SEOUL CHICKEN: Asian and Southern style fried chicken

seoul chicken - fried chicken wings and tea

Dear Food Diary:

If double fried, korean style chicken wings bathing in Asian flavors tickle your appetite, this is the place for you.

Don’t be fooled by the name. Seoul Chicken is a mixture of Asian influences with Chef Chaz Brown’s Southern background.

seoul garden - nyc - les

Chef Chaz Brown (Fatty Crab and Top Chef) brings his childhood memories of good old Chinese takeout fried rice and fried chicken with a “hipper” fusion twist. The plates for example look identical to the Chinese joint on Union Turnpike I frequented during my college days. And who can forget the neon signs, that use to greet me so happily late into the night. Their version is way more modern and fun. I hear it’s made by an old chinese man who doesn’t speak a word of English.

seoul chicken - ice tea
House Special Tea
Of course it’s served in mason jars. A hipster spot “must have”. Don’t get me wrong, I love them and actually use them at home. Anyways, even though I was told this was hibiscus, it tasted a lot like calamansi. Sweet and citrus filled. Very refreshing.


Wings were 6 for $8, 10 for $13 or 18 for $20. Not unlike other Korean fried chicken wing prices. 

seoul chicken - gochujan buffalo wings
Gochujang Buffalo Wings
Our waiter highly recommended it and I would have to agree, this was my favorite of the night. The double fried wings had an exterior that withstood the sauce. Crunchy bites are met with juicy center. The gochujang is earthy, the flavors reminded me of a dish my Chubby Mama use to make, this 8 treasure sauce she poured over noodles. The wings are a little sweet and spicy. There’s definitely some butter action going on, but not the usual tangy buffalo flavors. I would definitely go back for these and no sharing next time.

 

seoul garden - szechuan peppercorn & sea salt wings
Szechuan Peppercorn & Sea Salt Wings
Golden brown and crispy, they looked very promising, but it lacked braveness on the spicy part. I wanted that “mala” sensation, the numbing yet addictive tingle on my tongue that you get from Szechuan peppercorns. That said, we still managed to eat them all.

 

seoul garden - fish sauce & garlic wings
Fish Sauce & Garlic Wings
This is the flavor I was looking forward to the most. Yes, I’m one of those people who read menus and plan out their meals way before I arrive. ChubbyHubby says I’m obsessed.

The wings were fried nicely, but I was looking for bolder flavors yet again. I could taste the unmistakable, some might even call stinky, fish sauce. But where was the garlic? I was hoping for a Pok Pok like wing, but these didn’t have that much personality.

 

seoul chicken - sriracha & honey wings
Sriracha & Honey Wings
Good balance of garlicky, sweet and spicy. Mild, but flavorful. My second favorite of the night.

As a ChubbyKid, my mama use to deep fry wings for me all the time. I would squeeze Sriracha sauce over them and munch away. These took me back in time. Though back in those days, the only reason she made them often was because they were FREE (the restaurants in Buenos Aires didn’t serve them).  We were always on a tight budget, but I didn’t know that, I was just happy about all the finger lickin’ goodness. Come to think of it, maybe that’s why wings are so endearing. 

 

seoul chicken - palm sugar & kalamansi wings
Palm Sugar & Kalamansi Wings
These were my least favorite, but that’s just a personal opinion. I’m not into intensely sweet fried chicken. The sticky, citrus drenched wings best fit someone with a sweet tooth. Hubby didn’t mind all that palm sugar and my friend S actually devoured them. 

 

seoul garden - kimchi fries with miso aioli
Kimchi Fries with Miso Aioli
This was fantastic and unlike versions I’ve had where kimchi was poured on top (making it a messy plate), these were sprinkled with kimchi seasoning. Super crispy and crunchy. The aioli was great, but these were good on their own. I was tempted to order another. However, they didn’t all come out of the kitchen looking this way. As the night went on and the place got busier, the folks next to us complained about the lack of flavor. Given this is their second week, I think they’ll need time to adjust and work on quality control.

The wings were on the smaller size, though I was plenty full. My friend S decided to get the boneless southern style thighs. Given the price of 3 for $8 and 5 for $13, we thought they would be small. To our surprise, the 5 piece was like a bucket! (which is sort of nuts considering it costs the same as 10 pieces of wings).

seoul chicken - southern style boneless thighs - fried chicken
Boneless Southern Style Thighs
They were quite moist. And though the exterior had a lot of crunch, it didn’t feel too oily. It has a sweet, nutmeg, cinnamon hint. Definitely sweeter batter. Great for those who need more than wings to be full.

Service is very friendly, our bartender was very attentive and gave us great suggestions on the menu. Chaz makes appearances here and there, cracks a few jokes.

Overall, we had a really fun time at the casual new spot. I see myself stopping by again for some wings and beer. They are working on installing TVs for games, which would be pretty perfect.

P.S. Chubby’s Rating:chubby rating 3.5

seoul-chicken.com
71 Clinton St. 
(646) 838-6066

Seoul Chicken on Urbanspoon