Stick to the Chicken at BonChon Turtle Bay

Back in August, we announced the opening of a brand new Bon Chon location in Turtle Bay, but never got around to a full review. Since I’ve never been to Bon Chon (criminal, I know), I decided it was most definitely time for me to venture over. ┬áKorean fried chicken places can get a bit expensive if you aren’t careful, but there are four lunch specials on the menu that all clock in at under $10: BonChon Chicken Lunch, LaFrieda Korean Bulgogi Burger + Frite, Balsamic House Salad, and BonChon Marinated Chicken Fried Rice.

The namesake chicken lunch ($8) consisted of 5 wings and 1 drumstick, in either Hot & Spicy or Soy Garlic flavor. I got the hot and spicy, and it was nice and spicy without being uncomfortable. The skin on the chicken was crispy, and the wings were clearly fresh out of the fryer. In my opinion, they could have been a bit saucier, but once again I am a BonChon newbie, so maybe this is just how they are?

I had very high hopes for the burger ($9). LaFrieda? Check. Bulgogi? Double check. Unfortunately, the result did not live up to the expectations. The burger was small and overcooked, and had none of the juiciness, sweetness, or fattiness I generally associate with bulgogi. The lettuce and thin slice of cucumber were an afterthought and added little to the burger.

Another thing I need to mention is the fact that the service was very slow. I would try to do takeout unless you have a full hour for lunch, and stick to the chicken if you’re going to go for a lunch special. The one other item in the ML range I would be interested in trying is the Seoul Rice Bowl ($10): marinated steak or spicy chicken, mushroom, and local vegetables. ┬áBut considering what they did with the burger, I might just stick with what I know is going to be good: aka the chicken.

BonChon, 957 2nd Ave (btw. 51+50th), 212-308-8810

17 Comments

  • Since this outpost has opened, I’ve eaten the chicken close to a dozen times. It’s just spectacular. The only other thing I’ve ever eaten there is the veggie fried rice, which was about the most tasteless thing I’ve ever eaten from a restaurant. And the service…holy crap are you correct. I do take out or Seamless most of the time, and I’ve never had my food in less than an hour from ordering. They just are simply not able to streamline. But it’s all still worth it for that incredible soy garlic chicken.

  • Also, their duk boki is mediocre, seafood pancake is decent. Word of warning: spice level on spicy wings is variable. Twice I got them and it was an inferno, while the other times (5 or 6) it’s been relatively mild.

    P.S. if you want to be grossed out, take a few leftover wings home and pop them in the toaster oven later. The amount of excess oil that seeps out in that process is enough to make several stir fry dishes. But hey, it’s fried chicken.

  • I’ve been to this place a bunch of times. I love the chicken. The menu is a little confusing. This place has been busy pretty much every time I’ve been there for lunch, but we’ve always gotten a seat.

  • One other thing: they have a fantastic selection of beer on tap.

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    If you want a good bulgogi burger, spend an extra $3 and go to Social Eatz on 52nd btw 2nd and 3rd. It’s closer to your office.

    …sauteed with soy, sugar, scallion, garlic and sesame oil then garnished with cooled cucumber kimchee, kewpee and a japanese mayo.

    However, I actually prefer their cheaper “Burger’z”.

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  • I’m confused, which regular poster in this thread are you accusing of being a shill?

  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    I went here for lunch once. There were maybe 4 other customers. I waited half an hour for my 2 orders of chicken to come out. The server kept going back to the kitchen and then telling me my food was almost ready. The guy across from me ordered rice and was told it would be ready soon. He finished his meal and asked about the rice again, and was told that it was almost done cooking. Come on people…

    BUT, without me saying anything about the slow service the server offered me a discount for my inconvenience

    Chicken was worth waiting for.

  • Nice chicken and rice.
    Too bad about the booger.

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