Bonchon Chicken Tasting Session 2018

November 08, 2018 Ivan Teh - RunningMan 0 Comments

Bonchon Chicken Tasting Session 2018
201 Victoria Street
#01-11 Bugis+

1 Sengkang Square
#01-14 Compass One

1 Northpoint Drive
#B1-180 Northpoint City

53 Boat Quay


Opening Hours:
Daily: 11:30am - 9:30pm



http://www.bonchon.com/

This was an invited media review. I did not pay for the meal during the free hosted tasting session, but I did pay the standard price during subsequent visits.
Attended with representatives from Heat Branding, SG Cafe Hopping, FelEATS, NAHMJ Food, Travel & Lifestyle Blog, and Bear Naked Food.



Meal Flat Lay



Modern Mass-Market Korean Cuisine

(Ratings: On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 = Worst and 10 = Best)
Overall: 6
Ambience & Setting: 6
Food & Beverage: 7
Service: 7
Value for Money: 6
Budget about SGD $35 per person.


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Hailing from Busan, South Korea, Bonchon Chicken is an international franchise and casual eatery that was founded in 2002 by Mr. Jinduk Seo. Having opened in Singapore since August 2011, Bonchon Chicken was formerly affilated with 4 Fingers Crispy Chicken before venturing as a stand-alone brand. I recall having a decent experience during my initial visits to Bonchon Chicken, and as of October 2018, they're expanding their offerings with the introduction of Modern Korean dishes.

Bonchon Chicken Facade
Bonchon Chicken Facade



Ambience at Bonchon Chicken is open, casual, and relaxed. There's ample natural lighting during the day, and decent overhead lighting from the mall at night, except for the Boat Quay outlet which is styled like a bar. Design remains industrial modern, with wooden and metal furnishings neatly packed within the floor space. Decent atmosphere, with medium ambient noise levels.

Bonchon Chicken Exterior
Bonchon Chicken Exterior


Bonchon Chicken Interior
Bonchon Chicken Interior



Service at Bonchon Chicken is casual, orderly, and largely transactional. Staff perform their duties efficiently and with little gusto. There isn't much need to display their product knowledge, if any, as the electronic menu has helpful descriptions. I note they clean and clear away empty / dirty tables quickly when diners leave. As before, the standard is passable.

Novelty Drinks
Novelty Drinks



Food at Bonchon Chicken remains focused on South Korean cuisine, with the introduction of Modern Fusion Korean dishes. Fried chicken continues to be their signature staple, but they've since branched out to offer popular Korean dishes with mass-market appeal. Generally, dishes are tasty, and large in portion for communal group dining. Prices have risen to mid-range, making them less value for money than before. Budget about SGD $35 per person for a meal here.

Chimaek
Chimaek



The Beer Hite (SGD $7) is a common Korean beer, with a bright golden colour, aroma of wheat, cereal, and malt. Body is smooth, crisp, and fizzy, with high amount of carbonation, tastes of bread, barley, malt, and corn, refreshing with some sweetness and bitterness, and undertones of metal.

Beer Hite
Beer Hite (SGD $7)



The Green Apple Mojito (SGD $5.50) is a refreshing thirst quencher, with the fruity sweet sour flavour of green apple, the bright touch of mint leaves, and the lively feel of bubbly soda water. I had this on a warm day, and it was awesome!

Green Apple Mojito (SGD $5.50)


Green Apple Mojito
Green Apple Mojito



The Pear & Passionfruit Iced Tea (SGD $5.50) manages to avoid being overly cloying sweet. The clever blend of pear, passionfruit, and chamomile tea has a delicate earthy floral fruity sweet flavour, keeping this beverage very drinkable.

Pear & Passionfruit Iced Tea
Pear & Passionfruit Iced Tea (SGD $5.50)



The alcoholic Summer Sojuto (SGD $12) is deceptively light and fruity sweet, with its blend of pineapple, peach, mint leaves, and soda water, together with Jinro Chamisul green grape soju. Goes down so smooth, you can barely discern the 13% alcohol content within. I love it!

Summer Sojuto
Summer Sojuto (SGD $12)



The new Breaded Kimchi Rice Balls (SGD $7.90) are a modern fusion twist on the Italian dish of arancini and the Korean dish of kimchi. These little nuggets of goodness have a light crisp crunch from the panko bread crumbs coating the exterior, while the interior has a chewy crunchy blend of kimchi baechu / kimchi pickled cabbage and sticky white rice. Nice earthy grainy sour sweet flavours. Would return for more of this. Good!

Breaded Kimchi Rice Balls (SGD $7.90)


Breaded Kimchi Rice Balls
Breaded Kimchi Rice Balls



The Beef Meat Balls (SGD $8.90) have a meaty, bouncy chew to texture, and a robust salty savoury flavour. Made from minced beef, white onions, and herbs, then formed with eggs and bread crumbs. These tightly packed beef meat balls are finished with a drizzle of bulgogi sauce. A little intense on the palate for an appetizer. Personally, this was below average for me.

Beef Meat Balls (SGD $8.90)


Beef Meat Balls
Beef Meat Balls



The Bonchon Trio Sliders (SGD $12.90) are beautifully executed, and feature a trio of house sliders, sandwiched with crunchy lettuce between crisp fluffy mantou bread buns. There's a tender savoury sweet grilled chicken fillet; a hand formed bouncy savoury salty minced beef patty; and a crispy oceany soft shell crab coated in a sweet spicy chili crab sauce. I find this good as either an appetizer, or as a snack. Would return for more of this. Highly recommended!

Bonchon Trio Sliders (SGD $12.90)


Bonchon Trio Sliders
Bonchon Trio Sliders


Bonchon Trio Sliders



The Daikon Radish (SGD $2.90) is a side dish of cubed and crunchy daikon radish, in a sour sharp brine of white vinegar. While this is a great palate cleanser, and aids to refresh between fried or full-flavoured dishes, it's quite pricey and not great value for money. Personally, this is alright for me.

Daikon Radish (SGD $2.90)


Daikon Radish
Daikon Radish



The signature Chicken Wings Soy Garlic (SGD $8.90 for 6 pieces / $16.90 for 12 pieces / $24.90 for 18 pieces) have improved slightly since I last tried it. The chicken wings are now slightly larger, with a moist, tender texture to the meat which pulls easily off the bone. The skin is crisp with a light crunch, and you get the bold salty savoury flavour when bit, with a bit of pungent garlic on the tip. However, prices have also risen accordingly. Overall, this is above average compared to elsewhere.

Chicken Wings Soy Garlic (SGD $8.90 for 6 pieces / $16.90 for 12 pieces / $24.90 for 18 pieces)


Chicken Wings Soy Garlic
Chicken Wings Soy Garlic



The signature Chicken Wings Spicy Sauce (SGD $8.90 for 6 pieces / $16.90 for 12 pieces / $24.90 for 18 pieces) have improved slightly since I last tried it. The chicken wings are now slightly larger, with a moist, tender texture to the meat which pulls easily off the bone. The skin is crisp with a light crunch, and there is a bright savoury sweet spicy flavour, with a slight fiery burn from the red chili peppers that lingers. However, prices have also risen accordingly. Overall, this is above average compared to elsewhere.

Chicken Wings Spicy Sauce (SGD $8.90 for 6 pieces / $16.90 for 12 pieces / $24.90 for 18 pieces)


Chicken Wings Spicy Sauce
Chicken Wings Spicy Sauce



The Truffle Cream Tteokbokki (SGD $15.90) is a fusion dish inspired by Italian mushroom pasta. With soft chewy pieces of ddukbokki / tteokbokki / rice cakes in a rich truffle oil and cream sauce, garnished with soft caramelised white onions, tender shimeji mushrooms, tender shiitake mushrooms, and Italian herbs. Rather heavy on the palate and very filling, this has bold earthy sweet savoury flavour. A dish targeted at the younger crowd / mass market, I can see this being rather popular. Personally, this didn't appeal to me.

Truffle Cream Tteokbokki (SGD $15.90)


Truffle Cream Tteokbokki
Truffle Cream Tteokbokki



The Spicy Chicken Stew (SGD $15.90 / $29.90) has a bright, savoury sweet spicy flavour to the warm, comforting stew, making you crave more. Filled with hearty chunks of bone-in chicken, carrots, potatoes, golden mushrooms, and ddukbokki / tteokbokki / rice cakes. After bubbling away for a short while, the ingredients gradually go from firm to tender in texture, and absorb the flavours of the stew well. I enjoyed this, and would return to have it again.

Spicy Chicken Stew (SGD $15.90 / $29.90)


Spicy Chicken Stew
Spicy Chicken Stew



The classic Andong Jjimdak Chicken Stew (SGD $15.90 / $29.90) features a ganjang / soy sauce stock, filled with chunks of bone-in chicken, carrots, potatoes, golden mushrooms, and leeks. The ingredients absorb the salty savoury flavours of the stew, and have a semi-tender texture. Best paired with white rice. Personally felt this was decent but not memorable.

Andong Jjimdak Chicken Stew (SGD $15.90 / $29.90)


Andong Jjimdak Chicken Stew
Andong Jjimdak Chicken Stew



The classic Budae Jjigae Army Stew (SGD $29.90) is a hearty stew, filled with chunks of chicken, ddukbokki / tteokbokki / rice cakes, kimchi baechu / kimchi pickled cabbage, yellow egg noodles, tofu beancurd, golden mushrooms, baked beans, chicken sausage hotdog, luncheon meat / spam, and chili. This communal stew slowly bubbles the ingredients till soft and tender, absorbing the bold earthy savoury sweet spicy flavour. Personally liked this, wouldn't mind having more of it.

Budae Jjigae Army Stew (SGD $29.90)


Budae Jjigae Army Stew
Budae Jjigae Army Stew



While I remember a decent dining experience from my initial visits to Bonchon Chicken, most of their competitors have since caught up. These days, they're targeting the mass market, offering casual ambience and service alongside modern Korean food. Prices have risen though, making them mid-range. Families, large groups of friends, or students may still find dining here worthwhile, particularly if you share.


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