Do you enjoy KFC? Not that Kentucky stuff… I mean Korean fried chicken!
Bon Chon is a South Korea based fried chicken franchise which first opened a U.S location in NYC and has started to gain more and more fans across the States. Here in northern Virginia there are several locations popping up. We visited the Centreville, VA Bon Chon earlier this year and got hooked, enjoying it ever since.
Fried chicken has been done to death in the United States, but Bon Chon does it a little different. It’s twice-fried, and the fat in the skin is cooked away until a crisp and crunchy shell remains around each piece of juicy chicken. I can’t describe how good the skin tastes when it’s cooked like this. Think crispy bacon, or perfectly roasted duck. There is very little in the way of breading or batter – just crispy chicken skin goodness!
The pieces are coated in a sweet-spicy sauce and served. The sauce is part of what makes Bon Chon so well-known. It’s very flavorful and nothing like standard chicken wing sauce. It’s sort of dry and “baked-in” to the chicken. Your choice – mild soy-garlic or a seriously hot spicy sauce (my favorite, but man, it’s hot!)
Of course the chicken is the reason we go to Bon Chon, but their other offerings are very good as well. I am a fan of the kim-chi coleslaw (complimentary side) and the Bulgogi Ssam wrap is very good, too. We’ve been trying to get their pork buns for quite some time but, alas, they seem to be having trouble getting the necessary buns from Taiwan and so we haven’t been able to try. I’ve heard some Bon Chon locations have Japanese food, but ours has a fairly limited (but good) menu so far.
The staff is young, and the place reminds me of cafes and small restaurants found while traveling in Asia. Service is slow, but friendly. They are open until 1:30 AM (rare for us out here in the suburbs) on weekends and it’s definitely a place to go for a late night snack and some beers in northern Virginia.
Now, if I can only find a way to make this in my deep frier… hmm… for health reasons, I probably shouldn’t pursue it too much.
Bon Chon Chicken
14215-N Centreville Sq
Centreville, VA 20121
(there is also a location in Annandale and one in Fairfax)
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