5.242 TERRP 83(4.09) Bonchon: Soy Garlic Chicken (Thighs)

-Cycle 5, Item 242-
4 (Thu) September 2014

Soy Garlic Chicken (Thighs)


from Bonchon (Robinsons Place) [takeout]

in my apartment

-Ermita, Manila-

with EK Kim

TERRP (Try Every Restaurant in Robinsons Place), Phase 4.

In Manila since January, here through October under the current contract, living above Robinsons Place, I've been eating my way through the mall.  As far as I know, nobody has ever done anything like this, my unique contribution to the city's food/blog scene.  I've tried all the restaurants on the 1st floor (currently 36, down from the initial 40), the 2nd floor (currently 8, down from the initial 14), and the 3rd floor (currently 30).  And finally, to finish out this godforsaken project, I'm now on the 4th floor (currently 11).  After tonight, 2 more to go--the home stretch--I can taste the end.

This is the 83rd in the series, the 9th on the 4th floor.  Padre Faure Wing.

All restaurants on the 1st floor:

- 39(1.36) Apr 2 / Cabalen (Filipino) (see 5.087 Buffet Scraps) / 1.5 / $$

All restaurants on the 2nd floor:

- 74(2.08) Aug 19 / Jack's Loft (Western) (see 5.226 Calamares Caesar) (Italian) / 0.5 / $$

All restaurants on the 3rd floor:

- 73(3.30) Aug 18 / Gerry's Grill (Filipino) (see 5.225 Pinakbet) / 2.0 / $$

Previously covered restaurants on the 4th floor:

- 75(4.01) Aug 26 / Pancake House (American/Filipino) (see 5.233 Best Taco in Town x 2) (Mexican)  / 2.5 / $$
- 76(4.02) Aug 27 / Karate Kid (Japanese/American) (see 5.234 Beef Teriyaki Bento) (Japanese) / 2.25 / $
- 77(4.03) Aug 28 / Max's Restaurant (Filipino) (see 5.235 Fried Chicken) / 2.75 / $$
- 78(4.04) Aug 29 / Chowking (Chinese) (see 5.236 Chinese-Style Fried Chicken...) / 2.5 / $
- 79(4.05) Aug 30 / Taters (American) (see 5.237 Quarter Pound Churkey Burger Meal) / 1.25 / $
- 80(4.06) Sep 1 / Marina Oyster Seafood Grill (Filipino) (see 4.239 Crispy Crablets) / 2.0 / $$
- 81(4.07) Sep 2 / New Bombay (Indian) (see 5.240 Eggplant Barta) / 1.0 / $$
- 82(4.08) Sep 3 / The Aristocrat (Filipino) (see 5.241 An Aristocratic Feast for Four) / 2.5 / $$

Bonchon is a Korean restaurant chain.  Founded 2002, in Busan, Republic of Korea.  Currently over 10 locations in Korea, over 20 in the States, over 60 in the Philippines, a few in Thailand and in Indonesia.  Specializes in fried chicken but also offers other vaguely Korean-ish dishes.  While the name of the business translates to "home (bon) town/village (chon)," the "bon" could also mean "original," which would be ironic, as explained below.

Being Korean, we couldn't be expected to eat fried chicken without beer.  Beer is on the menu, but the restaurant didn't have any available for sale.  They also wouldn't allow BYOB (bring your own bottle/booze). So, we got the fried chicken and a few other items to go and ate it back at my apartment.

The restaurant allows the customer to choose from breast (chop), wing, thigh, drumstick, no price differential among the different parts.

Koreans love to make up weird crap and randomly attribute it to various countries (see for example 3.170 Taste of Africa), so now they're doing it to themselves.

The chicken was excellent.  The skin was perfectly crispy, maintaining its texture through the transport to the end of the meal.   Within, the flesh was juicy and tender.  Marinated in soy garlic sauce, exactly like that of the chicken from similarly named and iconic fried chicken chain Kyochon--which is a good thing, maybe (see generally 4.094 Original Soy-Garlic Chicken)--the flavor was sweet and savory.  But maybe we'd ordered too much, and too many of the same part, because it got kinda heavy after awhile--though that's how I often seem to feel after a couple pieces of Kyochon.  I wouldn't necessarily object to trying it again.

The holes in the box allow steam to escape, helping to prevent the chicken from getting soggy.

Japchae (0.0/2.5)--generally not too bad, actually tasting like authentic if cheap japchae (in Manila, it's usually made to taste somewhat like Chinese chowmein), but the spinach (not visible in the photo) was a bit off.

Seoul Fried Rice (2.0)--didn't really taste like anything.

Kimchi Coleslaw (2.5)--like coleslaw with kimchi juice.

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