We reported a few weeks ago that the former Mono + Mono, former Mad For Chicken, former BonChon location on 5th btw. 31+32nd had closed down and was in the process of re-naming itself Mad For Chicken once again. Well they’re back open now and yesterday, I stopped in for a quick peek. The new official name is Turntable Mad For Chicken (!?), and the hostess told me it’s the same company and most of the menu remains the same. How can they even begin to compete with nearby BonChon and Kyochon if nobody knows what the hell to call this place!?! These people have officially gone mad!!! Anybody been to this new incarnation yet?
Archive for 'Mad For Chicken'
What is the deal with the Korean fried chicken on the 2nd Floor of 314 Fifth Avenue? Originally it was a Bon Chon location and then the name changed to Mad For Chicken. Then in another push for re-branding the restaurant became known as Mono + Mono. After that music pub/eatery closed back in February, there has been silence on the chicken front. Now, it looks like a sign for Mad For Chicken has appeared again in the window. I attempted to go upstairs but the security guard wouldn’t let me, saying the restaurant was not open yet. When I asked when it would open, he said, “Later.”
A call to the Mono + Mono phone number re-directed me to the East Village location where the hostess there had no information about the possible re-opening of Mad For Chicken. I also called the Flushing location for Mad For Chicken, but again no answers. Why is everybody keeping so quiet about the fate of this restaurant? Could it be an attempt to make this a “hidden gastropub” once again? Doubtful but who knows. Anybody have any insider info? Let us know in the comments…
It looks like the days of Mad For Chicken being a “hidden bar for those in the know” are all but gone. Yesterday they put this big honkin’ sign up announcing the news that was reported last month… Mad For Chicken is now Mono + Mono. Based on what we heard from the staff when the name change was announced (and this report from the new downtown branch) things aren’t expected to change considerably. They updated the menu a few months ago to include maki and some bar foods, but it sounds like there isn’t going to be anything new or exciting beyond what we’ve already seen. That doesn’t mean that a return visit isn’t warranted, just to be sure… y’know, for science.
Eater reported this morning that Mono + Mono, a new music-centered Korean Fried Chicken spot is opening in the East Village this fall with another branch to open in Koreatown. Now, before you get too excited for even *more* Korean fried chicken on 5th Ave., it turns out that Mono + Mono’s K-Town branch is none other than Mad For Chicken (on 32nd and 5th, 2nd Floor). I stopped in during lunch and found out that the new location will be tied to a re-branding of MFC, which was (clearly) lacking a decent name since leaving the Bon Chon franchise last year. There’s no eta on the renaming, but according to the staff, there isn’t much that’s expected to change immediately. (Photo courtesy of Eater)
Curious if Kyochon or Mad For Chicken have changed since Clay did his Korean Fried Chicken Palooza back in March? Doesn’t sound like it based on reading this Serious Eats: New York “fried chicken face-off”. MfC is still delicious but takes forever, while Kyochon has its flaws but is cheaper and makes the spicier wing. Of course it’s hard to take a fried chicken opinion seriously from a person who feels guilty about eating potato wedges… (we kid because we love, SENY!) If you’re addicted to the korean fried chicken, however, we do recommend you read the comments of the post. There’s some real good stuff in there, including an intricate comparison of the different wing flavors, plus some Korean fried chicken cooking factoids from food genius J. Kenji Lopez-Alt. Of course once the new Bon Chon opens on 5th Ave. btw. 32+33rd (this week hopefully!) Clay will most likely be holding a Korean Fried Chicken Palooza 2… you know… for “science”.
The problem with Korean Fried Chicken is that it’s actually so good that you’re willing to go through a lot to get it. I discovered this a couple years ago at Mad For Chicken (a branch of Bon Chon Chicken at the time.) Both patience and the lunch hour were tested as 10, then 20, then 30 minutes went by with neither food served nor drinks refilled. But a year ago, when Zach first posted about the place, it was our only lunchtime option. It cost more than you wanted to spend and often took a lot longer than you really had time for… but oh, that chicken! Crisp, sweet and sticky, it made all the worries of time and work melt away.
That’s why when Kyochon’s ‘coming soon’ sign went up last February, I rejoiced. Korean Fried Chicken without the interminable wait? Yes, please! Or so I thought. If the year-long delay didn’t set me straight, the lines out the door after it opened certainly did. Clearly, waiting for Korean Fried Chicken is just a requirement. It’s the way it is. So, the question becomes, with Kyochon finally here, Mad For Chicken across the street and a Bon Chon a few blocks away (and another opening up on the same block as Kyochon), how do they stack up?
With the alternating hype and dog-piling on Kyochon, a clear, unbiased fried chicken smackdown was in order. I gladly stepped up (arteries be damned.)
Serious Eats New York hits up Mad For Chicken (on 5th Ave. btw. 31+32nd) and determines something that Midtown Lunch’ers confirmed back in May when the switch was first made. The owner/operators didn’t change, just the name, so the chicken is pretty much exactly the same as it was when it was Bon Chon (except the spicy chicken might be a little spicier?)
Bon Chon is returning to Midtown! The Korean fried chicken chain will be opening a new franchise on 38th Street btw. 7+8th in the next few months. Not only will it be exciting to have Bon Chon back (the original Koreatown location became “Mad For Chicken” back in May) but how awesome will it be to have it a bit closer to the heart of Midtown? Now the race is on to see who opens first… the new Bon Chon, or the Kyochon on 32nd and 5th (which has been under construction since the beginning of the year.)
There’s also good news in here for our Downtown Lunch’ers… according to their website Bon Chon will be opening a new Downtown location as well in Mid November. That one will be on John St. near Wall.
Last week we posted the news that two of NYC’s Bon Chon Korean fried chicken locations (Koreatown & Flushing) had changed their name to “Mad for Chicken”. They claim the chicken is exactly the same as before, but Bon Chon wants to make sure that you know it’s not. From their official website:
Ah yes- the old open a franchise… steal the recipe… decide you don’t want to pay the royalties anymore game. If this whole thing sounds familiar, it’s because it is. Shorty’s (on 9th Ave. btw. 41+42nd) did the same thing to Tony Luke’s. Thankfully for Midtown Lunch’ers one commenter is reporting that the chicken pretty much tastes the same as it always has, but I’m guessing it still takes forever to get your order. Thanks to Lunch’er Paul for passing along this link to the Bon Chon Website.
Thanks to Lunch’er Jamie (aka Fressagirl) for pointing this one out… the two New York branches of BonChon chicken (the Flushing one, and the Midtown location on 5th btw. 31+32nd) have changed their name to “Mad For Chicken”. They claim the food remains exactly the same, and according to an employee the name change is because the boss thought the old name was “too difficult to pronounce for Americans.”
The owners have already changed the name on their Yelp page, and they have a new website up at www.madforchicken.com. There’s no mention of “BonChon” on the menu, and the two locations have disappeared from the official BonChon website… so I’m guessing they’re just not affiliated with the chain anymore.
You can question the decision, but you’ve got to love the
excuse logic. If BonChon was too tough pronounce, what chance does Kyochon have?