Craig La Ban lowers La Boom on Philadelphia’s first franchise of the Korean fried chicken chain, Bonchon. LaBan drops zero bells on the K-Pop blaring, No-Korean-in-the-kitchen Chinatown outpost.
Bonchon does serve many other Korean favorites beyond wings. But there isn’t a single Korean in the kitchen at this Bonchon, owned by Chinese Americans (“I have Korean friends,” Taing notes). And it shows with off-key renditions of bibimbap (with mushy rice), dully flavorless japchae noodles (despite a splash of sweet soy wing sauce), and a seafood-scallion pancake scorched black on the bottom.
Hyped Korean chicken chain arrives, disappoints [Philadelphia Inquirer]
Seriously? It’s like you people have never seen fried chicken before.
The lines, the waits, the epic crowds–all of this has served to throw a big, chicken-smelling wrench into the grand opening plans at BonChon in Chinatown. First, they had to scale back their hours so they could focus on their dinner crowds during the grand opening weekend–dumping lunch service entirely and opening at 5pm. Then they made that schedule temporarily permanent, announcing that, for the time being, the hours were going to be 5pm-11pm only. That schedule still stands, and today they’ve had to scale back even more.
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Nom Wah Tea Parlor coming to 218 N 13th Street.
Two new openings in Chinatown are so close, you can just about taste them. BonChon opens Wednesday, February 18th at 11 a.m. at 1020 Cherry Street. They’re calling it a soft-opening with a limited menu, but rest assured, there will be Korean fried chicken. The full menu will be available the next day.
Next up will be Nom Wah Tea Parlor opening at 218 N 13th Street. The historic New York dim sum restaurant is opening “after the Chinese New Year” which means sometime after February 19th.
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