamar used to be. North Lamar and Rutland I think.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Homero

        I have had the Together version. While its good, this new place is in my opinion quite a bit better.
        The Together version is very sweet and not as garlicky.

        1. re: lixlix

          That is very true. I actually prefer their chicken with no sauce. Definitely going to check out Somunanjib. I was just letting people know that there was another option out their.

      2. Awesome news, thanks.

        There seems to be several Korean places in Austin that don't have a prominent sign transliterated in English, only a large sign in Hangul. Jib is a house, right? What does the rest of the name Somunanjib mean?

        1. It's called austin bbgo also. Its pretty great. they have a good lunch buffet too. just a bunch of stuff out in crock pots. cheap

          2 Replies
          1. re: ieathereforeiam

            Last time I went, the owner said the buffet was no more. So disappointed.

          2. Such exciting news! Thanks for sharing. Definitely going to check this place out soon.

            1. I went to So munnan jib today and got the chicken. So crispy and delicious.

              I ordered sweet and spicy half-half. The spicy somehow reminded me vaguely of bone-in American-Chinese General Tso's chicken, but in a good way. It was hot, slightly sweet, and very tangy from vinegar. I especially enjoyed the sweet-it also had a hint of chile heat and other spices, a good pungent garlickyness . The chicken was crisp, sweet, spicy and juicy. I loved it. I have had Bon Chon chicken from the Korean chain and mom and pop So Munnan Jib was far superior to that. I am very impressed and I will be back.

              6 Replies
              1. re: luckyfatima

                Do you have to order 14 pieces?

                -sw

                1. re: sqwertz

                  Actually I asked the owner how many pieces came and he said 16-18. I don't know if they'd do a half order or something.

                  1. re: luckyfatima

                    does anyone have exact address for this place? thanks!

                    1. re: Lotus7

                      6808 N Lamar Blvd
                      Austin, TX 78752
                      Somunanjib Korean

                      In Korean shopping center, on left hand of Han Yang Market, next to a liquor store. GIANT sign in Korean, tiny little sign transliterated into English.

                    2. re: luckyfatima

                      I was going to hes up there today until I read your post. And since it's just me,12-14 pieces of leftover soggy chicken doesn't appeal to me. So I bought some chicken legs at HEB and fried them at home. Then tossed them in my Secret Wing Sauce: Mae Ploy Sweet Chile Garlic Sauce + regular and black rice vinegars, sriracha, sesame oil, and fish sauce - Highly recommended.

                      -sw

                2. I went to Somunanjib this weekend. It was my 1 year old son's first Korean food, and he loved the banchan (not the kimchi, of course) and the seafood tofu stew, which we ordered non-spicy.

                  I've only had Korean Fried Chicken once before, in NYC, and the stuff at Somunanjib is definitely on par. Its presentation is not as fancy as the place in New York, but neither was its price as outrageous. We did a half-order of spicy and a half-order of sweet. Both were great, although I preferred the spicy. We got the sweet fried chicken for my son, and he loved it as well.

                  We'll definitely be back. Thanks to lixlix to alerting us about this place!

                  1. Howdy,

                    I saw this thread several months ago and had "Somunanjib" on my todo list. I finally got over there, yesterday, just after shopping at the New Oriental Market.

                    First off, it's rather hard to find by just the name....here's the skinny:

                    - Today, there is an English sign which says "Austin BBgo" in smallish letters below a much larger Korean sign.
                    - Today, there is a transliterated version of the name people seem to be trying to type, here. In this thread, folks seem to spell it Somunanjib. The sign had it broken into components, and there was an extra "n". The sign spelled it "So Mun Nan Jib".
                    - I met the owner, Lance, and his mother. They mentioned that in the next few weeks they are going to be changing both the name of the restaurant as well as the menu. The new name is tentatively "RockinRice" and a quick glance at the menu he was working up made it seem like fewer items of higher quality. (The fried chicken was still on the menu.)

                    I walked in and inquired about the chicken, then asked what he (Lance) liked. He indicated that the spicy version was a good choice, so I headed in that direction. I chatted with them for a while and then grabbed my food and headed home.

                    Some of the yelp reviews seemed to indicate that people were receiving "bone-riddled pieces of meat", and complaining that they were scraps that you'd normally throw away. I did find that the pieces were bony and you had to be very careful while eating, but it was certainly not low quality meat. It seems like they quickly used a cleaver to break a chicken down into smallish pieces and didn't worry so much about de-boning.

                    The flavor was very, very good. I don't have any Korean fried chicken to compare it against, but on its own it was extremely tasty. Spicy, sweet, just enough oil. The outside was crisp, but then soggy in parts from the spicy sauce. I didn't get the regular style, so I don't know what the texture would be like without the spicy/sweet sauce. It's definitely very messy, especially given the need to seek out and remove bones. It might be a little tricky to eat this in the restaurant, as I had easy access to a sink and paper towels, at home.

                    In general, I would highly recommend it....very delicious. The bones are worth keeping in mind, but not by any means a show stopper, at least for me.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: thagale

                      Sounds like they chop up the chicken the way a Chinese place would chop up a duck (or, Asia cafe chops up therir "boned" chicken dishes). That's fine with me - more surface area for flavor.

                      I went in one night, too late, and they would only make up a batch of 16 pieces (no half order since it was so late). I was thinking 16 full pieces of chicken, like at an American chicken place. I thought I'd not be able to eat all that and might waste food, so I told them I'd come back. When they say 16 pieces, are these the smaller, sub pieces?

                      1. re: rudeboy

                        Yeah, the pieces are not what you'd think of as "pieces" at Kentucky Fried Chicken. If I had to guess, I'd say it was roughly a quartered chicken, then each piece halved again. You would get, for example, the lower half of the leg drumstick separately from the upper half. A 16 piece order is probably most of a single chicken.

                    2. This place is why I love Chowhound. Would never have stopped there if not for this thread. The spicy chicken is excellent, and so are the pancake appetizers (we got the seafood and scallion one).

                      Ban chan does not come with the chicken, btw, and the waiter made it known to us that he was slipping us some on the sly because the chef would blow his top about it. I had been trying to ask if we could order some on the side and pay extra, but there was a language barrier.

                      6 Replies
                      1. re: addlepated

                        FYI - I went to Rockin Rice last night and got the spicy Somunanjib. "Jib" does mean house. The full statement means "house of the mother," which I think means the wife's mother. He asked me how to say that in English, and I said "mother in law's house."

                        Anyhow, the spicy was too spicy for my wife to enjoy - she eats lots of spicy foods, but I guess it crossed her threshold. I think next time, I'll get the regular, hopefully without sauce. It did have the consistency and flavor of a very spicy General Tso's chicken (obviously, a lot more complicated flavor). I would have like to have it crispier, and then have sauce on the side. But I'm high maintenance.

                        I wish I had a piece right now though.

                        I perused the menu while waiting. There are a lot of seemingly authentic dishes (I'm a Korean Novice, but I always look beyond bulgoki). Plenty of soups - probably large, because many were $20 for small and $28 for large. Some dishes are "cooked tableside."

                        1. re: rudeboy

                          the $20 + soups are typically meant for 2 to 3 people and come in a big wide pot atop a butane burner.

                          1. re: lixlix

                            That's what I figured based on my Misung 888 experience. I just need to find those two other people to go try some of them out!

                            1. re: rudeboy

                              oh haha awesome ! then you won't be weirded out by the occasional octopus.

                              1. re: lixlix

                                No, not at all - in fact, my favorite dish at Marisco's on Burnet (and maybe the only thing I like there) is this:

                                Pulpo Revolcado
                                Sauteed octopus with onions, habanero spicy sauce, served with rice and vegetables

                                1. re: rudeboy

                                  oh I'm going to have to go try out that one. Thanks for the tip.

                      2. Made it out to this place tonight and grabbed the spicy fried chicken to go. It was amazing! I have never had korean fried chicken before so I really have nothing to compare it to, but it was delicious nonetheless. The lady behind the counter warned me that it was going to be very very spicy, but I didnt find it extremely hot. Had a little bit of heat but definitely wasnt "set your mouth on fire" hot. So glad I learned about this place here, I plan on going back very soon!

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: twyst

                          We went a few weeks back and loved it. We got the sweeter one and devoured it. What I love about it is that at first, I was like, meh. Then as I ate more, it got more and more layers of flavor to it. It was interesting chicken! How often can you say that? I really want to go back, but I'm trying to trim my waist line and this is not conducive to that. Boo. Where's my calorie-free, fat-free tasty KFC?

                        2. I've been wanting to try this place and mentioned it to my wife and stepson (both Korean). They both immediately said not to bother, that it was not very good and certainly not worth the price in their opinion. I'm still interested but not as much. Maybe someday...

                          2 Replies
                            1. re: danny_w

                              OK, I'll bite: Where would the wife and stepson recommend?