Cast Your Judgements on Kyochon Now That It’s Open For Lunch (That’s Right… You Read That Correctly)


Here at Midtown Lunch, we’re pretty into Korean fried chicken whether it’s here in Midtown or in Downtown or even in Los Angeles (where Zach seemed to really like a branch of Kyochon that had been open longer than a few hours.) These places are delicate operations of fried goodness. We already know that many of these Korean fried chicken places sometimes have issues of serving food in a timely manner. So it’s probably not a great idea to judge a place when they’re not firing on all cylinders. It’s not fair to the place, and most of all, it’s not as useful for the readers of Midtown Lunch. I’m going to show you why…


Last week I walked by when they were handing out samples at Kyochon. Wonderful right? I was really excited because hey, free chicken is good chicken. Just look at that thing. It’s fried well with tiny crevices ready to soak up the sweet or spicy sauce. Sure there’s not much meat on this thing, but it’s still fried chicken (How bad can it be?!) Even though most of the time I like anything fried, it’s also good to be mindful of the fact that when there are free giveaways, it often doesn’t reflect what the real thing will be like. Compare what happens when ice cream places do free cone days… it’s never a cone bursting at the seams and dripping down the sides. It’s usually just a dainty little thing.


And when you look at this chicken from afar… you see what I mean. Notice it’s the same size as my thumb. Now logic tells me that it’s very unlikely that any successful franchise will succeed based on a business that sells chicken smaller than fingers. Like seriously. Can we all just hold on to our horses and wait until Kyochon is running on all cylinders  before giving it to them?

Kyochon wasn’t even open for lunch until TODAY, so maybe we can all just be a little patient here. Clocks were adjusted for daylight savings, maybe people can make use of the extra light at the end of the work day, instead of lining up for a soft opening and then getting their underwear all in a bunch. It’s fried chicken people, it’ll be good. Just relax.

Kyochon. 319 5th Ave (btwn 32nd and 33rd). 212-696-0150.


  • Not ALL fried chicken are created equal. I will give them a chance though eventually. I don’t think it’s worth the long lines or any of that hype yet.

  • I got one of those free samples a month ago. I was more disappointed by the wasteful packaging than anything else. The main issue here is they have taken “fast” food and made it slow. You simply can’t get out of there in a timely fashion and the place comes across as being capable of otherwise.

  • i will wait it out. maybe do a bon chon/ kyochon throwdown? especially if they reopen the plaza behind bon chon.

  • I dunno why this place takes so long…the LA food court location I visited last month was very fast…got my food in like 5 mins (though I got one of those beeper things). At least during peak hours, they shouldn’t be cooking to order.

  • This explains everything…. teething problems with the opening… small shop … tiny fowl…. takes forever….. proximity to the statues of Herald Square…

    They’re catch pigeons fresh for each order!

    It’s Soylent Kyochon!!!! Ruuuuunnn awaaaaayyy…..

  • I’ll pass on the hype, thankyouverymuch. It’ll be 1849 for my 20-cent wings, served hot and crisp and promptly, accompanied by my $3 drafts. But do keep posting Kyochon articles so I can chuckle at the lemmings who are irresistibly drawn to this place.

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    I’d stay away for the time being, regardless of your opinion on the quality of the chicken. Went for lunch today, noonish, and they are really fouled up. Took a really long time to get the food (25-30 minutes, and my order was simple and leapfrogged some who’d ordered before me). And it wasn’t just volume, they seemed disorganized and confused. Presumably they’ll get the kinks ironed out, but for now, it’s not worth your time.

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    All the hype and waiting were more exciting than the actual chicken, huge line (understandable), confused employees (understandable). I had a 5 pcs sweet & hot wings combo & 2 sweet & hot drumsticks with potato wedges, wings & drumsticks were way too tiny and dry. I barely felt the “sweet” in the sweet & hot, and by hot, they really mean atomic hot (it cleared my sinus & made me shed tears from beginning to end).

  • mroth–and were the wings as tiny as they appear in the photos? It would be good to clear up the “promotional vs. actual” wing size.

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    Just as a sidenote, please go back to including the address in every post about restaurants–that was something small but important that Zach did on every post that made his posts extra helpful.

  • My experience at Kyochon was extremely poor. I do not see myself going there again, unless I hear things improve there. I had three distinct complaints about Kyochon, while there were two minor positives.

    1) They claim that all orders of chicken are freshly made. We ordered our chicken and received it within 2 minutes. I was skeptical, but I gave the chicken a try before I cast judgment. My initials concerns were real – the chicken was room temp and soggy. Our order had clearly been sitting out for quite a while so they just slopped the chicken on our table instead of making a fresh batch. To compound things, I asked the waitress if the chicken was freshly made. She went with the company line, and claimed that it was freshly made. We voiced an official complaint, so they gave us a bottle of soju. I’m not a fan of soju, so all was not well. I just wanted freshly made fried chicken. That shouldn’t be too difficult from a fried chicken restaurant.

    2) A large order of chicken is 17.99 at Kyochon. The chicken wings are tiny, as if they came from Cornish hens rather than actual chickens. At Mad for chicken, the wings are double the size yet only cost a few dollars more.

    3) At Mad for chicken radish is served for free. However, Kyochon charges for this side. It’d be like Carnegie Deli charging for pickles. It’s just not right.

    4) Kyochon serves a honey flavored wing, which is not available at either Bon Chon or Mad for Chicken. The flavor of the wing was very good. However, it would have been better if the chicken was freshly prepared (and if there was some meat underneath the breading).

    5) Kyochon serves fries for $4 while Mad for Chicken serves fries for $9. As much as I love fried chicken, I need some starch with my meal. Thankfully, Kyochon doesn’t try to extort its customers by charging $9 for a measly side of fries.

    Btw – the hot at Kyochon is significantly spicier than Bon Chon or Mad for Chicken. Could be a positive or negative depending on how you like you chicken. Imagine Tabasco sauce to the fourth power.

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    I’m the “other guy” who didn’t like the experience from the previous post about Kyochon. I think that there is some unfair bias going on from both sides to this matter. The people who have never tried it before (such as me) think that the wings are very small, and over rated… where as the people that have tried it at LA or elsewhere liked them, and think that the Manhattan branch should live up to the expectation. Fact of the matter is, the Manhattan location took a very long time to give out orders, and from the looks of it, it’s still the case after a week of opening. The chicken wings still seem to be very small, and not all that great. However, this does not mean that Kyochon will not improve their service and food at this location to match the others around the country. I personally think they spent a little too much money on the decor and other small things (such as having their logo on every thing that you get, down to the sauce packs and chopsticks), instead of the food. However, I will try to visit them again after a month or two, just to be fair.

  • I had a few coworkers all excited and ready to go today after weeks of hype and anticipation, I myself was giddy and couldn’t wait.

    Got there at 1:45, placed order at 1:54, got food at 2:25 after our bag had been sitting on counter for over 15 mins! no one beeped us. Room temp and uninspired wings, received 2 orders of garlic instead of 1 garlic and 1 hot. Chicken sandwich came with bacon which I do not eat, ordered chicken croquettes but instead received wedges.

    I went back at 4pm to let the manager know and waited another 25 mins before leaving. In the mean time they were turning paying customers away because they were “transitioning” the restaurant to diner service. I saw at least 3 groups leave pissed. Snazzy Sauce station was not working at lunch time.

    Seemed to be a few executives roaming around and also more then a few managers, but it seemed the crew was fending for themselves. Under staffed and under trained. During these make or break times and considering the already delayed opening this is not a good indicator of upper management and a well thought out concept/ store design. One lady begged to be able to get some chicken as she came all the way from down town to try some, as there were no managers around the cashier wisely let her place an order.

    I felt bad for the hostesses as they seemed to take the brunt of peoples frustrations, again there should be a manger on the floor at all times ready to deal with problems.

    I got the managers number and will try to speak with him tomorrow.

  • Just went by Kyochon and K Pizzacone before 10. KYochon looked pretty empty—at least for takeout, and K pizzacone was empty. Not a soul in there–and all 3 workers looked like they were waiting to pounce on customers. I have a feeling this is going to be the norm very soon at both places…unless they cut their prices in half or seriously up the quality of what they sell.

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