Kyochon Chicken is a restaurant that I came across one day while walking through the side of Eastwood that is dominated by Korean restaurants. I had been around this area before, and was surprised by the multitude of new restaurants that seemed to have sprouted up suddenly without me noticing. I absolutely love Korean fried chicken, and was eager to try out a new restaurant specialising in it.
Menu conveniently placed outside the restaurant
Kyochon Chickens dining room
Kyochon Chicken is situated on a street where restaurants can be found at every corner. The restaurant alternates in specialising between Korean fried chicken and Korean barbecue. Once we stepped in, we were greeted by a waiter and shown to our seats. He brought a customary jug of water and two copies of the menu. The service here was polite and friendly, and overall I found it to be better than lots other Korean restaurants I've been to.
In terms of choice, there were lots of options ranging from traditional Korean dishes such as Jap Chae, raw meats for barbecuing, and several kinds of fried chicken.
Menu at Kyochon Chicken
We decided upon the Jap Chae ($25), and half and half of the Soy Marinated Chicken and the Fried Chicken ($32). Immediately after ordering, the waiter returned with a small dish of cabbage salad with a sauce drizzled over it. I had been expecting a vast array of side dishes to be brought out, and was a little surprised and dismayed at our paltry offering. Nonetheless, we both tried the salad but found it plain and unappealing, so it was left untouched on the table.
The Jap Chae came within 10-15 minutes. We were grateful for the fast serving as we were starving and dug in hungrily. Jap Chae is probably one of my favourite Korean dishes, and one that I don't eat too often. When the waitress presented it to us, I was surprised by its dark colour, and had to reconfirm with her that it was Jap Chae. Despite that moment of confusion, everything went smoothly. Kyochon Chickens version of jap chae was cooked in a sweet soy sauce. I preferred this version to the previous versions I'd eaten before. Jap chae is a dish of sweet potato noodles, vegetables and beef, which is cooked in sesame oil. It can be quite filling on its own, depending on your appetite. I found the Jap chae at Kyochon Chicken to be totally flavoursome, and hence couldn't get enough of it. The beef and vegetables were a welcome addition, and were also cooked well.
Complimentary side salad
Jap Chae - a classic Korean dish consisting of thin sweet potato noodles, beef and vegetables.
1/2 and 1/2 of Soy Marinated Chicken and Fried Chicken
The fried chicken arrived some time afterwards. The soy marinated chicken and fried chicken were served on the same plate, and there was some difficulty in distinguishing the two kinds. There was a slight difference in the taste though, and upon a close inspection I noticed that the soy marinated chicken had a slight gleam to its skin. The fried chicken was served with a side of mixed salt and pepper, which added some taste to the unsalted chicken. The chicken skin was not as crisp as I hoped it would be, and the insides were slightly dry.
The soy marinated chicken tasted a little better than the fried chicken. It was slightly sweet, but the sweet flavour was not equally spread all over the chicken, so only some parts were sweet, and some were dry and tasteless.
Overall, I found the chicken here very mediocre, which is a disappointment as chicken is their specialty. The BBQ meats looked quite appealing though and smelled delicious, so I might come back to have BBQ another time.
Where: 29 Rowe Street Eastwood NSW
Why: Wide range of barbecue options and Korean fried chicken.
Cost: $59 for two main dishes, but servings were large amongst two people, and we got take-away as we couldn't finish everything.
When: Lunch and dinner seven days a week