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Aug 15, 2013 07:09 AM

Bon Chon Lowell!!

Opening day today! Has anyone been yet?

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  1. I doubt it since they open at 11!

    5 Replies
      1. re: justbeingpolite

        hehehehe! Did they change their menu? i thought they used to have sushi too? I hope to go this weekend sometime, hope its not too mobbed! Curious to see how it compares to the hot wings at simply khmer that i absolutely love.. I have a hunch they wont be spicy enough for me though, korean food usually isnt.

        1. re: hargau

          Planning on going tonight around 8. Hope they're still open and still have supplies.

          1. re: justbeingpolite

            So, I swung by around 8:30. Long lines still, but I snagged a seat at the bar. They were not serving alcohol yet, however. The menu looks good, but they were so busy, all they were offering was chicken. I had a "half and half" order of wings: 1/2 soy/ginger sauce and 1/2 hot wings. The wings were significantly smaller than those at Simply Khmer; maybe first day issues, maybe they'd run low on a busy opening day. The fry job was competent, nicely crisped without being too greasy. The coating was much thicker than at SK, but tasty, and the hot wings were spicier than the wings at Simply Khmer, a pleasant suprise. They were only lightly coated, not as thick and sticky a sauce. Again, not sure they'll be like when the crowds settle down. They serve a nice little serving of pickled radishes with the chickn, a nice touch I thought. If this is the standard, however, I think I prefer Simply Khmer's wings, if only for the base product, as well as more interesting stuff in the sauce (little pieces of pepper and scallion). I'll definitely try 'em again, both to see how the wings are in a less hectic atmosphere, and to try the other stuff on the menu: the dumplings, the noodle dishes (especially the tteokboki), etc.
            Oh, and they did have some mochi left for dessert: pretty tasty, and more tender than I've had elsewhere: not as hard frozen. I don't know if they make them in house, or they were so busy that they were thawing out, but I liked 'em.

            1. re: justbeingpolite

              Cool. I think we are going to try and get in there tonight. If too crowded we will likely abort..

    1. OK we went for dinner tonight and i have to say i was really disappointed... For the 2nd day open and 1st weekend dinner it really wasn't all that busy. There were way too many workers though, they were like swarms of bees everywhere. Most of them looking confused and not knowing what they should be doing. Cant blame them since there was already 3 other people for every job.

      We ordered a 1/2 and 1/2 strips and a 1/2 and 1/2 wings, an order of edamame and 1 soda.. The menu states it takes 30-40min for chicken, the waitress said they are really going fast tonight so it should only be 25min.. We got the edamame which were fine, cant really mess them up..

      Then the chicken came. The wings are very small. The sauces to me were way too salty. The hot was more of a vinegar hot, not very interesting and i didnt find it very hot. The ginger/soy to me was mostly salt. The fry job was fine.. With tip we paid $33 for what felt/tasted like fast food. One thing that really annoyed me was that the chicken was luke warm at best. If they were really cooked to order and took that long to make they should be steaming hot.. They were maybe heatlamp hot, if that.

      At simply khmer the wings are $7.50 instead of $9.99 and they are 2x the size with a much better sauce and coating and with bits of goodness in the sauce.. They are truly made to order and come out so hot you cant even touch them for a good 10minutes.. For $33 we could have had an order of their wings, and 1-2 entrees and had leftovers!

      I wont be back..

      10 Replies
      1. re: hargau

        Do people flock to this place just for fried wings? I mean, how good can they be? I was hoping they had other Korean specialties like bibimbap, ojingeo bokkeum and bulgogi.

        1. re: Dinsdale45

          They do have other korean specialties and i saw some people getting them, i went to try the wings.

          1. re: Dinsdale45

            Hargau gave a good description and camparison of the wings to Simply Khmer, I was hoping that was just first night craziness. I have to agree that mine, to were delivered lukewarm. The really tiny ones were kind of dry, too. The slightly larger (but still much smaller than SK) were moister and more flavorful. Had the bibimbap on another visit, I won't do that again. Much worse than at almost any decent Korean place... from Lowell, I'd go to New Jan Su in Billerica, unless hargau has a nearer suggestion. BonChons was not very flavorfull, the rice was a little dry, and with no nureungji (I think that's the term for the crispy rice). Also the hot pepper paste they served with it was not very spicy or flavor full.

            1. re: justbeingpolite

              Wow. So much for having a good Korean option in Lowell. Too bad, we waited long enough. What is the point of this place?

              1. re: Dinsdale45

                Has anyone (Hargau) been to another Bon Chon (Alston or Cambridge) and can compare?

                1. re: justbeingpolite

                  I have not been to any other Bon Chon so i dont know if others are same/different, i only know that i didnt like this one.. Compared to Simply khmer, i would never go back. I can only assume that since it is a franchise the wings (size) /sauces would be the same. Perhaps the issues with temperature/service/etc can be related to it being their 2nd day ever open..

                  1. re: justbeingpolite

                    I have only been to the Cambridge location and liked it very much, though I don't have much to compare it to. The chicken was tasty and hot (temperature-wise... it could be spicier).

            2. re: hargau

              i have been on a fried chicken quest though, unforuntately, i am from chi-town where the pickings are easy.

              i hit Perry Street in NYC ( a Jean-Georges VonGerichten restaurant) which had fairly good fried chicken with a great scotch bonnet sauce. B though i may have been disappointed because they gave me some white meat.

              I tried Bon Chon and wondered: is that all there is? C

              I would give Coast Cafe a solid B+.

              1. re: cambridgedoctpr

                Which location of Bon Chon did you try?

                I've had fried chicken at jm Curley, Brick & Mortar, Tupelo, Trina's, and Highland Kitchen and so far haven't liked any enough to get it a second time. I still need to try Sweet Cheeks and a few others. Hopefully one of them will be good.

                1. re: maillard

                  harvard square; it was good but not really juicy. They were spicy as advertised.

                  i was back in Chi-town and hit Frontera Grille but not Harold's.

            3. Lol, my first thought when we saw the sign advertising the bon chon opening in Lowell was " no one will eat there." We frequently get delivery from the one in allston, and love it, but that is only because we live 1 hr from simply Khmer. We get wings and simple sushi from Bon chon, but its more like our fast food of choice than anything.

              1. Decided to pay them a visit for lunch today and I must admit they were kind of hard to find. I was pleasantly surprised by the nice interior, I kind of expected a fast food joint look. Went with the lunch special, $7.95 for 8 wings and a side. There are other combos as well available at lunch. The wings are small but my side of French Fries was a good sized portion of nicely cooked coated fries. I ordered the wings half & half, half with the ginger/soy coating and half spicy. The spicy wasn't very spicy and the ginger soy seemed to be mostly salt. The wings took about 5 minutes to arrive as opposed the stated 30-40 minutes so that was good but they were on the verge of being dry but the coating was really nice, really really crisp. Service was very good, water refilled without prompting, but the place was almost empty with plenty of staff around. Overall not a bad lunch, not sure if I would have been happy waiting for 40 minutes for this.


                2 Replies
                1. re: Ferrari328

                  Sounds like out experience with the sauces. salt and salt. Were the wings hot in temperature? Would you rather have these or the simply khmer hot wings?? (i know the obvious answer already!)

                  1. re: hargau

                    They were hot! And, yes the answer is obvious! Same price at lunch but twice the wings and nicely spicy to boot.


                2. I had a lunch order of spicy wings today, for the first time since the week they opened.
                  The wings were much, much improved. Still smaller than Simply Khmer, but reasonably meaty wings. The fry was similar to those in ferrari's picture. really dense coating well fried, and not nearly as sticky as SK's, almost dry. Nicely moist wings inside, and a nice spicy flavor coating to the wings. I'm much more impressed, and more likely to return for a nice snack sized order, as Simply Khmer only sells 'em in LARGE orders.
                  Also the shave ice place next door, Snowdaes (really??), is now open. I'll have to swing by and try it some time. They have both Bao bing, and the more flaky Taiwanese snow ice. Also waffles and bubble tea.