Midtown Links (The “Can We Give Kyochon a Chance to Get Going Before We Say They Suck?” Edition)

Photo courtesy of Loco Moca

  • Superman eats at a still not entirely open Kyochon, and flat out pans the popular chicken as “one note” and “flavorless” [NYC Food Guy]
  • And this guy didn’t like them either [Loco Moca]
  • Seeing that Kyochon was a madhouse, these guys smartly went to E-Mo [Always Hungry]
  • Our man Danny just can’t resist the Fish Filet [Food in Mouth]
  • The regular NYC slice is better than the fancy pizza at Naples 45 [Slice]
  • Speaking of new chains on 5th Ave that were packed on opening day [Eater]


  • Gay Superman doesn’t like something…?

    Must mean it is superb

  • I’ll probably agree with much of his criticism when I finally go, the music, the decor… but he lost me with the spicy thing, going to a Korean restaurant and complaining about the food being too spicy is lame, the deli is that way dude ->, Korean is not for you.

  • Superman is GAY? Really?

    I thought he was poking Lois Lane while protecting “Gotham” — or was that Batman poking Robin?

    OHHhhh, you meant THAT “Superman”.

    Yeah, I guess I would I would have to agree, that THAT ‘Superman’ (the production assistant in New Yawk City), as cute as some guys think he is, may not be an expert on when and if “… They Suck …”

    But what do I know? I’m pretty happy with my wife’s (yeah, she’s a female) chicken wings.

    Carrion, please.

  • Seriously. Where did they find these wannabe ‘food critics’ with their ‘definitive word’ on what a restaurant is like based on one visit during a SOFT opening? Hit a place once, claim you were the first just for bragging rights, then move on to the next Grand Opening. Maybe I should start a yelp clone with that formula.

    This is why 90% of food bloggers have no credibility outside of their circle of friends. Michelin visits a place like 12 times, anonymously I might add, before they dish out a star.

    I get that first impressions are important but nothing written in those reviews were really informed or fair. If you say “hey these guys just [unofficially] opened so give them a break” then you have no right to be critical and say they’re not worth a second chance.

  • Yeah, Bossman, once while we were walking the windy urban canyons of New Yawk City, a heavy gust of wind blew her skirt up over her head. Some intelligent New Yawka fella looked at her and remarked, “Kinda airy, ain’t it?”

    She just gave him a sweet genteel Southen’ lady smile, and replied, “What did you expect, SIR? Feathers?”

    Carrion, Bossman

  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    Just did a follow up wing run this evening. I wanted to try the hot and sweet wings as well as the Sal Sal chicken strips. I also got some soy-garlic wings again. Here’s my report:
    The hot and sweet wings were definitely hot enough. Heat-wise, I would say they’re on par with Kwik Meal’s extra hot sauce (not the jalapeno stuff they spoon on everything, but the green stuff in the squeeze bottle that’s several degrees hotter).
    As for the Sal Sal chicken strips – just say no. They’re pencil-thin strips of dry white meat coated with a thick, bland coating of what appears to contain rice crispy-looking things. It was as if they forgot to season the coating, which wouldn’t have mattered because the chicken was barely there. The disappoinment reminded me of when you see some large shrimp tempora at a buffet only to discover they’re all tempora with a tiny shrimp inside.
    The soy-garlic wings saved the day. Great flavor, much like Mad for Chicken, which is the only other Korean fried chicken I’ve had.
    The one huge strike against Kyochon is the puny size of their wings. It’s as if they’re serving up cornish game hen wings instead of chicken wings.
    From now on I’ll be getting my Korean fried chicken fix taken care of at Mad for Chicken — great flavor and wings are nice and meaty (and normal sized). Can’t wait for BonChon to open (I’m too lazy to walk to the one that’s already open).

  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    hate to be one of those guys that agrees with what a critic says without trying it… but just looking at that picture it doesnt look like theres more than half a mouth full of meat on those wings :(

  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    You are the ass your logo represents.

    I’m down with the spicy, it was the only redeeming aspect of the meal.

    Does anyone ever seriously respond to anything you say? ‘Nuff said.

    If you actually took the time to read my review instead of just reading the bullet on this site and maybe my title, you’ll see that I don’t tell anyone not to go to Kyochon, I just say I’m not motivated to return. A place as big as Kyochon, who had a year to get ready, was already open for two days and is so heralded, doesn’t really deserve much compassion as far as not delivering on their hype. This is a fast food place, it’s not a restaurant, it doesn’t deserve the same type of standards a real restaurant does mainly because it’s built on standards not on creativity. All they’re trying to do is churn out the exact same fried wings over and over again. They’re the biggest fried chicken chain in Korea, they should be getting it right every time.

    What wasn’t informed or fair about what I wrote? Do you want to pay for me to go to Kyochon to eat crappy food 12x times? I didn’t think so. Being a food blogger is about love of food and we don’t get much else out of it. You should know that, you have a site. And you’re being just as hypocritical as you claim I am by judging my reputation based on one review. Nice work.

    I’m not trying to get into a shouting match here but I take what I do seriously and you’re just making snap judgements.

    • Yeah guys! Snap judgements about NYC Food Guy based on one single post on his blog is completely unfair.

      That’s kind of like eating at a place that isn’t even completely open for business, and passing full judgement as if you could possibly know the whole story based on that one meal.


      • User has not uploaded an avatar

        Touche. But still, what are we expecting from Kyochon? I know you liked it but what’s so great about this stuff? All my post was saying was “This food’s not THAT good and don’t expect a transcendent experience because it’s more fast food than restaurant.”

        With a place that has so much time to prepare and such a set standard of cooking and preparation, do you agree or disagree that they deserve a lot less leeway than an independent restaurant?

      • @NYCFoodGuy: Uh… well that’s exactly the point. If you wanted to see what people love so much about Kyochon in Flushing or other cities, you probably should have waited for the Midtown location to get things right before trying it for the first time (and calling those people wrong.)

        If you had focused your post entirely about how the food you ate was terrible, and a chain like this should have their shit together from day 1- there are a ton of people who would have agreed with you.

        But the takeaway of your post was that you think Kyochon is completely overrated, wouldn’t go back, and don’t see why people like it so much. Not really a fair comparison when you had your first taste of Kyochon at a new and clearly mismanaged franchise that wasn’t even open for lunch yet (i.e. still in preview mode).

        Let me ask you this. I know you love Shake Shack. When they open in Miami it’s going to be complete pandemonium. And you know there are going to be bloggers who go there on Day 2, and have to wait an hour or more for a less than perfect burger, and then they’ll write that it is completely overrated and they see no reason to ever go back. He has every right to his opinion, and he’ll claim that Shake Shack is a big chain, owned by Danny Meyer, and should be fast and perfect on Day 1.

        What will you think of that blogger? I’ll tell you what you’ll think… “That guy is a douche”. Followed quickly by “His loss. Shorter lines for me, though. Sweet!”

      • User has not uploaded an avatar

        My conclusion directly likens Kyochon to McDonald’s before I go on to say it underwhelmed as new fast food places tend to do. My message, apparently, was diluted by my displeasure with the food which I can’t see improving. Are they going to change the recipe? This place is what it is and I stand by my review. There was nothing “wrong” with the food, it was warm to hot, prepared fresh, and covered in the appropriate sauces. I even had managers asking me questions to see if all was okay (they noticed me photographing the food).

        I completely respect your opinion and your Shake Shack Miami anecdote is spot on. But I ordered immediately and waited less than 10 minutes at an empty Kyochon where they had more than enough time to get things straight. I see where you’re coming from, I see where deanlo’s coming from, but I just can’t see Kyochon Manhattan actually getting better, especially as it gets busier. What are they going to do to improve an already established international operation? They’re not going to tweak the sauces, they’re not going to tweak the cooking method. What’s going to change and what’s motivating me to go back? The wings were ordinary, plain and simple, the grilled chicken steak was tastier, juicier and better value. Re-reading my post again, I come away feeling like I criticized the decor and concept more harshly than the food.

        It’s easy to jump on a blogger who jumps to conclusions but I feel like I’ve stated enough facts to back up my review. I admit, I haven’t had much Korean chicken, but I certainly enjoyed David Chang’s Momofuku version a lot more than Kyochon’s. Here’s what I’m going to do to make this right: I will go back to Kyochon. And I will go to Mad for Chicken because this seems to be the consensus Manhattan pick and I will compare again. How long do we have to wait to officially say Kyochon Manhattan has things right?

  • Somehow I suspect that Kyochon will NOT live up to the hype, and quickly fade from the foodblogger-topic-of-the-moment. At least Shake Shack is actually worth the wait…

  • @stevenp – But most of the hype has been from people who have tried it in Flushing and beyond. This isn’t like K! Pizzacone… Kyochon is time tested, and as somebody who has tried it at a branch that was open for awhile, it’s good. Like all Korean fried chicken in Midtown, it’s too expensive, takes too long, and from the looks of things Kyochon’s wings are way too small right now.

    But in the end, it tastes good. And I’m sure it will end up being quicker than Mad For Chicken. As for whether or not Koreatown can sustain all these fried chicken places, that’s another question.

  • @ NYCFoodGuy.com:

    Havin’ a bad day, Dude? Maybe you need to reset your alarm clock.

    ‘Nuff said.

  • Everyday is a bad day when it includes commentary from DocChuck

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