What’s a trip to Korea without KFC? I’m not referring to the Colonel Sanders variety, but “Korean Fried Chicken”. Basically, chicken so crisp and juicy that it makes me fall to my knees, curl up in fetal position, and rock back and forth in the corner because it’s just So. Damn. Delicious. Move over Colonel Sanders, this KFC is gonna take over the world (probably not, but one can hope).
For our KFC outing, we chose a branch of Kkanbu Chicken, a franchise-type fried chicken restaurant with a few locations in and around Seoul. Naturally, we picked one within walking to distance to where we were staying, located down an alley and looking very much like one of those open air patio hybrid places where you’re not quite inside and not quite outside. Good for those indecisive type.
Our table was more in the “inside” part of the restaurant and we were quickly presented with a couple of snacks – popped corn (wow, I originally wrote that as “pooped corn”) and pickled radish. Koreans love to eat radish with their chicken. I’m guessing because it cuts through the fattiness of the chicken, but I couldn’t tell you for sure, being a non-pickled radish fan.
I wasn’t entirely surprised that smoking is still allowed in some restaurants. Smoking is HUGE in Korea, almost like it’s more acceptable to be a smoker. We had the misfortune of being seated near a table of suit-donning smokers, likely businessmen having some bro time after a hard day at the office. We thought about getting a table away from the smokers, but at that point we were too tired and lazy to make it happen. Plus, our chicken came to the table relatively quickly, and by the time our eyes locked on the crispy delights, we didn’t care if the bros were blowing smoke right in our faces.
First up we got the Tender Sweet Chicken, morsels of crispy fried chicken dressed in a sticky, sweet, and mildly spicy sauce. The chicken remained super crispy despite the sauce, while the sauce itself had a nice, subtle heat and a sweetness that wasn’t too overpowering. Had it not been for the other 3 people at the table, I would’ve devoured every last piece of this chicken.
Next we got the Crispy Chicken, or as Kkanbu’s website calls it, “Feast of Snowflake Chicken”. My people are great at ENGRISH. I have no idea what snowflake chicken is and if they truly meant to translate it to snowflake. No matter, because it was a feast of super crispy, tender, and flavourful chicken. You know how I measure fried chicken? By the sound the crust makes when it’s bitten into. That first bite is so critical. It’s gotta have big impact – like the sound of the crispiness rings in your ears and it just makes your head want to explode with excitement. I certainly felt that with this crispy chicken. Maybe that’s why they call it snowflake chicken. Like, it’s so good that you start hallucinating and you think you see snowflakes flying in the air in front of you.
So, did I get fireworks from this KFC in the Motherland? Nope; I got snowflakes.